Evidence-Based Models for Court-Involved Youth

Report
Evidence-Based Models for
Court-Involved Youth
Jeffrey A. Butts
John Jay College of Criminal Justice
City University of New York
August 7, 2012
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WHAT IS EVIDENCE BASED PRACTICE?
The use of systematic decision-making processes or
provision of services which have been shown, through
available scientific evidence, to consistently improve
measurable client outcomes. Instead of tradition, gut
reaction or single observations as the basis for making
decisions, EBP relies on data collected through
experimental research and accounts for individual client
characteristics and clinician (or program) expertise.
- University of Washington Evidence Based
Practice Institute
Notice the creative contrast…
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WHERE CAN WE GO FOR HELP?
Colorado Department of Public Safety
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ADVANCES IN EBP FOR YOUTH JUSTICE
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ADVANCES IN EBP FOR YOUTH JUSTICE
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ADVANCES IN EBP FOR YOUTH JUSTICE
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ADVANCES IN EBP FOR YOUTH JUSTICE
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ADVANCES IN EBP FOR YOUTH JUSTICE
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ADVANCES IN EBP FOR YOUTH JUSTICE
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EVIDENCE IS PURCHASED, NOT SIMPLY
DISCOVERED
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Research is a competitive enterprise
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There are limited funds
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Researchers are not always disinterested
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Funding of research can be (is?) political
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Some program models are easier than
others to evaluate properly
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Marketing forces often overwhelm data
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SO NOT ALL PROGRAMS CAN
BE EVALUATED…
WHAT OTHER OPTIONS ARE
THERE?
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STANDARDIZED PROGRAM EVALUATION
PROTOCOL (SPEP)
Georgetown University
Center for Juvenile
Justice Reform
http://cjjr.georgetown.edu/pdfs/
ebp/ebppaper.pdf
SPEP developed by
Mark Lipsey of
Vanderbilt University
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STANDARDIZED PROGRAM EVALUATION
PROTOCOL (SPEP)
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 Based on meta-analysis -- 600 studies of programs that
reduce recidivism
 SPEP assigns scores to a select core of program
components based on how closely the components match
programs with demonstrated effectiveness in prior research
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Service Type
Supplemental Services
Treatment Amount (duration & contact hours)
Treatment Quality
Youth Risk Level
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STANDARDIZED PROGRAM EVALUATION
PROTOCOL (SPEP)
Two purposes of the instrument:
1) Assess the effectiveness of programs that seek to reduce
recidivism
2) Identify the components of a program that need improvement
States already using SPEP to assess youth programs
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North Carolina
Arizona
Pennsylvania*
Florida*
Connecticut*
* participating in Georgetown’s Juvenile Justice System Improvement Project (JJSIP)
that incorporates SPEP
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STANDARDIZED PROGRAM EVALUATION
PROTOCOL (SPEP)
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 The SPEP approach would allow us to ensure higher
quality programs without spending so much on evaluation
 Incorporating principles supported by SPEP would allow
programs to deliver better services during implementation
and the scaling up of program procedures rather than
waiting for data collection and follow-up
 Research dollars could be use more efficiently, focusing on
a smaller set of critical questions and answering them with
a higher degree of accuracy
 Many important questions have not been answered or
even asked yet…
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WHAT’S YOUR THEORY?
Family support
Community disorder
Thrill seeking
Poverty
School failure
Family violence
Greed
Cognitive defects
Mental illness
Risk
Factors
School success
Secure housing
Stable employment
Health
Positive friends
Youth
Crime
Unemployment Poor nutrition
Substance abuse Hopelessness
Lack of empathy
Defiance
Poor decision-making
Protective
Factors
Ethical framework
Belonging
Self-efficacy Adult guidance
Community respect
Physical safety
Future aspirations
We Aren’t Even Close to Having All The Answers
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IF OUR GOAL IS EFFECTIVENESS…
When choosing interventions for youth in the justice
system, we must be AGNOSTIC -- open to new facts
 Advocating one intervention over another based on
turf, convenience, bias or financial interests is simply
wrong
 Central goal of intervention is to ensure community
safety by changing youth behavior
-- NOT merely to deliver a particular type of service
or to ensure the financial stability of providers
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Arrest?
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WHY IS THIS SO DIFFICULT?
We seem to hear mostly about mental health,
substance abuse, and trauma?
 Most troubling cases often involve MH, SA and Trauma
 MH, SA, Trauma overlooked & under-diagnosed for years
 The science related to these issues has improved
 Interest group politics and public relations
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CONTACT INFORMATION
Jeffrey A. Butts, Ph.D.
Director, Research & Evaluation Center
John Jay College of Criminal Justice
City University of New York
http://about.me/jbutts
[email protected]
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