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Local Validation of SPEP Ratings of Juvenile Justice Program Effectiveness: A Case Study (2017)

The Standardized Program Evaluation Protocol (SPEP) system rates how effectively juvenile justice services reduce recidivism. It is based on meta-analyses of programs’ effectiveness and has been validated in statewide analyses by comparing the recidivism of clients in well-rated versus poorly rated programs. This technical report describes an attempt to locally validate the system, using data from the Iowa site of OJJDP’s Juvenile Justice Reform and Reinvestment Initiative. The report provides basic information on programs and how they fared on the SPEP. Ultimately, the local data were unsuitable for a local validation because of limitations in the available risk data and other technical issues. The report provides lessons in what will be required to locally validate SPEP ratings.

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