Recent Past Projects


Benton-Franklin Data Warehouse – Washington State MFC Project (2013)

In April 2013, NCJJ entered into a 3-month contract with the Benton-Franklin Counties Juvenile Court Center to complete work on a MacArthur Foundation Models for Change effort in Washington State to expand/improve the court center’s internal data reporting and analysis capacity.  

The Benton Franklin Juvenile Justice Center (BFJJC) had previously contracted with a vendor in 2001 to develop an in-house data system (Juvenile Tracking System – JTS) to track the cases of youth and families referred to court on delinquency, dependency and Becca (truancy, ARY and CHINS) matters. Over the years, JTS has grown into a very comprehensive and complicated system collecting a myriad of information. However, BFJJC continued to struggle in the retrieval and meaningful use of the JTS database and in framing analytical/research questions so that demographic and programmatic data could be used in a way that facilitates routine monitoring of key case processing points and examination of program effectiveness/outcomes. 

With funds remaining from an earlier local MfC grant, BFJCC collaboratively teamed with NCJJ and Canyon Solutions to address these data reporting and analysis limitations. The focus of these report development efforts had been to provide the agency a better understanding of the types and volume of offender referral they received; to provide a more detailed examination of detention utilization; and to examine the effectiveness of programs/interventions which diverted and adjudicated youth are assigned to. These reports allow BFJJC to examine summary data through racial/ethnic, gender and age-specific lenses.

George Junior Republic Research Study: Phase I (2011-2012)

NCJJ was contracted by George Junior Republic (GJR) to conduct an evaluability assessment of this residential treatment provider’s array of services for delinquent and dependent boys. NCJJ researchers conducted site visits, documentation reviews, data system assessments and interviews to determine if the George Junior Republic program was ready to be evaluated and what form of evaluation would be most effective.

George Junior Republic: Intermediate Outcomes Phase II (2013-2015)

This project was an outcome evaluation of youth assigned to George Junior Republic (GJR). This study measured individual-level outcomes representing the accomplishment of program and treatment objectives including average length of stay, number of serious behavioral incidents, successful completion of competency-based or treatment interventions, participation in recreational activities, completion of community service, payment of restitution, progress in school, progress in point-level system, changes in assessed risk status, and status at release from GJR. This study also tracked results of behavioral/attitudinal assessments completed at intake and at exit.

Juvenile and Family Law Digest

In an effort to keep juvenile justice professionals informed of significant judicial decisions in matter relating to juvenile and family law, for decades the Center produced a publication entitled Juvenile and Family Law Digest which was distributed to members of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and other practitioners in the field. The Digest included monthly summaries of recent case law and classified each entry under one of over 250 categories relating to juvenile and family law matters.

Middlesex Vicinage, NJ Dual System Collaboration/Integration Project (2012-2013)

The purpose of this initiative was to improve outcomes for dually involved and multi-system youth in Middlesex Vicinage, NJ. This purpose was achieved through the collaborative efforts of contractors (NCJFCJ/NCJJ and John Tuell) and key actors in Middlesex Vicinage, NJ. During the course of this project, NCJJ identified and convened an executive planning committee; identified critical issues related to dual-system youth; achieved consensus on NCJJ’s approach; assessed data availability and quality; “mapped” current processes; identified and critiqued risk/needs assessment capacities; reviewed/critiqued data describing the target population; and made specific recommendations for implementation of the model.

Models for Change Initiative (2003-2015)

The Center served as the Technical Research Center to the MacArthur Foundation's juvenile justice reform efforts in Pennsylvania, Illinois, Louisiana, and Washington. The goals of Models for Change were to: 1) develop useful and responsive models of documentation and assessment of efforts; 2) document and assess the planning and implementation phases of targeted areas of improvement; 3) provide baselines and measure intermediate outcomes of efforts at the state and pilot levels and on five key "vital sign" outcomes and assessing the impact; and 4) develop a toolkit for planning, implementing, and measuring model systems efforts.

National Juvenile Probation Census Project (2013-2015)

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) supported the development and implementation of the National Juvenile Probation Census Project. The purpose of this project was to develop a reliable count of the number and characteristics of youth under juvenile probation supervision in the United States and an understanding of the juvenile probation offices that supervise them.

NCJJ served as a subcontractor to Westat on this project. Together NCJJ and Westat worked on developing two surveys: 1) the Census of Juveniles on Probation (CJP) and 2) the Census of Juvenile Probation Supervision Offices (CJPSO). These surveys were designed to provide juvenile probation professionals, policy makers, and researchers with high quality data about the nature and scope of juvenile probation.

National Resource Center for Legal and Judicial Issues (2011-2014)

The NRCLJI is a national collaborative technical assistance project which was funded for a 5-year period by the Children's Bureau at the U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The principal collaborators were ABA's Center for Children and the Law (lead agency), the National Center for State Courts, and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. The NRCLJI is one of ten resource centers funded by the Children's Bureau, with this resource center focused on supporting and improving the shared needs between Child Welfare Agencies and Court Improvement Projects on a wide variety of topics affecting youth in the child welfare and justice systems. NCJJ was hired to act as the project's evaluator and began working on the project in fall of 2009. A variety of qualitative and quantitative methods are used to asses the effects of the technical assistance delivered by NRCLJI staff and consultants including case studies, surveys, interviews, focus groups, file review, and observation. Evaluation staff also provide support and guidance to NRCLJI staff and consultants to build their internal capacity to identify and measure short, intermediate, and long-term outcomes of technical assistance.

New York Juvenile Justice Continuum (2011-2012)

The New York Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) awarded NCJJ a grant to conduct an analysis of the juvenile justice programming for youth in New York. During the project, NCJJ assisted DCJS in the development of a county-level, web-based database and profile of programs available to juvenile justice involved youth in 9 pilot counties in New York. NCJJ collaborated with DCJS and county-level juvenile justice professionals to clearly define New York's juvenile justice system and systematically inventory available juvenile justice programs according to type, level of risk, targeted population, and associated risk factors. NCJJ analyzed the collected information to identify current resource coverage and potential service gaps according to program and service characteristics, population demographic and location characteristics.

New York Juvenile Justice System Accountability and Enhancement Initiative Phase I (2011-2012)

NCJJ worked with the New York Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) to further the state's juvenile justice strategy, enhance system responsiveness to juvenile crime, and promote system accountability by creating a program assessment model, refining and standardizing research-based performance measures, and integrating program assessment into DCJS operations.

Ohio Children, Families and the Courts Newsletter (2000-2012)

The Center entered a series of contracts with the Supreme Court of Ohio and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services to author and publish a newsletter series concerning Ohio innovations in child protection, juvenile justice and family law areas. The newsletter series was conceived during an NCJJ Ohio Family Court Feasibility study and chronicled the experiences of four unified family court pilot projects. It ran for over a decade, addressing a diverse range of child protection and family law topics. The series is available on the NCJJ website here.

Pennsylvania Juvenile Justice Quality Improvement Initiative (2010-2012)

The Quality Improvement Initiative (Qii) provided an opportunity for juvenile justice providers to gain knowledge and experience around defining, improving, and communicating about their interventions.  Quality Improvement is a commitment to ongoing assessment of service delivery and client outcomes and using data to inform decisions.  Using a guided quality improvement process, providers assess the current implementation of an intervention and develop and implement an improvement plan with the support of training and technical assistance from NCJJ.  The project's Program and Practice Effectiveness Toolkit has not been released.  

Pennsylvania Program and Practice Toolkit (2011-2013)

NCJJ was contracted by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) to support the development of their Program and Practice Effectiveness Toolkit (PPET). The PPET was intended to promote informed decision-making about the selection and adoption of evidence-based programs and practices in Pennsylvania. NCJJ’s role in the development of the PPET was to provide support as requested by PCCD.  Completed products include: collaborative meetings with PCCD and other partners; a literature review of evidence-based programs at various juvenile justice decision points; collection of currently available and relevant informational materials for inclusion on the toolkit; recommendations and guidance on data collection tool to obtain program level information from service providers; and a comprehensive report with recommendations on how to use the information collected.

Pennsylvania Data Analysis Tool (2011-2013)

NCJJ collaborated with the Pennsylvania Juvenile Court Judges Commission (JCJC) and Shippensburg University’s Center for Juvenile Justice Training and Research (CJJT&R) to enhance the existing data analysis tool, the JDDAT. NCJJ’s work on the JDDAT relied heavily on the cooperation of JCJC and the CJJT&R.  Completed projects include: expansion of existing database by several variables; development of automated reports requested by JCJC; and release of an update to the site through data year 2011 adding several new variables for analysis purposes as well as a series of “canned reports" that support county level comparisons.

Pew Charitable Trust's Multi-State Recidivism Study (2014-2017)
In partnership with the Pew Charitable Trust’s Public Safety Performance Project (PSPP), NCJJ and the Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators (CJCA) will lead a comprehensive study of juvenile recidivism and construct measures to provide meaningful indicators of system performance in five states that are strongly positioned to serve as models for the field. Although reducing recidivism is a key indicator of success for juvenile corrections agencies, a recent survey found that 1 in 4 does not regularly collect and report recidivism data, and fewer than half use measures that provide a comprehensive picture of youth reoffending.

The study seeks to:

  • Empower practitioners and policymakers to accurately measure system performance and create benchmarks over time within their states;
  • Ensure that states are armed with research-informed measures that capture the full picture of subsequent offending and facilitate defensible comparisons of offender groups (e.g., measures that differentiate rates by offenders' risk levels, control for time-at-risk, etc.); and 
  • Provide a baseline for state-to-state assessments where careful and equivalent comparisons can be made. 
PSPP works with states to advance data-driven, fiscally sound policies and practices in the criminal and juvenile justice systems that protect public safety, hold offenders accountable, and control corrections costs. In addition to providing intensive technical assistance to states, PSPP conducts and supports national research; policy evaluations; public opinion surveys; and national, regional, multi-state, and state-level policy forums.

State Training and Technical Assistance Center (STTAC) (2011-2014)

NCJJ was originally awarded a grant in partnership with the American Institutes for Research (AIR) and the Coalition for Juvenile Justice (CJJ) by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) to provide technical assistance and training to states, tribes, territories and local communities nationwide in support of their delinquency programming funded under the Juvenile Accountability Incentive Block Grants (JAIBG) and Title II funding streams. In FY2012/2013, NCJJ received additional funding from STTAC to provide web-based technical assistance materials (STTAC State Profiles). National overviews and state-level content were developed as a result and posted on the OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. In addition to state-level information, NCJJ also developed 3 primers for juvenile justice professionals related to continuous quality improvement. For FY2013/2014, NCJJ will update several of the Statistical Briefing Book FAQs and will provide technical assistance to states, primarily regarding data to support Relative Rate Index and Disproportionate Minority Contact decision making. 

Study to Examine Reoffending Activity of Post-Disposition Youth (2009-2013)

The goal of the study was to measure reoffending of post-disposition juvenile offenders in the District of Columbia and develop a process for the DC Court to conduct such analyses on an ongoing basis. Key to the work was how the term "reoffending" is operationalized. The work was proposed as a collaborative effort involving NCJJ staff and personnel from the DC Courts. The project's major challenge was to improve the data analysis and reporting process in the DC Court's system to maximize the current strengths of the system and system personnel, while minimizing cost, burden, and disruption to current work routines.

Wyoming Children's Justice Project (2007-2012)

Under contract with the Wyoming Supreme Court's Children's Justice Project (Wyoming CIP), NCJJ worked closely with programmatic and information technology staff at the Wyoming Administrative Office of the Court's Court Improvement Project to pilot a model automated neglect/abuse juvenile court case tracking system.  The system developer (Canyon Solutions) expanded on platforms previously installed in a pilot fashion in Omaha, Nebraska and Scranton, Pennsylvania. It was initially used to track Sweetwater's CIP reform efforts and was a successful prototype for the AOC's to develop a statewide dependency case tracking system.  The system was used to document substantial improvements in the timeliness of case processing in Sweetwater County in 2011, available here.