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Youth Reentry Survey

Research and experience have shown that young people with the best chances for successful reentry (meaning both discontinuing offending behavior and realizing positive life outcomes) are both prepared and ready when they leave residential placements and/or exit community supervision. We also know that depending solely on agency records of services provided, activities offered, and certifications or credits earned does not provide a complete picture due to a lack of information regarding young people’s social and emotional assets. In other words, administrative data alone doesn’t tell us if the efforts have resulted in the young people feeling prepared and ready, instead, we need to ask them.

The PbS Youth Reentry Survey asks young people questions about their perceptions of fairness and safety, the skills they’ve learned, their relationships with their families and case manager, as well as their sense of connection to community. Given the persistently high numbers of young people who return to the community, yet continue with offending behavior, and in light of the steep challenges they face as well as the developmental dynamics of the adolescent brain, PbS also asks questions about a young person’s confidence, hope, resiliency, willingness to show up, whether or not they feel prepared to take action. Preliminary results highlight the importance of understanding what young people are thinking and feeling to more effectively respond to their reentry needs.

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