Monitoring Reforms in Youth Justice

With funding from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Research and Evaluation Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice is conceptualizing and designing a process for monitoring the quality of youth justice reforms at the state and local level. The project convened a one-day meeting in Washington, DC and is producing a white paper that summarizes the results of the meeting and presents an action plan for future efforts. The meeting focused on the value of developing a monitoring system and the practical and economic feasibility of implementing and maintaining the system in a way that generates reliable and useful information. Lawmakers at the state and local level are implementing reforms to make the youth justice system more cost-effective and more sophisticated, especially in the areas of evidence-based programming, alternatives to incarceration, and initiatives to incorporate the lessons of developmental science in the routine operations of justice agencies. The pace of reform has become rapid enough that practitioners are beginning to lose sight of all the new policies and procedures and the field of youth justice Some of these ideas are likely to be very effective and some are not. This project will propose a way to monitor ongoing developments in youth justice effectiveness and performance and to detect the impact of reforms, policy improvements, and practice innovations around the country.

Core Staff
Jeffrey Butts (PI), Rhoda Ramdeen, Emily Pelletier, Kathy Tomberg

$37,000. John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.