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Put Data to Work for You

PbS is a data-driven continuous improvement process for juvenile justice facilities, community residential programs and reentry services to improve conditions and quality of life in our nation’s juvenile facilities. We offer research-based standards and performance measures that focus on:

Making Facilities Safe

Public safety and the safety of the youths, staff and visitors is the primary responsibility of confinement facilities. PbS standards and performance data focus on management practices that promote safety and wellbeing and minimize the risks of harm.

Monitoring Program Effectiveness

The challenge for youth facility leaders is to provide programming and services that both keep youths engaged and out of trouble and puts them on the path to becoming productive, purposeful citizens. PbS standards and performance measures focus on education and employment opportunities, health and behavioral health services and building life skills and competencies.

Achieving Positive Outcomes

Time in custody can and should be a catchment opportunity to help youths prepare to return to living with their families and community. PbS standards and performance measures focus on what research has shown are the most likely outcomes to prevent reoffending and give youths a meaningful second chance when they leave.

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Making Reentry Successful

Young people leaving the care and supervision of juvenile justice agencies need to be prepared and ready to become purposeful, productive citizens. PbS offers a framework and tools that jurisdictions can use to develop research-based reentry systems and measure positive youth outcomes.

It is truly amazing the culture change that PbS has fostered at our facility. As you know, PbS is a big endeavor but oh my is it ever worth it!

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Attendees from the 2023 PbS Agency Coordinators Training
State with PbS participating youth programs
States with one or more facilities participating in PbS shown in blue

Connecting Juvenile Justice Professionals

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Data Snapshot - Valuing Families

Agencies participating in the Performance-based Standards (PbS) standards and continuous improvement program survey their families and use the responses to adapt their practices to improve relationships and outcomes for young people and their families. In this PbS Data Snapshot, we share recent Family Survey responses from the field.

Read more about:  Publications, Family Engagement

Attracting and Keeping the Right Staff

Recruiting new staff to work for juvenile justice agencies has become a bit easier over the past year, according to about 70 professionals who gathered recently for the Performance-based Standards (PbS) Learning Institute’s 2023 Agency Coordinators Training. But attracting the right staff and keeping them remains a challenge. This brief shares tips from the PbS Agency Coordinators and shares Staff Climate Survey results from the April 2023 data collection.

Read more about:  Publications

Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Confinement

Fundamental fairness is at the heart of a just society and essential to healthy adolescent development. Young people need to feel they are treated fairly, respected and their voices matter. They also need to see the justice system as fair. But one look at the overwhelming disproportionate number of young people of color who are sent to secure juvenile facilities challenge any sense of fairness.

Read more about:  Publications, Issue Briefs, Research

Experiences of Youth in Confinement: Pathways of Racial-Ethnic Disparities in Juvenile Corrections

Looking at the experiences of young people in confinement facilities, the dissertation finds race and ethnicity is a significant predictor of a young person experiencing more control-oriented interventions, longer lengths of stay in confinement and fewer connections to reentry services. More specifically, the researcher found Black, Hispanic and minority young people were confined or restrained more often than others, stayed longer in facilities and had fewer connections to reentry services, adding to the cumulative negative impact of system involvement on young people of color. A summary of the dissertation is in the works and will be shared when available.

Read more about:  Publications, Research