U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Evaluation of An Advocacy-based Mentoring Program

Goals and Objectives

YAP provides a treatment intervention for reducing serious and chronic delinquency for court-referred youth. This study examined processes and outcomes in the YAP programs in four cities that paid mentors who prioritized advocacy as one element of their mentoring work with youth. The study was designed to inform juvenile justice policy and practice regarding the possible benefits of advocacy-based interventions for this population. The research design was based on information that prior research had collected about YAP services and focused both on identifying key mentoring and advocacy processes that may interrupt chronic delinquency and measuring proximal and distal outcomes related to crime and prosocial behavior.

The overall goal of this study was to better understand the viability of advocacy as an intervention for youth at high risk for future criminal activity, to identify critical practices that may be relevant to YAP and other programs using individualized treatment approaches to reduce delinquency and recidivism through advocacy efforts, and to learn more about which interpersonal interactions and participant characteristics are most influential in successful advocacy efforts. The project objectives were two-fold: (1) Quantify the association between participation in the YAP program and changes in youth delinquency and related outcomes using a rigorous quasi-experimental research design to estimate the degree to which program objectives were realized (i.e., program impact and effectiveness); and (2) identify ways in which advocacy and specific types of mentoring interactions contribute to youth outcomes through program participation. The researchers statistically analyzed program effects on recidivism, deinstitutionalization, and prosocial activity (e.g., school and employment status) using the recurrent institutional cycle.

Next: Milestones

Date Created: March 9, 2020