Community Violence Intervention at the Roots (CVI–R)

The crime and justice field recently started to label a wide array of violence prevention strategies as Community Violence Interventions (or CVI). Many of these strategies depend on law enforcement and social services, but the most innovative approaches are community-centered and community-sourced. They are grassroots efforts that rely on the resources of neighborhoods and residents themselves, operating separately from law enforcement and traditional human services. These strategies could be called Community Violence Interventions at the Roots (or CVI-R).

Conceptualization, Implementation, and Management of the New York City Mayor’s Action Plan for Neighborhood Safety

New York City's MAP strategy marshaled the talents and energies of residents to improve public safety and build healthy communities working in collaboration with local government and nonprofit partners. The initiative implemented MAP in more than a dozen public housing developments spread across New York City. John Jay College's Research and Evaluation Center worked with NORC at the University of Chicago to assess the design and implementation of MAP by observing operations, interviewing local officials and staff, and surveying residents.

Returning Home: A Descriptive Evaluation of Prepare in New York City

The Research and Evaluation Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice (JohnJayREC) partnered with Osborne Association to evaluate the first five years of a program designed to improve relationships between formerly incarcerated fathers and their children.

Reducing Gun Violence in New York City

Causal relationships are difficult to identify in complex and multi-part initiatives, but New York City’s falling rate of gun violence suggests that recent community initiatives may have helped to sustain previous gains.

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.

Risk Terrain Modeling: Seasonality and Predictive Validity

This study focuses on crimes involving firearms in Baltimore, Maryland to answer three research questions concerning the effect of seasonality: (1) Do changes in the seasons affect which spatial factors are significantly related to crime?; (2) Does risk terrain modeling have predictive validity on a short-term basis?; and (3) Are the same areas high-risk throughout the year? To accomplish this, the authors ran twelve monthly risk terrain models and one yearly risk terrain model. The study found that risk factors vary by month and that monthly and yearly spatial risk factors do not necessarily overlap. The study also found that risk terrain models retain their predictive validity on a short-term basis. The results are further discussed in relation to whether the same areas are high-risk throughout the course of the year.

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.

Going Back to College? Criminal Stigma in Higher Education Admissions in Northeastern U.S.

Access to education is a constant theme in discussions germane to correctional reform, particularly to reduce rule breaking while incarcerated and re-offending after release from prison. Focusing on the latter, we examine the extent to which education is accessible for individuals who have felonious non-violent records in the United States (US). We generated a stratified random sample of 85 institutions of higher education (IHE) in the northeastern US and analyzed emails from admission departments in response to inquiries about how a felony record would affect admissions decisions. Results from multivariate models indicate that the institution type (public vs. private) significantly predicts how an IHE would use an individual’s criminal history in admissions decisions. Public IHEs are less likely to consider criminal history when reviewing an individual’s application and IHEs with higher proportions of minority students are associated with reduced consideration of an applicant’s criminal history in admissions decisions.

Institute for Innovation in Prosecution (IIP) Practitioner Learning Follow-up Assessment

Seventeen prosecutors participated in a Practitioner Learning conference at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in November 2017. Of these, 16 participated in a follow-up interview. The 16 responding prosecutors came from 14 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Examining Housing Discrimination Across Race, Gender and Felony History

This study uses the audit method to examine the effects of race, gender, and criminal history on housing outcomes. Testers, exhibiting characteristics suggestive of race and gender and disclosing one of three offenses, placed phone calls to rental property owners across the Midwest to inquire about renting a property. We found powerful negative effects for those with a criminal record seeking apartments, regardless of whether the offense was sexual or drug-related.

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.

Legitimacy in Decision Making: Increasing Voter Approval of Municipal Bonds

Legitimacy plays an important role in building trust in government, and legitimacy and trust have been shown to move individual citizens along a continuum of cooperation where mere compliance turns to satisfaction, support, cooperation, and, ultimately, proactive engagement.

Reclaiming Futures and Organizing Justice for Drug-Using Youth

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.

Emerging Technologies and the Need for Evaluation

The growing influence of technology is creating a new urgency for criminal justice reform, but the decentralized development of programs makes it difficult to track promising projects or bring them to scale. Justice stakeholders are faced with the challenge of assessing technical innovations while they often lack the tools and resources to meet the challenge.

NY ACS: Advising the New York City Administration for Children’s Services on Positive Youth Outcomes

With funding provided by the City of New York through its Administration for Children's Services (ACS), the Research and Evaluation Center reviewed and compiled recent research and practice innovations focused on adolescent development and the youth justice system. Researchers considered the appropriate role of youth justice in enhancing essential assets for adolescents, including prosocial relationships [...]

Straight Lives: The Balance between Human Dignity, Public Safety, and Desistance from Crime

Desistance from crime is defined as a process involving a series of cognitive, social, and behavioral changes leading up to the cessation of criminal behavior. The value and importance of studying desistance, particularly for intervention efforts after the onset of offending, have been stressed abundantly in the literature.

20 Questions (and Answers) About Juvenile Justice

Butts, Jeffrey A. (2015). 20 Questions (and Answers) About Juvenile Justice. New York, NY: Research and Evaluation Center, John Jay College of Criminal Justice. City University of New York. Jeffrey Butts answers key questions about juvenile justice, including "what exactly is juvenile justice?"... "what does it mean when we read statistics about youth in 'the system'?" [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Strengthening Youth Justice Practices with Developmental Knowledge and Principles

The insights and lessons of developmental science do not translate easily into the day-to-day tasks of youth justice systems, which often focus on control and compliance. Youth justice practitioners require assistance as they apply developmental principles. The Positive Youth Justice (PYJ) Model was developed to meet this challenge.