Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2007, $450,000)
In FY 2003, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) awarded funding to Florida's Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) to plan and implement a faith and community-based initiiative within juvenile correctional facilities. Over the past three years, the FDJJ has instituted a pilot program that incorporates faith-based interventions with secular programming in an effort to serve delinquents and the larger community. The secular programming emphasizes evidence-based interventions (largely cognitive behavioral), and the faith-based features include the introduction of chaplains into juvenile facilities, the facilitation of faith-based volunteer activities, and the recruitment of faith-based mentors that will follow the youth from their residential placement into community aftercare.
Researchers are conducting both a process and outcome evaluation on the FCBDTI by comparing the effects of the new pilot program with those of programs already in place in other facilities in the state. The process evaluation will ultimately provide information on the implementation of the program, ranging from training to selection of participants to deliver the program to coordination of the curriculum with faith- and community-based activities, including those organized by the chaplain and those provided by the volunteer mentors. The process evaluation will look at the implementation of the program components both during residential placement (e.g., cognitive behavioral curriculum, character education, and motivational interviewing) and throughout the aftercare period (e.g., strengthening families curriculum). Analyzing how the program operates provides feedback to the program administrators, staff and OJJDP, so that adjustments in implementation (e.g., levels of delivery) can be made; it also provides information that helps with the interpretation of outcomes and impact.