PbS > News > PbS Launches New Youth Reentry Survey

PbS Launches New Youth Reentry Survey

Performance-based Standards (PbS) is launching a new Youth Reentry Survey for use beginning Nov. 1 at PbS correction and community residential programs. The survey asks youths about their perceptions of preparedness and readiness to return to the community and live independently. Research has made clear that youths’ perceptions matter and that juvenile justice leaders need to expand the efforts to obtain and use youths’ perceptions as a cost-effective method to better understand the impact on youths.* The new survey will expand what we know about the impact of reentry services and is the first step to integrating the lesson learned from the recently completed Reentry Measurement Standards project into PbS.

Research and experience have shown that youths have the best chances for successful reentry -meaning both ceasing offending behavior and realizing positive life outcomes - when they are both prepared and ready. We also know that looking only at agency records of services provided, activities offered and certifications or credits earned provide “an incomplete account of developmental outcomes because they include little information about youths’ social and emotional assets.**” In other words, administrative data alone doesn’t tell us if the efforts have resulted in the youths being prepared and ready – we need to ask them.

So we will.

The Reentry Measurement Standards project, supported by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), developed a framework of standards and measures grounded in research and practice to assess youths’ preparedness and readiness when they leave residential placement and when their post-placement supervision and/or system involvement ends. The framework is grounded by guiding principles of fairness, accountability, family and collaboration and is organized by reentry domains key to preventing reoffending and achieving positive youth outcomes such as education and employment, well-being and health and connection to community as well as domains for best reentry practices such as assessment, case management, reentry planning and quality improvement and assurance. Each domain includes a list of measures that provide timely, short-term indicators of how well agencies prepare youths for reentry and how ready the youths feel as they are returning to the community. The final technical report to OJJDP is expected to be made available shortly.

PbS identified measures of preparedness that indicate the skills, tools, resources and safety nets research and experience have shown to increase chances youths will follow a prosocial lifestyle when they leave secure custody and community supervision. Funding for reentry services and programs has increased over the past several years based on the belief that investing in services and programs to prepare a youth to return to the community will put that youth on the path to healthy adolescent development and becoming a productive, purposeful citizen who is able to overcome the barriers they face resulting from their juvenile justice system involvement. Given the persistently high numbers of youths who continue offending behavior when they return to the community, the steep challenges they face and the developmental dynamics of the adolescent brain, PbS also identified measures of readiness that indicate a youth’s confidence, hope, resiliency and willingness to show up, whether or not prepared, and take action.

The new PbS Youth Reentry Survey will replace the current Youth Exit Interview for correction facilities and be the first survey for youths leaving community residential programs. Next, PbS will integrate data elements to the PbS Youth Record, PbS Family Survey and Staff Survey to complete the picture and continue our promise to provide a holistic approach to ensuring all youths are treated as one of our own.

*Schubert, C.A. & Mulvey, E.P. (2013). Perception and Outcomes in Adolescent Confinement. Chicago, IL: MacArthur Foundation.

**Dukakis, K. et al. (2009). Positive Youth Development: Individual, Setting and System Level Indicators. Stanford, CA: John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Families, Stanford School of Education.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019 at 3:48 PM