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Award Information

Award #
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)
Original Solicitation

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2001, $249,957)

Project summary for 2001-JN-FX-K001 S-1

"Understanding the 'Whys' Behind Juvenile Crime Trends" is potentially a five-year project which aims to: 1) explain the downturn in most measures of juvenile crime that began in about 1993 for most types of crime in most large jurisdictions, following a large increase between about 1986 and about 1992; and 2) develop a projection model that local practitioners could use to predict turning points in their juvenile crime trends, based on locally available data. During this period, the research team will complete a report that describes juvenile crime trends from 1980 to the present; inventories and evaluates hypothesized explanations of the trends and classifies them in terms of their probable explanatory power. For those explanations that require further testing, special analyses will be undertaken of several databases including Census 2000, the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), the OJJDP-funded Pittsburgh Youth Study (PYS), as well as jurisdictional arrest and juvenile court data collected and maintained by the National Center for Juvenile Justice. They will also develop a design for testing neighborhood-level explanatory hypotheses in a six-site sample, recruit, and select participating sites. Based on this work, OJJDP will decide on future funding of the project.


During year one, a consortium led by the University of Pennsylvania, including the University of Maryland and the National Center for Juvenile Justice, will lay the groundwork for and convene three working groups that will: 1) describe the trends using selected measures of juvenile crime available at the local and national level; 2) develop working hypotheses to explain changes based on research literature and public commentary; and, 3) develop mechanisms to field test the hypotheses, specifying the type of data that would be gathered from various jurisdictions depending on the nature of the test. The study team will also assess the utility and feasibility of proceeding with the test phase.

The consortium will document the study findings, and if determined to be feasible, recommend the next steps to develop "leading indicators" of future juvenile crime trends.

Date Created: February 1, 2001