Easily Overstated

Policymakers, advocates, and even some researchers claim that youth confinement rates across the United States dropped in recent years due to changes in policy and practice. Such claims remain unproven, but voters and elected officials are inclined to accept them as factual because they are offered by reputable agencies and repeated in news media sources. Without reliable evidence, however, the notion that state-level youth confinement rates fall primarily in response to progressive policy reforms is merely appealing rhetoric. Continue reading Easily Overstated

Opinions and Perceptions of Residents in New York City Public Housing

As part of an evaluation of the New York City Mayor’s Action Plan for Neighborhood Safety (MAP), researchers from John Jay College of Criminal Justice collaborated with survey specialists from NORC at the University Chicago to collect data from two probability samples of residents in public housing developments in New York City. One sample of residents came from communities involved in the MAP initiative. A second sample was from statistically matched housing developments not involved in MAP. Continue reading Opinions and Perceptions of Residents in New York City Public Housing

Older Adults Responsible for Total Growth in Drug Arrests

The entire increase in drug crime arrests during the past decade was due to growing numbers of arrests involving adults ages 25 and older. Youth under age 18 and even young adults under age 25 were far less likely to be arrested for drug crimes in 2018 than any time in the past two decades. Continue reading Older Adults Responsible for Total Growth in Drug Arrests

Youth Still Leading Violent Crime Drop: 1988-2018

Based on the latest statistics compiled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the national violent crime arrest rate declined 38 percent overall between 1988 and 2018, but the steepest declines were observed among youth ages 10 to 14 (–53%) and 15 to 17 (–54%). The arrest rate for 18-20 year-olds dropped 47 percent while the arrest rates for adults ages 21-24 and 25-49 declined 42 percent and 23 percent, respectively. Continue reading Youth Still Leading Violent Crime Drop: 1988-2018

It’s About Quality: Private Confinement Facilities in Juvenile Justice

Quality youth justice systems (a) limit the use of confinement to cases where it is objectively necessary, (b) ensure the health and safety of all confined youth, (c) provide effective treatments and developmentally appropriate programming, and (d) continually monitor and evaluate their effectiveness. These goals apply to all forms of secure confinement regardless of financing or organizational configuration. Continue reading It’s About Quality: Private Confinement Facilities in Juvenile Justice

Public Safety Trends in MAP Communities and Matched Comparison Areas

Was the presence of the MAP initiative in some NYCHA developments associated with greater improvements in crime and victimization outcomes compared with the same outcomes in NYCHA developments not involved in MAP? The results presented here do not answer the question in full, but they offer an early look at efforts by the research team to generate more precise answers. Additional analyses are needed to rule out competing explanations and to examine the complex series of relationships among all the study’s variables. Based on the preliminary findings in this report, however, the results of MAP to date may be considered promising. Continue reading Public Safety Trends in MAP Communities and Matched Comparison Areas

Measurement Plan and Analytic Strategies for Evaluating the Mayor’s Action Plan for Neighborhood Safety

This second in a series of reports about the evaluation of the New York City Mayor’s Action Plan for Neighborhood Safety (MAP). This Evaluation Update: summarizes the goals and methods used to evaluate the Mayor’s Action Plan; describes the quasi-experimental design used to test the outcomes and impacts of MAP as well as the data sources assembled by the research team and how they are used; and portrays a logical framework the research team used initially to identify causal pathways through which various elements of MAP were intended to achieve their desired effect. Continue reading Measurement Plan and Analytic Strategies for Evaluating the Mayor’s Action Plan for Neighborhood Safety

Mixed News About Youth Violence in Recent FBI Crime Data

The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting series tracks violent crime trends using the four offenses of murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. According to the FBI, youth arrests for these offenses grew one percent between 2016 and 2017. Continue reading Mixed News About Youth Violence in Recent FBI Crime Data

Quasi-Experimental Comparison Design for Evaluating the Mayor’s Action Plan for Neighborhood Safety

To evaluate the New York City Mayor’s Action Plan for Neighborhood Safety (MAP), an initiative to improve the safety of public housing developments, researchers estimated the counterfactual (no intervention) by selecting a set of comparison housing developments not involved in the initiative. The study relied on the statistical method known as propensity score analysis (PSA) to select the comparison group. Continue reading Quasi-Experimental Comparison Design for Evaluating the Mayor’s Action Plan for Neighborhood Safety

Good Questions: Building Evaluation Evidence in a Competitive Policy Environment

Policymakers and practitioners in the justice sector should consider evaluation research as a portfolio of strategic investments in knowledge development. Randomized controlled trials are merely one asset in a broader investment strategy. Continue reading Good Questions: Building Evaluation Evidence in a Competitive Policy Environment

It’s Not About the Art; It’s About the Artist

We actually need young people who are bold, willing to challenge conventional thinking, and to break rules, but we also need them to respect others, to rely on logic rather than force, and to appreciate the corrosive effects of violence and exploitation. In short, our communities need powerful and creative young people who want to improve us and not simply to fight us. These should seem like obvious concepts to anyone working around the youth justice system, but it is often surprisingly difficult to implement them in practice. Continue reading It’s Not About the Art; It’s About the Artist

Gun Violence is not an “Urban” Problem

by Jeffrey A. Butts JohnJayREC DataBits 2018-01 (revised Jan 2020) Policy debates about gun violence focus on cities. Every year, when federal law enforcement authorities release the latest compilation of U.S. violent crime statistics, news media across the country publish stories ranking cities on the severity of violence, with some labeled as “America’s deadliest cities.” Big city mayors and police chiefs anxiously await this annual … Continue reading Gun Violence is not an “Urban” Problem