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Delaware Juvenile Justice Reform

Award Information

Award #
Awardee County
New Castle
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2012, $514,851)

This program will provide funds to three state and/or local administering agencies for juvenile justice to develop and implement an integrated set of evidence-based and cost-measurement tools that will enable them to make informed decisions about resources and services for justice-involved youth. OJJDP expects awardees to fully participate in training and technical assistance and an evaluation of this initiative. The initiative will determine whether systematic use of these tools helps awardees realign services and costs and ensure the provision of the right services, for the right youth, for the right duration of time. This program is authorized by Pub. L. 111-117, 123 Stat. 3034, 3171 and Pub. L. 112-74, 125 Stat. 786, 898.

Delaware's Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families (DSCYF), Division of Youth Rehabilitative Services (DYRS), and juvenile justice system partners have demonstrated a strong commitment to early intervention to provide more effective services and supports to youth. These strategies are supported by current research and best practices which indicate that the use of assessments to determine youth risk, needs and strengths, coupled with connection to services which address those needs, reduces recidivism and expenditures on deep-end residential services. Restructuring efforts have resulted in a community supervision system where youth are supervised at an appropriate intensity level based on their risk to re-offend and are then connected to services and interventions based on needs. With this statewide federally-funded project, the key stakeholders will continue to implement the OJJDP Comprehensive Strategy for Serious, Violent, and Chronic Juvenile Offenders and address gaps in measurement, data management, and analysis to create a consistent evaluation system of community and confinement services.

The primary goal of this initiative is to reduce crime and delinquency and focus more on pro-social skill development to strengthen and improve positive outcomes for youth. DYRS is committed to providing a responsive supervision continuum through which youth are assigned to appropriate supervision options based on their risk to re-offend and connected to services, supports and programs which address the specific criminogenic needs that contribute to engagement in delinquency, promote youth success, and reduce recidivism. By investing appropriate and necessary resources at the earliest stage of their involvement with the youth, DYRS believe that they will be more economically responsive and see a decrease in expenditures on the deep end of the system. Over time, this strategy will allow the program to reduce probation officers' caseloads and create an environment of stronger youth relationship- building and family engagement which they believe will ultimately reduce recidivism and produce positive youth outcomes.


Date Created: September 27, 2012