Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Corrections Standards Authority Awards $1.7 Million to Promote Local Evidence-Based Practices that Reduce Juvenile Recidivism

SACRAMENTO – The Corrections Standards Authority (CSA) of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has released $1.7 million in federal Juvenile Accountability Block Grant Funding for the Best Practices Approach Initiative to help the state’s juvenile justice system become more effective and efficient. The goal of the initiative is to assist probation departments, local juvenile judicial systems and other stakeholders in the use of best practices, including implementation of evidence based programs (EBP) that reduce recidivism in youthful offenders.

“By the conclusion of this three-year project, I believe that California will serve as a model state for the successful implementation of evidence-based programs in the juvenile justice system,” said Kurt Wilson, Executive Director of CSA. “That means turning young lives around, reducing juvenile recidivism and strengthening public safety while saving taxpayer dollars, during this time of serious budget constraints.”

Assessments.com (ADC), a Utah-based company focused on evidence based solutions in criminal justice systems, was chosen through a competitive bid process to direct this project. Assessments.com will partner with Dr. Ed Latessa, a recognized international expert in the field of criminal justice from the University of Cincinnati Center for Criminal Justice Research.

The Best Practices Approach Initiative has four primary objectives:


1. Determine the juvenile justice system’s state of progress in implementing evidence-based practices, develop web based resources to help counties share information about best practices and track their progress in achieving key EBP performance outcome measures.


2. Provide statewide regional trainings on evidence based practices and best practices to Juvenile Probation Departments, judges and other stakeholders in the juvenile justice system.


3. Direct approximately three quarters of the funding to provide organizational development services to a minimum of three probation departments and their community stakeholders. This intensive on-the-ground technical assistance and training will support each probation department and judicial community selected in implementing the systems changes needed to ensure a successful transition to evidence based approaches.


4. Develop a plan to help juvenile probation in California sustain these advances. To further support the Best Practices Approach Initiative, the CSA and the Administrative Office of the Courts, working as collaborative partners, will assist in the delivery of regional training for judicial personnel on the use of best practices and support local judicial teams in integrating services with the county probation departments that are transitioning to the use of evidence based practices.

About Assessments.com: Based in Bountiful, Utah, Assessments.com was formed in 1998 when it created a public/private partnership with the Washington Association of Juvenile Court Services and the Washington State Institute for Public Policy to change the way the state’s justice system worked with juveniles. ADC provides validated risk assessment and case management software, staff training and consulting for many of the largest criminal justice agencies in the United States involving juvenile and adult offenders. ADC, with experience working with more than 75 criminal justice systems, including those in California, Florida, Texas and Washington, is producing positive outcomes and cost-savings through innovative changes in business rules, more effective assessment and targeted case planning and needs management

About the Corrections Standards Authority: The Corrections Standards Authority through its Corrections Planning and Programs Division (CPPD) develops, administers and evaluates programs designed to improve the effectiveness of state and local correctional systems and enhance public safety. In carrying out its responsibilities, the CPPD works closely with federal, state and local government agencies, as well as the private sector and nonprofit service providers, to foster collaborative approaches for addressing crime and delinquency. The CPPD provides extensive technical assistance and training to state and local agencies as well as grantees.

About the Administrative Office of the Courts: The Administrative Office of the Courts is the staff agency of the Judicial Council, which has policy-making authority over the state court system. California Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald M. George serves as chair of the Judicial Council. The agency is organized into nine divisions in San Francisco, one division in Sacramento, and three regional offices, with a staff of more than 750 serving the courts for the benefit of all Californians.