Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2011, $373,280)
Evaluation of Girls' Delinquency Programs is designed to fund grants to document and measure the effectiveness of delinquency prevention, intervention, and/or treatment programs in preventing and reducing girls' risk behavior and offending.
Wilder Research, in collaboration with Amicus, Inc., will evaluate the Radius Program to document and measure its effectiveness in working with delinquent girls. A community-based, nationally known program model for girls in the juvenile justice system, Radius is gender-specific with a focus on restorative justice. A rigorous quasi-experimental evaluation design will be used, comparing outcomes (such as re-arrests, reconvictions, and out-of-home placements) for program participants and a matched historical comparison group. This comparison group will be constructed from public administrative data from the Hennepin County Community Corrections and Rehabilitation Department in Minnesota using the Propensity Score Matching approach. Approximately 70 girls will be enrolled in the treatment group each year, thus the evaluators will assess approximately 210 treatment and 210 comparison subjects over the course of three years. In addition to exploring the program's impact on girls, the evaluation team will gather in-depth information about the participants served, the services provided, and partnerships established with other agencies and systems. The process evaluation will identify the most effective program elements, informing efforts to replicate the model in other settings. The evaluators will also estimate the return-on-investment (ROI) for the Radius Program to inform public policy discussions about the value of this program to the community. Results will be widely disseminated to advance the juvenile justice field's ability to effectively provide gender-specific, restorative interventions for girls charged with delinquent acts.