Preserving the Community Justice Mission of Community Corrections 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…
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…