Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $597,436)
Primary Activities: The goals of this research are to examine how juvenile justice (JJ) practices regarding risk assessment, court intake processing, and case handling affect juvenile reoffending and to pilot test and evaluate the impact of new intake practices on reoffending. This will be accomplished by gaining an understanding of current juvenile court practices; using findings and input from stakeholders to develop a brief intake risk screening tool, risk level classification, and decision support guide for initial case handling; and implementing and piloting the new intake risk screening procedures and examining the impacts on reoffending. Products and Deliverables: Products and deliverables include data collection instruments; data sets; policies, procedures, and protocols; and scholarly products. Quantitative (i.e., survey of JJ practitioners) and qualitative (i.e., interview and focus group guides) data collection instruments will be developed to assess juvenile court practices. Data sets containing youth court processing information will be made available to NACJD. At the end of the pilot period, the research team will have a validated brief risk screening tool, risk level classification, and decision support guide available for use by JJ practitioners. Service Area: The proposed research will be conducted in Mississippi, a high poverty, rural state with very limited JJ resources and services for justice-involved youth. Beneficiaries of Proposed Project: Research has demonstrated the high social and financial cost incurred when youth who are unlikely to reoffend are formally processed through the JJ system. The knowledge to be gained from the proposed research, especially use of risk and reoffending data for guiding JJ policies and practices, can be applied to other JJ jurisdictions across the country that do not use reoffending risk screening at the front end of the system. CA/NCF
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