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Evaluability Assessment of the NAFI Youth & Police Initiative Training, Final Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 2014
74 pages
This report presents the findings and recommendations of an evaluability assessment (EA) of the Youth-Police Initiative (YPI) training program, so as to determine the program's readiness for evaluation and provide recommendations and technical assistance in preparing for an outcome-based evaluation.
The YPI is a training program operated by the North American Family Institute (NAFI). The YPI program brings together "at-risk" teens with police officers who patrol their neighborhoods, with the goal of building better relationships between the youth and their neighborhood police officers. For the EA of the YPI, a five-task model originally developed for criminal justice programs was used. The five tasks are 1) to study the program's history, design, and operation; 2) to watch the program in action; 3) to determine the capacity for data collection; 4) to assess the likelihood that the program will reach its goals and objectives; and 5) to show why an evaluation will or will not help the program and its stakeholders. The EA found that the program has the capacity to collect data directly from participants; however, past data collection has not always been consistent. The original stated goals of the program are broad and ambitious, but may be difficult to achieve. Observations of program training sessions concluded that program implementation mostly matches the features of the program model. The analysis of past data suggests that attitudes among participating youth have improved; however, no change was found in police attitudes. The benefits of a future evaluation include continuing program improvement, the ability to provide robust evidence to interested communities and police departments, as well as the possibility of developing into an "evidence-based" program model. Recommendations for an evaluation are offered. 3 figures, 4 tables, 54 references, and appended YPI youth and police pre-training and follow-up surveys.

Date Published: December 1, 2014