How do you scale evidence-based programs? A look at OJJDP’s Juvenile Justice Reform and Reinvestment Initiative

Shay Bilchik is director of the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform (CJJR) at the Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy. Kristen Kracke is a social science specialist at the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP).

High recidivism rates in the juvenile justice system have long been viewed as intractable.

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No pat answers: Costs and benefits of policing strategies

by , September 26, 2013

Last week the Vera Institute of Justice’s Center on Youth Justice published the report Coming of Age with Stop and Frisk: Experiences, Self-Perceptions, and Public Safety Implications. The report found that among roughly 500 young people surveyed in highly patrolled, high-crime areas of New York City, “trust in law enforcement and willingness to cooperate with police is alarmingly low.”

Such findings serve as a reminder that some benefits and costs are not easily monetized, such as the benefit of a community’s improved trust in the police department or the cost of that trust being compromised.

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Modest but meaningful: Sara Heller on the benefits and costs of a Chicago youth program – Part 2

by , September 24, 2013

Sara Heller is the lead author of Preventing Youth Violence and Dropout: A Randomized Field Experiment, published in May as part of the National Bureau of Economic Research’s working paper series. She recently joined the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania as an assistant professor of criminology. She earned her doctorate at the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago, where she worked as a researcher for the University of Chicago Crime Lab.

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Modest but meaningful: Sara Heller on the benefits and costs of a Chicago youth program – Part 1

by , September 19, 2013

Sara Heller is the lead author of Preventing Youth Violence and Dropout: A Randomized Field Experiment, published in May as part of the National Bureau of Economic Research’s working paper series. She recently joined the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania as an assistant professor of criminology. She earned her doctorate at the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago, where she worked as a researcher for the University of Chicago Crime Lab.

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An interview with Kristin Misner of the NYC Mayor’s Office about social impact bonds and the ABLE project

Last August, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, along with Goldman Sachs, Bloomberg Philanthropies, and the nonprofit organization MDRC, announced the first project in the United States that is funded by a social impact bond (SIB). The Osborne Association and Friends of Island Academy will deliver the program—the Adolescent Behavioral Learning Experience (ABLE)—at the city’s Department of Correction facilities at Rikers Island, and the Vera Institute of Justice will evaluate it.

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Four questions for Jeffrey A. Butts

by , March 1, 2012

This post is part of our “Four questions” guest blog series, which highlights people and organizations in the growing community of practice regarding cost-benefit analysis and justice policymaking. We’re grateful to Jeffrey Butts for contributing to this series. He is the director of the Research and Evaluation Center at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice at the City University of New York and is a consultant to the Vera Institute of Justice.

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