The Research and Evaluation Center investigated the feasibility, implementation, and impact of a youth justice realignment effort in New York State. Known as Close to Home, the initiative diverted young offenders from state facilities and shifted interventions to community-based programs under the direct or indirect management of local government. Over the past two decades, realignment has attracted growing attention in New York and elsewhere due to crowded facilities, strained budgets, and the persistent failure of the justice system to reduce recidivism.
The Research and Evaluation Center worked with Youth Advocate Programs, Inc. (YAP) to enhance the research and evaluation focus of YAP. Center staff and consultants collaborated with YAP personnel to design research studies of sufficient rigor to improve the organization’s data-driven orientation and to develop high-quality evidence of its effectiveness.
With funding from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Research and Evaluation Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice extended its program of research and technical assistance on juvenile justice realignment, or efforts to shift programs and resources for young offenders away from centralized, state-run facilities and into locally-operated, community-based, and non-residential programs.
The concept of realignment, however, is much older than 20 years. The Research and Evaluation Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice reviewed the state of the art in justice realignment. Researchers compiled the literature on realignment and other related initiatives and used the results to report on the best approaches to practice and policy.
Through a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, the City University of New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice collaborated with Temple University to assess the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention. Initiated by the White House and announced on October 5, 2010, the National Forum brings together the U.S. Department of Justice, Department of Education, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, and the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
The City University of New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice worked with Temple University to design and implement a comprehensive process and outcome evaluation of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s Community-Based Violence Prevention Demonstration Program (CBVP). The program replicated practices associated with some of the most effective recent innovations in violent crime prevention and control, such as Chicago’s CeaseFire and the Boston Gun Project.
Six communities in North Carolina collaborated to bring the Reclaiming Futures approach to agencies serving the needs of youthful offenders with drug and alcohol problems. The project worked intensively with the Reclaiming Futures National Program Office in Portland, Oregon and North Carolina sites selected by the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust to develop and demonstrate the Reclaiming Futures model in North Carolina communities.