Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $499,108)
This project contains a research and/or development component, as defined in applicable law. This program furthers the Departments mission by improving data collection instruments and methodologies used to generate useful, timely, and reliable statistics on juvenile offenders in out-of-home placement (juvenile residential facilities) and the conditions in, operations of, and services provided by the facilities in which they are held.
Changes in juvenile justice populations and the advent of technology, risk assessment tools, and a shift toward data-driven approaches to sentencing and treatment programs all point to a need to objectively evaluate the survey content of the Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement (CJRP) and Juvenile Residential Facility Census (JRFC). Changes to juvenile residential facilities, the types of placement juveniles are assigned, and approaches to reentry suggest that a reappraisal of the CJRP and JRFC frame is due. Advancements and innovation in survey methodology, such as improved efficiency with web-based data collection, a more detailed understanding of contact protocols for institutional surveys, and enhanced methods for measuring nonresponse and nonresponse bias should be evaluated as methods to improve the accuracy and transparency of the CJRP and JRFC data. The overarching goal of the Redesign Study of OJJDPs Juveniles in Corrections Data Collections is to improve the data collection instruments and methodologies currently used in the JFRC and CJRP to generate useful, timely, and reliable national and state-level statistics on juveniles held in out-of-home placement and the facilities in which they are held. To achieve this goal, Research Triangle Institute will collaborate with OJJDP staff and an expert panel to evaluate the content and methods used in the JFRC and CJRP and develop new approaches that will augment existing gaps in the current instruments and data collection designs. The project team will conduct a pilot test to evaluate the proposed approach and determine to what extent it achieves the goal of generating more useful, reliable, and timely data.
The key deliverables of this redesign study, including the Strengths and Limitations of OJJDPs Juveniles in Corrections Data Collections report, the Recommendations for Improving OJJDPs Juveniles in Corrections Data Collections report, and the Pilot Study Results for OJJDPs Juveniles in Corrections Data Collections report, will present transparent, detailed findings that allow OJJDP to implement the main study redesign decisions. The project team will implement strategies and approaches to achieve the key objectives of (1) efficient and effective project management, (2) a comprehensive review and assessment of the current CJRP and JRFC, (3) development of initial recommendations for improving CJRP and JRFC instruments, (4) a field test of the redesigned CJRP and JRFC, (5) an expert panel on the CJRP and JRFC redesign, and (6) high-quality technical reports. Ultimately, it is anticipated that recommendations resulting from this project will be implemented to produce more efficient, detailed, and comprehensive data about juvenile offenders and juvenile residential facilities.