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Strategies for Evaluating Small Juvenile Justice Programs

NCJ Number
Date Published
20 pages
This article provides juvenile justice managers with information to help them evaluate their programs.
This briefing provides a small-scale program evaluation model for efficient conduct of juvenile justice program evaluations. An outside local evaluator, and an agreement between the evaluator and the program staff setting up a cooperative process with staff input are required. The essentials of program evaluation are identified and limitations are addressed. Some necessary program planning activities are described, including writing a plan of activities designed to meet goals and objectives. Also, the importance of the evaluator and the needed qualifications to look for are discussed. Required components of the collaborative evaluation process are addressed, including the varied roles the players may take. Additionally, the importance of identifying process and program outcome measures, in order to respond to critical evaluation questions, are emphasized. Collecting, analyzing, and reporting data efficiently are discussed as effective strategies of small program evaluation. The collection of qualitative data (how much and what kind of services were provided) and quantitative data (why services were provided) are discussed and described as being best used in combination with each other. Funding resources and technical assistance sources are identified to enable the small program evaluation to be administered effectively. In summary, it is emphasized that small program evaluation is essential in applying for grant awards for any juvenile justice program, and the model contained here is meant to level the playing field in a very competitive bidding process.

Date Published: January 1, 2001