- Turning Knowledge into Practice: A Manual for Human Services Administrators and Practitioners about Understanding and Implementing Evidence-Based Practices, 2nd edition (revised)
- Mental Health and Juvenile Justice Collaborative for Change
- Pennsylvania’s Juvenile Justice System Enhancement Strategy
- Evidence Generation website
- Evidence-Based Practices for Juvenile Justice Reform in Louisiana
- For registries or databases of evidence-based programs, see “Using Evidence-Based Treatment Programs,”below.
- Resources listed in Appendix C of Turning Knowledge into Practice, 2nd ed. will help you read, understand, and evaluate the quality of research on evidence-based practices.
- A publication from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) discusses how to evaluate the strength of the evidence supporting an evidence-based program.
- For an in-depth look, see Peter W. Greenwood’s Changing Lives: Delinquency Prevention as Crime-Control Policy (University of Chicago Press, 2006), which analyzes juvenile delinquency prevention programs, identifying those that are evidence-based and those that are ineffective, and discussing why ineffective programs sometimes thrive.
- For information on steps that service providers can take to qualify a program as an evidence-based practice, see “Measuring Success: A Guide to Becoming an Evidence-Based Practice.”
- The Washington State Institute for Public Policy (WSIPP) provides definitions of “evidence-based,” “research-based,” and “promising practices” in its “Updated Inventory of Evidence-based, Research-based, and Promising Practices.”
- In “Advocating Evidence-Generating Policy: A Role for the ASC,” author Akiva M. Lieberman advocates for implementing policies in a way that generates better evidence as to their effectiveness.
To understand to what extent states currently track recidivism data for youth involved in the juvenile justice system and use that information to inform policy and funding decisions, the Council of State Governments Justice Center, The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Public Safety Performance Project, and the Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators surveyed juvenile correctional agencies in all 50 states. This issue brief highlights the key findings of the survey.
- The Washington State Institute for Public Policy (WSIPP) has found many evidence-based community-based programs to be more cost-effective than juvenile incarceration. For more information, check out the cost-benefit information on juvenile justice community-based programs the Institute has recently evaluated.
- The Vera Institute’s Cost-Benefit Analysis Unit provides information on the economic pros and cons associated with criminal and juvenile justice investments through cost-benefit analyses and studies and technical assistance.
- A publication by the National Council of State Legislatures describes what a cost-benefit analysis is and how several states have used them to evaluate their juvenile justice programs.
- “What Works, Wisconsin” discusses how cost-benefit analyses are calculated for justice programs and provides a table of the prevention and community-based interventions they found to be the most successful and cost-effective for youth in trouble with the law. Also included are summaries of the programs and the evidence for their effectiveness.
- Turning Knowledge Into Practice, 2d ed., provides information on how to read, understand, and assess scientific literature on clinical research evaluating juvenile justice programs.
- This “Toolkit for Applying the Cultural Enhancement Model to Evidence-Based Practice” provides guidance on how to incorporate culturally relevant strategies into evidence-based practice in order to improve community and client engagement.
The benefits and challenges of implementing evidence-based practices are succinctly described in “Evidence Based Practices for Juvenile Justice Reform in Louisiana” and in the Mental Health and Juvenile Justice Collaborative for Change’s website section on “Implementing Evidence-Based Practices.”
Risk, Needs, and Responsivity Principles
- For a good description of the risk-needs-responsivity model for assessment and rehabilitation of youth in trouble with the law, see the following resources:
- Improving the Effectiveness of Juvenile Justice Programs by Mark W. Lipsey discusses the need for a risk assessment, needs assessment, and case management plan to develop an effective comprehensive strategy for handling juvenile offenders.
- See the Mental Health and Juvenile Justice Collaborative for Change website section on Implementing Evidence-Based Practices for a detailed description of the ten steps and four phases to guide the effective implementation of evidence-based practices.
- Pennsylvania’s Juvenile Justice System Enhancement Strategy assists juvenile justice stakeholders in implementing strategies to prevent delinquency that are grounded in evidence-based practices.
- The Louisiana Models for Change project developed the”Louisiana EBP Selection Assessment Guide,” a structured questionnaire to help guide jurisdictions in the process of selecting an evidence-based practice.
- For guidance on evaluating programs that have been implemented, see “Juvenile Justice Program Evaluation: An Overview, 2nd ed.” and “Does Your Youth Program Work?”
- See What Works Wisconsin’s webpage for a variety of resources on selecting and implementing evidence-based programs (note, however, that they are not currently publishing new resources).
- See “Assessing State Progress in Implementing EBPs” for information on which states have been leaders in adopting and implementing EBPs and lessons learned from their experiences.
- “Statewide Risk Assessment in Juvenile Probation” by the National Center for Juvenile Justice’s JJGPS (Juvenile Justice Geography, Policy, Practice & Statistics) discusses the role of validated risk/needs assessments in juvenile justice and provides data on the number of states adopting these tools as well as the types of tools adopted and ways in which they have been administered.
- See Reforming Juvenile Justice, by the National Research Council of the National Academies of Science, for a developmental perspective on treating youth in the juvenile justice system.
- “Positive Youth Justice” provides a comprehensive description of the positive youth development model for treating youth.
- For further information on how a strength-based approach informed by the principles of positive youth development can help high-need youth to thrive see “Safely Home” by Youth Advocates Program, Inc. (YAP).
- Looking for specific treatment programs? See these databases of programs rated for effectiveness:
- Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development, known nationally for its rigorous standards for assessing what works.
- The National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP), run by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
- For information on risk assessment tools used in the post-adjudication disposition stage, as well as details on the purpose and nature of risk assessment, a review of research evidence, and guidance on implementing these tools, see Risk Assessment in Juvenile Justice: A Guidebook for Implementation.
- For a good discussion of the criteria needed for a tool to be evidence-based and detailed reviews of four risk assessment tools: Structured Assessment of Violence Risk in Youth (SAVRY); Youth Level of Service/Case Management Inventory (YLS/CMI); Washington State Juvenile Court Assessment (WSJCA); and Risk & Resiliency Checkup (RRC); see “Review of Evidence-Based an Promising Risk/Needs Assessment Tools for Juvenile Justice” by the National Youth Screening & Assessment Project (NYSAP).
- The Model Program Guide (MPG) from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP).
- The adolescent-based treatment database and comparison matrix from the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, along with their Juvenile Graduated Sanctions E-Tool, which provides information on effective programs and services for juvenile justice-involved youth at different intervention levels.
- The National Institute of Justice provides evidence ratings of juvenile delinquency prevention programs on its crimesolutions.gov website.
- For further lists of websites with information on evidence-based treatments, see the Mental Health and Juvenile Justice Collaborative for Change website section on Choosing Evidence-Based Practices and Appendix D of Turning Knowledge Into Practice, 2nd ed.
- Washington State Institute for Public Policy (WSIPP) has many reports and charts of information on evidence-based treatment programs--whether evidence-based, research-based, or promising practices--and cost-benefit analyses.
- The District of Columbia Crime Policy Institute has developed a cost-benefit model to help policymakers assess evidence-based juvenile and criminal justice programs.
- Download a comprehensive list of trauma treatment programs from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.
- For an in-depth look, see Peter W. Greenwood’s Changing Lives: Delinquency Prevention as Crime-Control Policy (University of Chicago Press, 2006), which analyzes juvenile delinquency prevention programs, identifying those that are evidence-based and those that are ineffective, discussing why ineffective programs sometimes thrive.
- A publication by Mark Lipsey describes the Standardized Program Evaluation Protocol (SPEP) approach to improving the effectiveness of juvenile justice programs and this 2010 Report provides an in-depth assessment of Arizona’s use of the SPEP approach.
- See crimesolutions.gov and the Washington State Institute for Public Policy’s website for information on effective and ineffective juvenile justice programs and policies.
Evidence-Based Tools for Intervening with Youth
- The National Council on Crime and Delinquency performed a review of eight different risk assessment instruments as used in ten different jurisdictions.
- For information on detention risk assessment instruments, go to the help desk run by Annie E. Casey’s Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI).
- For a detailed discussion of three risk assessment instruments – the SAVRY (Structured Assessment of Violence Risk in Youth), the EARL (Early Assessment Risk List), and the YLS/CMI (Youth Level of Service/Case Management Inventory) risk assessment instrument, see this article by Randy Borum in the Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice.
- The California Institute for Mental Health Community Development Team Model
- The Community Logic Model, described in Identifying and Selecting Evidence-Based Interventions, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
- Pennsylvania’s Juvenile Justice System Enhancement Strategy
- This publication by the University of Washington Division of Public Behavioral Health and Justice Policy and Models for Change Initiative provides research information on the effectiveness of several evidence-based practice treatment programs with Latino youth populations.
- See this toolkit from the University of Washington Division of Public Behavioral Health and Justice Policy on the cultural enhancement model and how to implement it.
- Information on programs that have been tested with diverse ethnic groups can be found through websites such as the following:
- The SAMHSA NREPP website, though the lists may not always be current.
- The National Implementation Research Network provides information on resources for finding programs tested with diverse ethnic groups.
- The National Institute of Justice’s CrimeSolutions.gov program evaluates and rates evidence-based programs and provides demographic information on the population of youth studied.
- The National Juvenile Justice Network’s policy brief, “Emerging Findings and Policy Implications from the Pathways to Desistance Study” provides a summary of the findings from the Pathways to Desistance Study, a large, multi-site, collaborative project that followed over 1,300 youth ages 14-18 for seven years after their convictions for serious offenses.
- See the JJIE Resource Hub Community-Based Alternatives Resources page for information on disrupting the school-to-prison pipeline.
- For information on how the concepts of Positive Youth Justice can provide valuable guidance in designing interventions for youth in the juvenile justice system, see Positive Youth Justice by Jeffrey A. Butts, Gordon Bazemore, and Aundra Saa Meroe. In a separate paper, Dr. Butts assesses the potential of the Positive Youth Justice model as a tool for strengthening reform.