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 with the ultimate goal of preventing future offending.
PbS has identified indicators of effectiveness that research and field experience have shown are the most likely to impact reoffending. Responding to the frustration of leaders whose agencies and efforts were measured only by a single recidivism number, PbS offers short-term, immediate data just two weeks after it has been entered into the PbS website. The PbS Field Average provides a quick comparison of effectiveness of an individual facility or program with other like programs across the country and within the same jurisdiction.
Some of the most commonly-used PbS data includes measures of the extent to which screening, assessment, treatment services and continuity of care are provided in the areas of mental health, substance use, suicide/self-harm, traumatic stress reactions, vulnerability to victimization and risk of harming others. Additional measures of effectiveness look at whether programming offered to build youths’ skills and connection to family and community are having the intended result. For example, data reporting changes in youths’ reading and math scores, completion of vocational and life skills curriculum and level of family engagement.