Responding to Violent Juveniles
The rise in violent crime by juveniles is attracting public attention and increasing demand for services. Much of the planning being done in fact exacerbates existing problems. Below is a list of some major considerations that an effective system evaluation needs to address.
What are the goals of the system?
Is the system meeting its goals?
How is this measured?
How do the interactions between the different elements of the system affect its overall function?
How much does the system cost to operate?
Where are there inefficiencies in the system that can be eliminated?
Are programs interrelated in a way that provides effective services for the multi-problem kid and his/her family?
Are there populations whose needs are not being met by current programs?
Are there programs for kids at each stage in the juvenile justice system - from diversion programs for 10-year-old shoplifters to in-custody programs for older felons?
How do you measure its success?
Who really needs to be locked up?
What are the goals and criteria of detention?
How can those goals be met most cost-effectively?
What kinds of programs and facilities do you need to meet these goals?
ILPP's Approach to Evaluation
As ILPP evaluates counties' juvenile justice systems, these are the steps we take:
- Collect comprehensive data on the juvenile population to identify who is in the system, how long they stay, and how they exit.
- Assess all programs and services, to seek potential obstacles to overall effectiveness.
- Develop long-term facilities options, in light of projected future demand.
The final product is a report which describes the findings and recommendations from each project phase and concludes with an overall program plan, system management plan, and facilities plan.