AECF Evaluation Projects

Building Evidence for Community-Based Youth Justice

Supported with funding from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Research & Evaluation Center worked with two innovative youth services agencies to improve their capacity for sound evaluation and to evaluate their effectiveness. The two agencies, Youth Advocate Programs, Inc. (YAP) based in Harrisburg, PA and exalt of New York City, are dynamic providers of community-based services and supports for disconnected, at-risk, and justice-involved youth.

The Casey Foundation project was part of JohnJayREC’s initiative, Evidence Generation. Center staff work with agencies to enhance their evidence base and to ensure that their programs adhere to reasonable standards of practice. Staff also assist agencies with their data systems to facilitate their progress toward becoming evidence based.

The Research and Evaluation Center had worked with both YAP and exalt for more than two years previously as part of the Evidence Generation Initiative. During this time, staff helped the agencies to document their routine practices, to create rigorous theories of change and logic models, and to explore the measures necessary to organize mission-relevant data. The enhanced funding from the Casey Foundation allowed the Center staff to resolve issues resulting from the previous collaborative work. Next, staff members worked to create effective comparison samples that could be utilized for quasi-experimental evaluation studies.

Core Staff

Jeffrey A. Butts (PI), Doug Evans (Project Director), Graduate Research Fellows, Rhoda Ramdeen


$150,000. Annie E. Casey Foundation, Baltimore, MD.