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Florida is one of four states recently selected to participate in a groundbreaking national initiative to reform the juvenile justice system by translating "what works" into everyday practice and policy. The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) was notified that it had been chosen for the Juvenile Justice System Improvement Project (JJSIP). Administered by Georgetown University's Center for Juvenile Justice Reform, the JJSIP provides a framework for implementing best practices throughout the entire juvenile justice system.
An essental component of the JJSIP is the implementation of the Standardized Program Evaluation Protocol (SPEP). The SPEP is an evaluation tool to identify shortcomings in juvenile programs or services, specifically delinquency intervention services. The SPEP evaluates how closely delinquency interventions, as provided, align with the most prominent criminological and psychological research in the field. Furthermore, the SPEP helps identify concrete recommendations for improvement in order to optimize intervention effectiveness and positive outcomes. The SPEP evaluates services in the following categories:
Service Type (e.g., cognitive behavioral; group counseling)
Service Quantity/Dosage (Duration and intensity of contact hours)
Service Quality (e.g., written protocols/manuals; training; fidelity monitoring; corrective action)
Juvenile Characteristics (e.g., risk to re-offend; level of youth served)
The Girls…Moving On (GMO) pilot project uses a random assignment procedure to disperse youth to the groups (assignments will be made by DJJ Headquarters and adhered to by the pilot sites). Pilot sites currently participating in the project include Frances Walker Halfway House, Alachua Academy, and JoAnn Bridges Academy. Girls…Moving On is a gender-specific curriculum, to be facilitated in a semi-closed-group format. The curriculum contains seven modules (2 conducted on an individual basis, five in a group setting) totaling approximately twenty-five sessions. Each session will last approximately two hours. Group size will be limited to ten youth maximum. Youth may join the group at the beginning of any module, but not while the group is working through a module. Once the pilot project ends, the Department will analyze the data and determine if, in fact, GMO successfully reduces risk factors and/or reoffending of youth served.
Highlights of the findings from the initial data analysis of the Impact of Crime (IOC) pilot project demonstrate the following in regards to the Residential Positive Achievement Change Tool (R-PACT):
The analyses of the IOC pilot project data demonstrate the curriculum to be an effective intervention in reduction of several dynamic criminogenic risk domains. As the study was conducted using the "gold standard" of empirical research, random assignment, there is great confidence in the above findings.
Additional analysis will determine if the IOC curriculum rises to the level of a Promising Practice as per the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, Sourcebook of Delinquency Interventions.
The Prevention Positive Achievement Change Tool (P-PACT) design project serves to create/design and implement a standardized actuarial risk/need assessment for youth served by the Department's Prevention and Victim Services program area. The project is in partial response to the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability (OPPAGA) report recommending DJJ better identify at-risk youth and use proven prevention models.
The purpose of the Residential Positive Achievement Change Tool (R-PACT) validation study is to examine the extent to which the risk domains, and the changes in risk from initial to exit R-PACT, are associated with the re-offending. This gives insight into whether youth experience reductions in risk and improvement in protective factors during the residential stay, and whether those changes translate into reductions in subsequent offending post-completion of a residential placement.
© 2012 Florida Department of Juvenile Justice
2737 Centerview Drive
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-3100