Addressing the Critical Needs of Youth Offenders: Evaluating the Impacts of Grant-Funded Programs
Finding ways to better serve young people involved with the juvenile and criminal justice systems is a critical social need. At the end of 2015, more than 7 million individuals were under supervision by the U.S. adult and juvenile justice systems. Although these figures represent a substantial decline since their peaks a decade ago, they suggest an extraordinary burden on the nation’s systems for providing reentry services and addressing the many challenges people with criminal records face finding pathways to success. This study examines programs funded by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) that combine promising workforce strategies (career pathways) with promising juvenile and criminal justice strategies (expungement and diversion services) to help justice-involved youth develop into successful, productive, and law-abiding adults.
As part of the Evaluation of Grants Serving Young Offenders (EGYO), we have examined the provision of expungement and diversion services offered through DOL's Face Forward grants, conducted an environmental scan of programs that divert young adults from the criminal justice system, and authored a guide for communities interested in starting or enhancing young adult diversion programs. We will also explore the implementation of the Pathways to Justice Career Grants. Mathematica is partnering with Social Policy Research Associates to carry out these tasks.