U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Juvenile Justice Model Data Project

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Awardee County
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)
Original Solicitation

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $500,000)

The OJJDP Fiscal Year 2015 Juvenile Justice Model Data Project furthers the Department's mission by advancing efforts to improve the consistency and quality of justice information and the use of meaningful measures in policy and practice decisions.

Although juvenile justice practitioners, administrators, and policymakers are using data to inform decisions now more than ever, many agencies still lack sufficient data infrastructure to consistently collect, analyze, and apply the information to their practices. Even where there are established national data collections, a gap exists in quality information when data are not routinely and consistently collected by local agencies. The key to improving data at the national level is to improve data at the local agency level, and data must be useful to the local agencies for improvements to be sustainable.

Building upon knowledge from successful data improvement efforts and jurisdictions that have committed to data-driven decision-making, the proposed project will develop model data elements and broadly applicable measures to monitor and assess juvenile justice systems. The National Center for Juvenile Justice and its parent organization, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, together with five critical partners—International Association of Chiefs of Police, American Probation and Parole Association, Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators, Performance-based Standards Learning Institute, and Florida Department of Juvenile Justice—propose to engage internal and external system stakeholders in a consensus building process to identify critical information requirements.

Project staff will systematically review existing national data collections, state and agency annual reports, and research activities to identify commonly used data elements and measures. The team will also conduct case studies of Florida’s Department of Juvenile Justice and two other data-minded jurisdictions. Stakeholders will be engaged through a variety of methods, including representation on a workgroup to provide input and advice to the project, focus groups, and online surveys. Compiling information gathered from these activities, the project will document model data elements including definitions, coding categories, and system specifications, and broadly applicable measures including example data displays, reports, and recommendations for the minimum disaggregation categories. The project also proposes to develop a comprehensive dissemination strategy to promote the recommended data elements and measures using innovative technology and communication mechanisms.

Improving the quality and consistency of juvenile justice data will make it easier to identify generalizable knowledge about the impact of specific policies and practices at the local, state, and national levels. Researchers will find it easier to test theories and develop clear and convincing evidence of the efficacy of policy reforms.

Note: This project contains a research and/or development component, as defined in applicable law. CA/NCF

Date Created: September 27, 2015