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.

Recidivism Reconsidered

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…

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Positive Outcomes

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.

Street by Street: Cross-Site Evaluation of the OJJDP Community-Based Violence Prevention Demonstration Program

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.

Durable Collaborations

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.

Staying Connected: Introduction

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.

New York’s “Close to Home” Initiative — Lessons Learned

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…

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New York’s “Close to Home” Initiative – Did it Work?

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…

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YAP Helps to Keep Youth Out of Secure Facilities

by Douglas Evans and Sheyla Delgago Research & Evaluation Center June 2014 Youth Advocate Programs, Inc. (YAP) seeks to provide community-based alternatives for high-risk youth and reduce the juvenile justice system’s over-reliance on expensive and ineffective out-of-home placements. A mission of YAP is to keep youth in their homes so that advocates can utilize family and community resources to support youth clients. Living at home is important because it facilitates community engagement, which is essential for the health, well-being, and overall development of youth. Although it is not always possible to keep adjudicated youth in their homes, living at home…

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