Determining Effectiveness of the Courts Using County-Specific Recidivism Rates of Juvenile Offenders

The Challenge

Few states have the capacity to track and analyze the recidivism rates of young people who have previously come into conflict with the law. The Pennsylvania Juvenile Case Management System (PaJCMS), which is administered by the Juvenile Court Judges’ Commission (JCJC), is one of the most effective mechanisms for collecting juvenile delinquency data. However, these data have never been analyzed to track the effectiveness of practices to reduce recidivism.

The Project

Through her Emerging Leader Fellowship, Justine Fowler worked with the Juvenile Court Judges’ Commission to establish statewide and county-level benchmarks for juvenile recidivism rates in Pennsylvania. The recidivism reports were shared with the Pennsylvania Council of Chief Juvenile Probation Officers, the JCJC member judges, and Governor Corbett. Justine’s analysis also enabled stakeholders to measure the effectiveness of Pennsylvania’s Juvenile Justice System Enhancement Strategy, identify the strategy’s strengths and weaknesses, and make data-informed decisions about future services and programs for justice-involved youth.

Photo Credit: © Richard Ross, juvenile-in-justice.com
Justine Taylor Fowler's Headshot

Justine Fowler, MA

Emerging Leader Fellow

2011 - 2012

Juvenile Court Judges' Commission

Current Position

Program Analyst
Juvenile Court Judges' Commission

Priority

Project Updates