The Center for Court Innovation and John Jay College of Criminal Justice will conduct a population assessment and formative evaluation to provide information and a model to respond effectively to the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC). The goals of the research are to: (1) develop a better understanding of the CSEC population, (2) assist the Coalition to Address the Sexual Exploitation of Children (CASEC) in assessing, monitoring and improving capacity and performance, and (3) institutionalizing and disseminating lessons and best practices.
The applicant will conduct a multi-method study that will estimate the size, characteristics and needs of the CSEC population through the use of respondent-driven sampling, Geographical Information System technology, and direct observation in the field. Two hundred youth who engage in child prostitution will be recruited and interviewed over a 9-month period.
The applicant will use action-research methods to conduct a formative evaluation of the New York City CSEC demonstration program. Action-research methods will be used to engage the CASEC collaboration partners in establishing criteria and systems for ongoing self-evaluation and improvement. The applicant will work closely with the CASEC to document the program's implementation and operational processes, and to identify, define, disseminate, and institutionalize best practices. This will include review of program documentation; interviews with staff, partners, and the CASEC residential clients; assessment of data and information-sharing needs; identification of performance measures; and establishment of mechanisms for feedback on performance to the program.