This study examined the effectiveness of an intervention for adolescent girls (ages 12-17) in the juvenile justice system, and it also sought a better understanding of the systemic challenges and strategies for reducing adolescent girls’ crime, as identified through in-depth interviews with stakeholders within and outside the local New York City Administration for Children’s Services, Division of Youth and Family Justice (DYFJ).
The intervention evaluated is called ROSES (Resilience, Opportunity, Safety, Education, Strength). The focus of ROSES is to increase girls’ access to community resources and guide these resources in being more responsive to girls’ needs and rights. The ROSES intervention is delivered by paraprofessionals. In the current implementation, it was delivered by advanced undergraduate students from a large university, representing an opportunity for a community-university partnership. A total of 25 supervisors and peer supervistors have been trained on ROSES intervention supervision protocols. This has resulted in the delivery of just over 12,120 hours of advocacy to girls in the legal system. Girls were eligible to participate in the randomized controlled trial study if they were between ages 11 and 18, lived in New York City, and had a history of involve in the juvenile legal system or were at risk for justice system involvement. Baseline assessment were conducted with 257 girls and a caregiver after parental consent and child assent were obtained. Following baseline, girls were randomized into the intervention or control group using standard randomization procedures. The evaluation found improvements in participant girls compared to control girls regarding violence and delinquency, substance use and risk-taking, and mental health and wellbeing. The study concludes that the ROSES treatment model has strong potential to affect others by continuing to be implemented locally and in other settings, such that it could be integrated into local and national policy. 5 tables