This report reviews a number of prominent frameworks that are available to help youth justice systems rely on positive outcomes rather than recidivism to measure their effectiveness. These include the Developmental Assets model, the 5Cs model, the Youth Program Quality Assessment model, the Positive Youth Justice model, and the Youth Thrive framework. Each model or framework aligns with the key principles of positive youth development as well as the large body of research on desistance from crime, which is also presented in this report.
While one of the strengths of OJJDP’s CBVP model was its emphasis on adaptation to local context and needs, the variation across program sites posed serious challenges for the evaluation and made it impossible to assess and compare outcomes in each city.
Reducing delinquency and youth violence among justice-involved young people is a complicated business. Public safety is best protected when youth justice providers work with young people in their own communities, and when the efforts of courts and children’s services are coordinated with prevention agencies, schools, social services, neighborhood organizations, and faith-based groups.