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Model Programs Guide

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About MPG

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s (OJJDP’s) Model Programs Guide contains information about evidence-based juvenile justice and youth prevention, intervention, and reentry programs. It is a resource for practitioners and communities about what works, what is promising, and what does not work in juvenile justice, delinquency prevention, and child protection and safety.

The Model Programs Guide uses expert reviewers and CrimeSolutions.ojp.gov’s program review process, scoring instrument, and evidence standards. The two sites also share a common database of juvenile-related programs. Users who select a program on the Model Programs Guide will see the CrimeSolutions.ojp.gov profile open in a new window.

The Model Programs Guide is an easy-to-use program database that helps practitioners, policymakers, and communities identify and implement programs that can make a difference in the lives of children and families. It addresses a range of issues, including child victimization, substance abuse, youth violence, mental health and trauma, and gang activity.

In addition to providing program profiles, the Model Programs Guide contains literature reviews, implementation information, and links to additional resources that practitioners, policymakers, and communities can use to improve the effectiveness of interventions, enhance accountability, ensure public safety, and reduce recidivism. The tools are specifically designed for juvenile justice-oriented practitioners and policymakers.

The Model Programs Guide is a widely recognized resource for valuable information on the effectiveness of many juvenile programs; however, the programs may not be appropriate for or meet the needs of all individuals and communities or for all circumstances. When selecting what will work best for you or your community, you should understand that the information in the Model Programs Guide is just one resource to consider among many. Read more: How To Use the Model Programs Guide.

The Model Programs Guide is not an exhaustive list of all juvenile justice-related programs, and a program’s inclusion on this site does not constitute an endorsement by the U.S. Department of Justice. Read more.

More information about the history of this resource, the types of information on the site, and the processes for reviewing and including research findings are available in the following sections:


Model Programs Guide Program Review Process and Evidence Ratings

The Model Programs Guide uses expert study reviewers and CrimeSolutions.ojp.gov's program review process, scoring instrument, and evidence ratings. The two sites also share a common program database.

For details on the Model Programs Guide’s expert study reviewers: Model Programs Guide Reviewers

For details of the full CrimeSolutions.ojp.gov program review process and evidence standards, visit https://crimesolutions.ojp.gov/about/how-we-review-and-rate-program-start-finish.

For the CrimeSolutions.ojp.gov Program Evidence Scoring Instrument, visit https://crimesolutions.ojp.gov/scoring-instruments.

Based on the reviewers’ assessment of the evidence, programs included in the Model Programs Guide and CrimeSolutions.ojp.gov are rated as either Effective, Promising, or No Effects.

Evidence Ratings
Evidence Rating Icon* Description
One Study More than One Study
Effective effective icon effective multi-study icon Programs have strong evidence indicating they achieve their intended outcomes when implemented with fidelity.
Promising promising icon promising multi-study icon Programs have some evidence indicating they achieve their intended outcomes. Additional research is recommended.
No Effects no effects icon no effects multi-study icon Programs have strong evidence indicating that they did not achieve their intended outcomes when implemented with fidelity.

* A single study icon is used to identify programs that have been evaluated with only one study. A multiple studies icon is used to represent a greater extent of evidence supporting the evidence rating. The icon depicts programs that have more than one study in the evidence base demonstrating effects in a consistent direction.

Read more about: https://crimesolutions.ojp.gov/about/how-we-review-and-rate-program-start-finish.


Nominate a Program to the Model Programs Guide

The Model Programs Guide welcomes program nominations. To be included in the Model Programs Guide, research experts must review a program’s evaluation evidence and the program must target juveniles and meet the CrimeSolutions.ojp.gov program scope and evaluation studies screening criteria.

A nominated program must target an at-risk or offender population and aim to:

  • Prevent or reduce crime, delinquency, or related problem behaviors such as aggression, gang involvement, and/or school attachment.
  • Prevent, intervene, or respond to victimization.
  • Improve justice systems or processes


  • Target an offender population or an at-risk population (that is, individuals who have the potential to become involved in the justice system).

There must also be existing evaluation research studies that meet the following criteria:

  • The program must be evaluated with at least one randomized field experiment or a quasi-experimental research design (with a comparison condition).
  • The outcomes assessed must relate to crime, delinquency, or victimization prevention, intervention, or response.
  • The evaluation(s) must be published in a peer-reviewed publication or documented in a comprehensive evaluation report.
  • The date of publication must be 1980 or after.

When submitting a program for consideration, include as much information about it and the research evaluations, including citations, as possible. Review CrimeSolutions.ojp.gov’s “Program Review and Rating From Start to Finish” page to help guide the submission: https://crimesolutions.ojp.gov/about/how-we-review-and-rate-program-start-finish.

However, programs may be nominated without specific citations. In such cases, the inclusion of referrals to individuals who may have more information or possess such studies is helpful. Qualitative studies are also welcome as they may provide valuable context for a program.

To learn more and to nominate a program, see the Nominate section of CrimeSolutions.ojp.gov and complete the nomination form.


Model Programs Guide Reviewers

All Model Programs Guide reviewers have extensive expertise in juvenile justice issues and research methodology and have completed the CrimeSolutions.ojp.gov reviewer training process. These experts review and rate the individual studies that comprise a program’s evidence base.

Following is a list of Model Programs Guide lead researchers and reviewers.

  • Donna Bishop, Northeastern University
  • Jeffrey Bouffard, Sam Houston State University
  • Mark Edberg, Development Services Group, Inc.
  • William Feyerherm, Portland State University
  • Randy Gainey, Old Dominion University
  • Steve Gies, Development Services Group, Inc., Lead Researcher
  • Denise Gottfredson, University of Maryland
  • Thomas Harig, independent consultant
  • Eoin Healy, Development Services Group, Inc.
  • Janice Hill, South Illinois University
  • Alexander Holsinger, University of Missouri
  • Charles Katz, Arizona State University
  • Deborah Koetzle, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
  • Aaron Kupchik, University of Delaware
  • Edward Latessa, University of Cincinnati
  • Shelley Listwan, University of North Carolina
  • Alex Piquero, University of Texas at Dallas
  • Judith Pokorni, Development Services Group, Inc.
  • Travis Pratt, Arizona State University
  • Danielle Rudes, George Mason University
  • Rachel Stephenson, Development Services Group, Inc.
  • Martha Yeide, Development Services Group, Inc.

For more information about the CrimeSolutions.ojp.gov reviewer qualifications and training, visit https://crimesolutions.ojp.gov/about/crimesolutionsgov-researchers-and-reviewers


History of the Model Programs Guide

In 2000, OJJDP published a print version of the Model Programs Guide as one of the first comprehensive resources to identify evidence-based programs in delinquency prevention. OJJDP developed the Model Programs Guide to support the Title V Prevention Grants program. OJJDP later transitioned the Model Programs Guide to an online database with programs across the continuum of youth prevention, intervention, and reentry services. The Model Programs Guide continues to be a widely recognized and used resource on evidence-based programs for practitioners and communities. In June 2011, the Office of Justice Programs launched CrimeSolutions.ojp.gov, which builds on and expands this previous work using a more rigorous review process and enhanced online interface to present evidence for programs within juvenile justice, adult criminal justice, and crime victim services.

At that time, OJJDP re-reviewed all programs in the Model Programs Guide using the CrimeSolutions.ojp.gov evidence standards and criteria, and in 2013, relaunched the Model Programs Guide with juvenile justice and youth prevention, intervention, and treatment programs that have been reviewed using CrimeSolutions.ojp.gov’s evidence standards and criteria. The two sites now share a common database of juvenile-related programs. The new Model Programs Guide provides users with an updated, user-friendly website that features information about evidence-based programs and a variety of implementation tools and resources tailored to the needs of the juvenile justice field.


Model Program Guide Evidence Rating Inquiries and Appeals

The Model Programs Guide and CrimeSolutions.ojp.gov are committed to principles of quality, fairness, and transparency in their program reviews. As part of that commitment, any party, such as the program developer or researcher, may submit an inquiry regarding an evidence rating or the inclusion of a program in the Programs With Insufficient Evidence section of CrimeSolutions.ojp.gov.

The inquiry should be grounded in (1) a fair reading of the evidence (see the program’s Evidence Base in the program profile) and (2) an understanding of the rating procedures and criteria established for CrimeSolutions.ojp.gov (see Program Review and Rating From Start to Finish). Inquiries should be submitted using the Contact Us form found on CrimeSolutions.ojp.gov.

OJJDP or contract staff will provide a written response to each formal inquiry. The response will explain the evidence rating that reviewers assigned to the program. The response may include paraphrased or excerpted comments from the reviewers’ scoring instruments to explain why certain sections of the instrument (e.g., Design Quality or Outcome Evidence) received the scores they were given. Under no circumstances will staff provide the identity of the reviewers. If applicable, staff may include additional information, such as how disparate scores among reviewers were resolved, in the response.

For more information on the CrimeSolutions.ojp.gov inquiries and appeals process, visit https://crimesolutions.ojp.gov/about/inquiring-about-or-appealing-evidence-rating.


Model Programs Guide Literature Reviews

The Literature Reviews on the Model Programs Guide summarize research and practice information across broad topical areas. They follow a systematic process to identify and synthesize this information. The Literature Review Development Process details how topics are identified, literature is searched, and the reviews are created.


Model Programs Guide Implementation Guides (I-Guides)

The I-Guides provide 10 steps that practitioners should take before they identify or implement an evidence-based program or practice and that supplement the program and literature review information on the Model Programs Guide. The 10 steps are based on the research literature about successful implementation efforts and applied to common problems in juvenile justice and related fields. The I-Guide Creation Process outlines how the I-Guides are developed.


How To Use the Model Programs Guide

The Model Programs Guide is intended to be a central, reliable, and credible resource to help practitioners and policymakers understand what works in juvenile justice-related programs and practices. Its purpose is to gather information on specific juvenile justice-related programs and review the existing evaluation research against standard criteria to assist practitioners in practical decision making and program implementation.

It is important to note the Model Programs Guide website does not constitute an endorsement of particular programs, nor does it conduct original research. The programs reported upon favorably are recognized for their accomplishments in support of the mission of the Office of Justice Programs. Furthermore, it is not intended to replace or supersede informed judgment and/or innovation. The Model Programs Guide recognizes that rigorous evaluation evidence is one of several factors to consider in justice programming, policy, and funding decisions. The Office of Justice Programs also recognizes the importance of encouraging and supporting innovative approaches that may not yet have extensive evidence of effectiveness.

Important Notes About How To Use the Information Provided on the Model Programs Guide

  • The Model Programs Guide rates the quality of evaluation research supporting a program’s outcomes. Consequently, its ratings do not necessarily reflect a program’s effectiveness in every possible scenario or situation. Users should be careful to review the program record to understand each program’s target population, demographics, setting, and the research results for each program outcome.
  • Review of programs and their posting on the Model Programs Guide does not constitute an endorsement, promotion, or approval of these programs by the Model Programs Guide, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Office of Justice Programs, or the U.S. Department of Justice.
  • It is inappropriate to use the Model Programs Guide as an exhaustive list of juvenile justice-related programs, since the Model Programs Guide has not reviewed all programs in existence.
  • Policymakers and funders are discouraged from limiting their selection of potential contractors and/or grantees to only those programs that appear on the Model Programs Guide.
  • Users are permitted to download publicly available articles and research via the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) or order copies for a nominal fee. However, users are asked to contact individual study authors for permission to duplicate original studies, as these studies are not the property of Model Programs Guide.
  • The U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs and Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention fund the Model Programs Guide, and Development Services Group, Inc. manages its evidence reviews. The views expressed on this website do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Justice.


Contact Model Programs Guide

For more information related to the Model Programs Guide, contact:

Rachel Stephenson
(Contractor) Project Director, OJJDP’s Model Programs Guide
Development Services Group, Inc.
Phone: 301-951-0056
[email protected]