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5 Ways Juvenile Court Judges Can Use Data

NCJ Number
Date Published
Teri Deal, Andrew Wachter
This instructional material explains five ways that juvenile court judges can use data collected daily in their courts to assess and improve court procedures and decisions.
One use of data available to juvenile court judges is to “align their decisions with evidence-based practices.” Research data enable judges to assess objectively whether their routine decision-making takes into account evidence-based practices regarding juvenile recidivism reduction. A second way judges can use data is to “support positive outcomes for kids.” Data collected from assessments and interviews with youths and their families can inform court decisions, and data shared by partnering agencies can assist judges in deciding which interventions are most effective with youth at various risk levels. The third suggestion is that juvenile court judges use data to “identify opportunities for improvement.” Data on court operations and their effects can assist in identifying areas that need improvement in order to increase court efficiency and effectiveness. The fourth suggestion is to “measure improvement efforts,” by collecting and analyzing data that monitors the implementation and results of various court management and decision-making processes. The fifth suggestion is that data collected by juvenile courts be used “to tell the story of juvenile justice“ for particular communities, which can be shared with State and Federal agencies that make funding decisions related to juvenile justice policy, practice, and research.
Date Created: July 25, 2017