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.
PbS produces regular publications, including issue briefs and research reports, with the goal to expand and enhance use of PbS data to better inform the field, national discussions and the public.
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.
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.
Research Brief: Predicting Use of Restraints and Perceptions of Safety Using Staff Demographic Characteristics
Using staff demographic characteristics to predict two important issues in juvenile confinement facilities: (1) the use of restraints during behavioral incidents and (2) staff perceptions of safety. Specifically, we investigated whether individuals who belong to racial and ethnic groups that have experienced systematic and individual oppression (referred to as minoritized staff) differ in their use of restraints during incidents than non-minoritized staff. Then, we investigated whether the proportion of female staff predicts staff perceptions of safety in the facility.
Data Snapshot: What Young People Say Matters January 2023
Contributing to the national vision of reentry success, PbS analyzes the survey responses of young people in secure facilities, community residential programs, and community supervision. This snapshot shares the voices of 4,620 system-involved young people responding to surveys about their current experiences, quality of life, preparations for reentry, and outlook for their futures.
Research Brief: Family visitation, behavioral incidents, and staff safety: What changed in the COVID-19 era?
This brief looks at family visitation, staff safety, and behavioral incidents before (April 2019) and after (April 2021) the start of the pandemic. There are two aims: 1) to assess if facility-level family visits, staff perceptions of safety, and behavioral incidents post-pandemic significantly differ from pre-pandemic expected levels, and 2) to assess the relationship between family visits and behavioral incidents as well as the relationship between behavioral incidents and staff safety.
Data Snapshot: What Young People Say Matters
Contributing to the national vision of reentry success, PbS analyzed the survey responses of more than 1,100 young people exiting secure facilities, community residential programs and community supervision between November 2021 and April 2022. This snapshot shares the perceptions of young people regarding their preparedness and readiness for reentry.
Data Snapshot: What We Know about Length of Stay in Secure Facilities
To add to nationwide efforts to reduce confinement, PbS looked at more than 2,000 records of young people exiting secure correction and detention facilities between November 2021 and April 2022. In this PbS Data Snapshot, we share Youth Record data to describe the characteristics of young people and committing offenses according to length of stay.
Strategies for Staff Recruitment and Retention
More than 70 juvenile justice professionals from across the country gathered for a session at the 2022 PbS Agency Coordinators Training and described their challenges like the strain of having too few staff and employee burnout. They talked about the demanding jobs, inadequate pay, lack of respect, and difficulties recruiting and retaining individuals who want to help young people. They share their strategies and welcome additional creative and innovative solutions to the current staff shortages.
Research Brief: Perceptions of Educational Reentry Preparedness among Detained and Committed Youth
Performance-based Standards (PbS) invites academics, researchers and students to access our comprehensive database to help us better understand the practices in juvenile facilities that result in positive outcomes. Research team, Kaylee Noorman, MS and Julie Brancale, PhD of Florida State University, College of Criminology and Criminal Justice, evaluated educational reentry preparedness among youth being released from a residential program or facility using PbS Youth Reentry Survey data between October 2019 to April 2022.
Interested in researching the data?
PbS invites academics, researchers and students to access our comprehensive database to help us better understand the practices in juvenile facilities that result in positive outcomes.