Establishing a Framework for Juvenile Justice Reform Based on Positive Youth Development

Despite widespread agreement that juvenile justice interventions should be based upon the best empirical knowledge about adolescent development, the juvenile justice system lags behind other youth-serving fields in applying positive youth development principles in its routine operations. This project began to address this problem. Chapin Hall worked with the leadership and staff of the Washington, D.C. Department of Youth and Rehabilitation Services (DYRS) to increase the developmental orientation of juvenile justice agencies.

Chapin Hall reviewed the scientific evidence behind positive youth development and began to identify the strongest theoretical and evaluative findings that could be used to build developmentally-appropriate interventions for young offenders. The findings of the project were designed to inform such interventions by DYRS.

Results from the project were published by the Coalition for Juvenile Justice in Washington, D.C. and presented at their annual meeting in 2010.


Project Staff

Jeffrey Butts,PI
Elissa Gitlow
Brianna English
Aundra Saa Meroe


$40,000. Community Foundation for the National Capital Region.


Butts, Jeffrey A., Gordon Bazemore, and Aundra Saa Meroe (2010). Positive youth justice. Washington, DC: Coalition for Juvenile Justice.