The evaluation process involved in the juvenile justice system

juvenile delinquency

Snyder now with the Bureau of Justice Statistics at the U. Some thought must be given to the time factor-weighing the length of the programs operations against the time it will take to evaluate and observe the program impact or outcome. This will enhance evaluation activities generally, and improve the information that goes to policymakers.

Juvenile risk assessment form

Attaining instrumental goals see below often depends on significant consensus building around an issue. The legal sufficiency of the case is determined during this first stage as well as whether the case is better resolved informally through diversion to a program or a specified set of conditions without formal adjudication National Research Council, a. In the case of a multi-sit program, one or a few sites may be selected for evaluation. Beginning in , the total number of juvenile arrests grew more than 40 percent, from 1. If you understand that consideration of program history is important in making evaluation decisions, you are thinking appropriately, even if you don't have all the answers! Q: Are there any programs for children who have not committed a crime? State legislators pass a law requiring all youth charged with certain offenses to be prosecuted in criminal court even if they are below the age of criminal court jurisdiction. Such programs cannot guarantee success even if they are well-conceived, well-managed, and adequately funded; they also must enjoy the support of various components of the state and local criminal justice and general communities. However, they provide significant and valid qualitative, or contextual, information, which are worthy of more serious consideration in evaluation efforts. Combining such factors as accessibility, practicality, and the need to know evaluation information will push some programs to the forefront. As you will see in our discussions of outcome measures and levels of evaluation, more often than not timely evaluation information is available or can be obtained in a timely and cost effective manner , though it may not be the most timely, the most objective, and the most scientifically rigorous data. They may be new, and generate excitement in the juvenile and criminal justice communities and, for this reason, receive attention in the field and from the media. Again, you must ask, "What do I, or what does my evaluation audience, really want to know about? Case Dropped "Nolle Prossed" A discontinued prosecution.

If the waiver is presumptive under the statute upon proof of probable cause and previous delinquency, the burden of proof may shift to the youth to prove that he or she is amenable to treatment in the juvenile justice system National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, As a result, problems are often quite severe by the time an adolescent enters the JJS.

The real issue is to decide to what extend evaluation activities are appropriate and can be realistically carried out.

All juvenile justice facilities and programs must develop policies and procedures for responding to critical issues that may arise during a screening or assessment interview.

Assessment tools for juvenile offenders

An assessment taken soon after incarceration, when access to substances is limited, may provide inaccurate information about the adolescent's abstinence or use, potentially resulting in a false negative. In recent years, the jurisdictions included in the UCR reporting sample accounted for 70 to 78 percent of the U. Closely related to the issue of the timeliness is the time span of the program under consideration. The problems which interfere with accomplishing those goals should be considered in the mapping process. The screening and assessment of adolescents, especially in the JJS setting, is a complex task. If a program has been in operation for many years and has been ignored by evaluators it may be unexciting, it may be controversial and protected, it may be difficult to evaluate , the time may be ripe to approach the subject. The scope of your evaluation, then will be smaller, maybe a few isolated evaluation efforts, maybe a coordinated evaluation of similar programs, or perhaps you will decide to evaluate only one program. For example, a map may make it clear that separate programs are performing or claiming to perform very similar tasks, but they are not coordinated. They include the detention hearing, the waiver or fitness hearing, the adjudicatory hearing, the dispositional hearing, and the postdisposition review. More recently, state-by-state assessments conducted during and reflect large numbers of youth waiving counsel, failing to have counsel appointed, or not availing themselves of counsel early in the process.

It is important that the range of possibilities be given serious consideration as you make evaluation plans. Having achieved an analytical understanding of how a program operates, through monitoring and process evaluation, the next step is to assess program products, or outcomes.

4 types of cases handled in juvenile court

These findings have implications for whether fairness is being achieved but also whether the process is being perceived as fair by youth and their families. In several states, there are time limits to the period between the adjudication and disposition phases Binder et al. Fortunately, recent trends suggest that funding shortages may not be as acute as they were in the past. Diversion programs are well-suited to screening for substance use disorders and referring to the appropriate community agency for followup assessment and treatment. The audience for the evaluation must be considered, and corresponding attention given to what the product or products of the evaluation will be. Youth may be assigned to the probation department at the front end as a pretrial alternative to formal adjudication or as an alternative to detention. The use of screening and assessment instruments should be supplemented by individual interviews. Programs may be controversial in a positive or negative fashion. Similar programs in other states may have been evaluated with inconclusive results, and practitioners may turn to you for more data. Some are quantifiable and some are not. See Chapter 7 for more detail on the status of defense representation. Get on judges conference agenda to explain unit's duties Get on state educator's conference in February Solicit endorsement of State Chiefs of Police and Sheriffs Associations Meet with Subcommittee members Note: This is an example of how a state staff might prepare a justice system map for an upcoming legislative effort. Assignment of juvenile justice staff exclusively to screening and assessment activities encourages burnout and tends to restrict the diversity of the work experience and involvement in other aspects of the juvenile justice program.

All program activities have outcomes, whether intended or not. Typical areas of measurement include recidivism, educational attainment, self-esteem, and community values or citizenship.

You may also choose to evaluate aspects of one or more large program. The latter may occur if the judge orders the youth to undertake some kind of action prior to the final decision being made National Research Council, a.

In every community, some form of court is charged with responding to cases in which a person under the age of adulthood a juvenile is suspected of breaking the law.

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Juvenile Justice Process