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.

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.

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.

Marshall Project — The Recidivism Trap

Commentary Counting failure is no way to encourage success Jeffrey A. Butts and Vincent Schiraldi Any discussion of criminal justice policy inevitably includes the word “recidivism.” Usually more than once. Recidivism is the reoccurrence of crime among people known to have committed crimes before. At all levels of justice, from local probation offices to the [...]

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 [...]

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.

Multiple Research Methods for Evidence Generation

This chapter describes tools for researchers to address the tasks of problem definition, measurement, causal processes, and generalization. We begin with an extended example of developing practice-based evidence in community-based youth justice organizations in New York City.

Local Measures

Data infrastructures for tracking youth violence in the United States do not provide a clear view of neighborhood-level change, but the most effective strategies for dealing with youth violence inevitably focus on small areas like neighborhoods. This makes it essential to measure the effects of violence prevention efforts at the neighborhood level as well.

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 [...]

Evaluating the Effectiveness of the Cure Violence Model in New York City

Butts, Jeffrey A. and Sheyla Delgado (2014). Evaluating the Effectiveness of the Cure Violence Model in New York City. New York, NY: Research & Evaluation Center, John Jay College of Criminal Justice. With funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the City Council of New York City, the Research and Evaluation Center is [...]

Discussing Evidence-Based Policy and Practice

The Juvenile Justice Information Exchange (JJIE.org) hosted a Google Hangout (online live chat) between the director of the Research & Evaluation Center, Jeffrey Butts, and Cynthia Lum from the Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy at George Mason University. The conversation covered a number of topics, including the nature of evidence-based practices, how programs or practices become [...]

What’s the Evidence for Evidence-Based Practice?

Butts, Jeffrey A. (2012). What's the Evidence for Evidence-Based Practice? Research and Evaluation Data Bits [2012-10]. New York, NY: Research and Evaluation Center, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York. Research evidence does not emerge from a pristine and impartial search for the most effective practices. The evidence we have today is the [...]

Pinkerton Fellowship Initiative

The Pinkerton Fellowship Initiative, one of two graduate fellowships housed at the Research and Evaluation Center, was a collaboration between The Pinkerton Foundation and the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. The goal of the initiative was to contribute to the development and evidence orientation of the youth justice community in New York City. The program supported [...]