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Implementing the SPEP: Lessons From Demonstration Sites in OJJDP's Juvenile Justice Reform and Reinvestment Initiative

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 2016
54 pages
The findings are reported for an assessment of the implementation of the Standardized Program Evaluation Protocol (SPEP) of the Juvenile Justice Reform and Reinvestment Initiative (JJRRI), which was implemented in three demonstration sites.
One chapter briefly discusses other key components of JJRRI in order to understand the context in which the SPEP was implemented. Two chapters describe the SPEP and the drivers of SPEP implementation. The SPEP provides local jurisdictions with an evidence-based tool to rate services delivered to youth in the juvenile justice system based on their potential to reduce recidivism. SPEP is based on the quantitative synthesis of evidence from just over 600 controlled evaluations of the effectiveness of interventions in reducing recidivism among justice-involved youth. Another chapter discusses how SPEP implementation proceeded in the JJRRI demonstration sites. The report concludes with a discussion of lessons learned from this assessment of the SPEP implementation at the demonstration sites. One lesson learned is that an extended implementation period is generally required to complete the first round of rating and install the necessary systems for the next round. The planned 3-year project periods for JJRRI, which have been extended, did not allow for completion of program improvement. Also, support from many juvenile justice stakeholders is critical for the SPEP rating system to be used effectively in improving the effectiveness of services to justice-involved youth. In addition, working on how the SPEP results will be communicated and used is critical for SPEP ratings to be used in improving program effectiveness. Another lesson learned is that considerable technical assistance is required to install the technical aspects of the SPEP and its required data, as well as for building and sustaining stakeholder support for using SPEP ratings for program improvement. 1 table, 1 figure, 13 references, and appended descriptions of each JJRRI site, a sample SPEP scoring sheet, and a sample dispositional matrix

Date Published: December 1, 2016