Outcome Measures For Evaluating the Efficacy of Juvenile Justice Programs
Recidivism is typically embraced as the sole or primary outcome measure of success for offender intervention programs. Focusing specifically on tertiary prevention approaches for juvenile offenders, this article firstly argues that there are significant limitations in using rates of recidivism as the primary outcome measure of program success. Secondly, this article describes the Risk-Needs-Responsivity (RNR) model and the Good Lives Model (GLM) as examples of models which can be used to inform the selection of appropriate outcome measures for program evaluation. Thirdly, this article provides three examples of recent outcome evaluation studies which sought to determine the effectiveness of post-sentencing tertiary intervention programs for juvenile offenders using a broad range of indicators of success. Finally, this article suggests alternative outcome measures that might be usefully incorporated in future program design, as well as the monitoring and evaluation of existing programs.
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