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Evaluating Juvenile Justice Programs

Scenario 1

Imagine that you have created a program called Felon's Job Training, which provides job training to prisoners. One of the objectives is to increase the employability of ex-felons. This program has been devised because it is believed that ex-felons who secure gainful employment are less likely to recidivate.

You discover, however, that few ex-felons find a job one year after being released back into the community. Is it fair to say that the program, as it was conceived, was a failure? Are there any reasons that ex-convicts who have been trained with important job skills such as plumbing, electricity, and computing have failed to land a job? Would you consider these to be complicating factors? How?

Scenario 2

Imagine that you have created a program called Educating Binge Drinkers to educate teenagers about the dangers of binge drinking. The objective of the program is to reduce the amount of binge drinking that a student engages in. The evaluation will take place six months after the students have completed the program. During the course of the 15-week program, a well-known and popular student in the school district died from complications related to alcohol poisoning. Will this present a threat to the evaluation of the program? Why do you think so?

Also, at the end of the 15-week program, you discovered that 33% of participants never completed the program (they dropped out). Will this present a threat to the evaluation of the program? Why do you think so?

Solution Preview

https://www.bja.gov/evaluation/guide/documents/documentg.html

Imagine that you have created a program called Felon's Job Training, which provides job training to prisoners. One of the objectives is to increase the employability of ex-felons. This program has been devised because it is believed that ex-felons who secure gainful employment are less likely to recidivate.

You discover, however, that few ex-felons find a job one year after being released back into the community. Is it fair to say that the program, as it was conceived, was a failure? Are there any reasons that ex-convicts who have been trained with important job skills such as plumbing, electricity, and computing have ...

Solution Summary

This solution answers various questions about evaluating juvenile justice programs.

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