Looking for a credible source of information about what programs work for teens in the juvenile justice system, adults in the criminal justice system, or for crime victims?
Your search just got a little easier. Today, the Office of Justice Programs at the U.S. Department of Justice launched a new website, www.crimesolutions.gov,designed to be a "one-stop shop for programs that work in criminal justice, juvenile justice and crime victim services."
According to the OJP press release, the site "includes information on more than 150 justice-related programs and assigns "evidence ratings – effective, promising, or no effects — to indicate whether there is evidence from research that a program achieves its goals." And its searchable database includes programs for "corrections, courts, crime prevention, substance abuse, juveniles, law enforcement, technology and forensics, and victims."
The juvenile section of the site is divided into four categories:
- Child Protection/Health
- Children Exposed to Violence
- Delinquency Prevention
- Risk and Protective Factors
Looking for substance treatments for youth in the juvenile justice system? Check under "Child Protection/Health.
Besides dividing program results into "effective," "promising," and "no effect," you'll also see common -- and interesting -- questions, linked to answers.
My favorite was, "What is the national juvenile recidividism rate?" I've been in the field long enough now that it's been years since I've wondered (not seeing the forest for the trees). So I clicked on the answer and learned that there is no official national statistic for juvenile recidivism, because of the wide variability of juvenile justice systems from state to state.
Will Crimesolutions.gov replace the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's (OJJDP) Model Programs Guide, which covers a broader range of juvenile programs, from prevention through reentry? I'm not sure, but it sounds like programs included in the Guide will be slowly incorporated into Crimesolutions.gov.
Here's what Crimesolutions.gov's FAQ has to say about the matter:
OJJDP is a component of the Office of Justice Programs (OJP), and OJJDP’s Model Programs Guide (MPG) predates CrimeSolutions.gov. Although MPG programs fall within the broader scope of CrimeSolutions.gov, it was necessary to reassess these programs because the criteria and ratings used by the two sites differ.
The following information outlines how MPG’s programs were reviewed for possible inclusion on CrimeSolutions.gov:
- MPG programs were examined to ensure that they met the CrimeSolutions.gov screening criteria.
- New studies were identified and reviewed to determine whether they should be included in the evidence base used to rate a particular MPG program. (This process is being completed first for MPG’s "Exemplary" rated programs. MPG’s "Effective" and "Promising" programs will be re-assessed at a later date.)
- Using the CrimeSolutions.gov Scoring Instrument, the studies were reviewed and re-rated, if necessary.
- New evaluation methodology and outcomes sections were written to reflect any new studies included in the evidence base.
Read more about: Program Review and Rating from Start to Finish.
UPDATE July 5, 2011: a spokesperson for the Office of Justice Programs sent me the following response to my question about whether CrimeSolutions.gov would replace OJJDP's Model Programs Guide:
"Currently, the Model Programs Guide and CrimeSolutions.gov are operating in parallel. Each site offers unique benefits and content tailored to various users. OJJDP and OJP worked in collaboration on CrimeSolutions.gov, and we will continue that partnership as we explore how best to adapt, expand, and streamline our resources to meet the unique needs of OJP’s numerous constituencies.”
So it sounds like Model Programs Guide will remain, at least for the time being.
Updated: February 08 2018