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.
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.
Jeffrey A. Butts and Vincent Schiraldi Recidivism is not a robust measure of effectiveness for community corrections agencies. When used as the sole measure of effectiveness, recidivism misleads policymakers and the public, encourages inappropriate comparisons of dissimilar populations, and focuses policy on negative rather than positive outcomes. Policymakers who focus on recidivism as evidence of justice effectiveness are confusing a complex, bureaucratic indicator of system decision-making with a simple measure of individual behavior and rehabilitation. Recidivism is at least in part a gauge of police activity and enforcement emphasis and, because of differential policing practices in minority communities, using recidivism…
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.
Promising evidence that the public health approach to violence reduction championed by Cure Violence may be capable of creating safe and healthy communities.
Community-based services provided by Youth Advocate Programs, Inc. may generate considerable savings by reducing the need for commitment and out-of-home placement among court-involved youth.
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.
This study suggests that the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention provides meaningful assistance to cities. The organizational networks involved in the National Forum appear to be moving in positive directions and the individuals involved in those networks report high levels of confidence that they are making a difference.
Reclaiming Futures assumes that positive youth outcomes are achieved when service delivery systems are closely coordinated and provide just the right amount of individualized help with the least possible amount of coercion.
When justice-involved youth are supervised by local agencies and placed with locally operated programs rather than being sent away to state facilities, they are better able to maintain community ties. They stay connected with their families and they are more likely to remain in local schools. Policy reforms that localize the justice system are often called “realignment.” New York’s “Close to Home” (or C2H) initiative is a prominent example of youth justice realignment.
by Jeffrey A. Butts March 16, 2015 New York’s Close to Home initiative (C2H) is a policy reform that brings young offenders home from far-away correctional institutions to be served by programs closer to their families. New York implemented the first phase of C2H in 2012 for youth from the State’s “non-secure” programs. A second phase, scheduled to begin in March 2015, will bring back youth from “limited-secure” programs that house more serious offenders. As C2H expands, policymakers need to consider strategies that were effective in Phase 1 and mistakes to be avoided in Phase 2. The Research & Evaluation…
by Jeffrey A. Butts March 16, 2015 Close to Home (C2H) is an effort to localize the youth justice system in New York City by keeping young offenders near their neighborhoods and families rather than sending them away to facilities that are far from home. Phase 1 of the C2H initiative began in 2012. Phase 2 is scheduled to launch in 2015. As State and City agencies widen the scope of Close to Home into a second phase, the key question is, “Did Phase 1 work?” The Research & Evaluation Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice reviewed C2H…