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School/Justice Partnership Project to research the expansion of a school-based intervention to increase school safety while reducing delinquency referrals and improving student outcomes.

Award Information

Award #
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2014, $3,909,116)

Statement of the Problem: School safety Interventions have Increasingly emphasized "get tough" responses to
delinquency and misconduct through a focus on the most at-risk students. There remains a need to understand
how best to Improve school safety, as well as to Improve student performance outcomes-Including
attendance, suspensions, and grades-and to do so through intervention with both lower-risk and higher-risk
Subjects: The project will implement and evaluate, using an experimental design, a school-based Intervention
that aims to Increase school safety while reducing delinquency referrals and Improving student outcomes. The
intervention features school-based probation with wraparound mental health and substance abuse services and
builds on a promising pilot initiative undertaken In Florida. The project will be Implemented in 5 high schools
(Including a pilot high school and 4 other schools) and serve approximately 400 youth who will be randomly
assigned to treatment; another 400 eligible youth will be randomly assigned to a control group. Three sets of
youth will be Included: first-time delinquency referrals, youth under probation supervision, and those who are
targeted for diversion from juvenile court.
Partnerships: The program Is a partnership among the School District of Palm Beach County {SDPBC), the
Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), local law enforcement, and Florida Stale University (FSU).
Research Design and Methods: To determine the effect of the Intervention on Individuals and schools,
respectively, we will employ a mixed methods approach thai Includes (1) an experimental design In which youth
are randomly assigned to the program or a control group, (2) a longitudinal matched samples analysis of
schools to assess school-level effects, and (3) a process evaluation that will document how well the program
implementation conforms with programs design, barriers and facilitators to effective lmt>lementallon, and
strategies that other schools could use to Implement the Intervention successfully.
Analysis: The analytical strategy Includes (1) regression and survival analyses predicting youth-level
delinquency, school-based behavioral incidents, allendance, suspensions, expulsions, academic promotion,
and grades, (2) mutlllevel regression analyses examining schoollevel delinquency and student outcomes, and
(3) analyses of Interview data on the Implementation of the Intervention.
Products: Anticipated products resulting from this research Include: (1) a final report, data files, and all required
deliverables, Including progress reports and an executive summary, (2) articles targeting high-tier scholarlyand
policy-focused peer-reviewed journals, (3) presentations at professional conferences and policy,
praclllioner, and school association meetings. ca/ncf

Date Created: September 29, 2014