When researchers examined new survey findings from communities that participated in the Reclaiming Futures initiative over a ten-year period, the data suggest that communities with the strongest engagement in Reclaiming Futures tend to have more positive perceptions of their youth justice and substance abuse treatment systems, including key facets of administration, collaboration, and overall system quality. In communities where the survey scores increased significantly during the early years of Reclaiming Futures, improvements were sustained through 2015. Thus, robust implementation of Reclaiming Futures may be associated with lasting improvements in system operations.
Stargate Theatre Company began in 2013 as a theatre-making, workforce readiness, and literacy project for justice-involved youth. For seven weeks each summer, a small group of young men meets at least four days per week to write, rehearse and perform a collaboratively crafted play in an Off-Broadway venue in New York City.
The John Jay College evaluation of Cure Violence includes methods for estimating a critical intermediate stage in the program’s theory of change. The study measures changes in violence-related attitudes and values of young men (age 18-30) in at-risk neighborhoods and compares areas with and without Cure Violence programs. This requires the study to conduct surveys among a population of hard-to-reach and hard-to-recruit research subjects, which is when “respondent-driven sampling” is most useful.
The Research and Evaluation Center at John Jay College is assessing the implementation and effects of Cure Violence programs in New York City. One element in the project involves in-person surveys with young men (ages 18-30) in many of the neighborhoods implementing the strategy. This report contains results from the first four neighborhoods involved in the study.
When justice systems are “realigned,” youth are supervised by local agencies and placed with locally operated programs rather than being sent away to state facilities. New York’s “Close to Home” (or C2H) initiative is a prominent example of youth justice realignment. With primary support from the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation and additional funds from the Pinkerton Foundation, the Research & Evaluation Center reviewed the design and implementation of the initiative.
Youth justice is a challenging environment in which to implement a rigorous PYD approach. 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. It provides a simple framework for designing PYD-compatible interventions for justice-involved young people and for supporting youth justice reforms.
The study draws on data from the National Juvenile Court Data Archive and from case studies of three juvenile courts in the Midwestern U.S. that successfully managed delays in processing youth through the juvenile justice system. The three sites employed different, tailored approaches to addressing delays. A commitment to case management and routine and shared communication were themes the sites had in common.
Cure Violence utilizes a public health approach. It considers gun violence to be analogous to a communicable disease that passes from person to person when left untreated. According to the logic of Cure Violence, gun violence is most effectively reduced by working to change the behavior of individuals at risk to participate in gun violence, but simultaneously "denormalizing” violence by changing the community norms that support and perpetuate gun violence.
This report examines the relationship of jurisdictional age to serious crime and it reviews the experiences of states that have previously changed their jurisdictional age laws. Next, the report addresses the cost considerations involved in these policy changes and it describes the types of detailed cost-benefit analyses that New York should undertake to project their effects on shifting court caseloads and the number of youth likely to be placed in various supervision programs and placement settings.
In five communities, survey respondents report a number of potentially valuable improvements, and the results imply that the cities involved in the National Forum may be increasing opportunities for youth and improving the extent to which violence prevention approaches draw upon the perspectives and expertise of a broad range of community members. There are also indications that some cities are developing better overall capacity to reduce youth violence, and that local perceptions of law enforcement efficacy may be improving.
This first report from the Implementation Assessment of the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention includes information collected through interviews and site visits to each participating city and from online surveys of individuals involved in each city's youth violence prevention network. The first round of surveys was administered beginning in June 2011, and the second was launched in February 2012. This report describes the changes perceived by respondents during the first eight months of implementation.
The scale of incarceration is not simply a reaction to crime. It is a policy choice. Some lawmakers invest heavily in youth confinement facilities. In their jurisdictions, incarceration is a key component of the youth justice system. Other lawmakers invest more in community-based programs. In their view, costly confinement should be reserved for chronic and seriously violent offenders. These choices are critical for budgets and for safety.