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Juvenile Reentry Measurement Standards

Goals and Objectives

Recognizing the need to measure and better understand what works to keep youths on the path to successful adulthood when involved in the juvenile justice system, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) launched the Juvenile Reentry Measurement Standards project in October 2015. The project’s goal is to provide the field with a set of national standards and outcome measures aligned with adolescent development research that monitor the effectiveness of reentry services and promote practices that result in positive youth outcomes.

OJJDP selected the Performance-based Standards Learning Institute (PbS), the developers of the successful PbS standards and continuous improvement model for facilities and residential programs, to lead the project. PbS and its partners, the Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators (CJCA), now the Council of Juvenile Justice Administrators (CJJA), and the Vera Institute of Justice combined their expertise to develop a set of national measurement standards grounded in research and existing reentry best practices provided from the time a youth is confined through transition and post-release supervision.

The standards established the highest expectations for the delivery of reentry services and will be monitored by outcome measures reflecting the impacts on youths, families and communities. The final product for OJJDP will guide the field to implement practices supported by research, implementation science and adolescent development.

Project Activities

The project started with an extensive review of the reentry literature and research and a field scan of existing reentry services, practices, tools and positive youth outcome measures. Juvenile justice and reentry experts, practitioners and researchers were consulted to verify and contextualize the findings and help translate them into the first draft set of standards.

Following the review, scan and analysis, the project team field tested in several agencies and programs across the country to assess how meaningful and feasible the standards would be in practice.

The resulting 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 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.

Principles Practices Positive Youth Outcomes

- Be Fair

- Hold Youths Accountable

- Value Families

- Collaborate             

- Assessment

- Reentry Planning

- Case Management

- Continuous Quality Improvement

- Education and Employment

- Well-being and Health

- Community Connection and Contribution

Project Publications

Project Update: October 2017
Progress Report: Literature Review Findings
Progress Report: Field Scan Findings
Prepared and Ready for Reentry: November 2019
Final Technical Report: December 2019
Reentry Measurement Standards Project Summary

PbS has been a partner in assisting this facility to become a dynamic work environment that is not satisfied with maintaining the status quo.