Positive Youth Outcomes (PYO) Committee
Most legislatures, governors, media and stakeholders focus exclusively on recidivism as a measure of correctional outcomes and effectiveness. This focus on recidivism as the primary indicator of the success or failure of juvenile programs has discouraged juvenile correctional agencies from collecting and utilizing positive youth outcomes data to identify programs and services that effectively rehabilitate delinquent youths. Relying exclusively on recidivism to evaluate the effectiveness of correctional programs and services overlooks an entire spectrum of potentially protective factors.
The Positive Youth Outcomes (PYO) committee, made up of CJCA members, research and clinical staff, meets once a month by telephone and at CJCA’s semiannual business meetings.
To improve juvenile correctional agencies’ capacities to collect and utilize positive youth outcomes data, the PYO committee will:
- Conduct a thorough review of all relevant literature;
- Survey directors and their research staff to develop an understanding of what positive outcomes are currently being measured, how those outcomes are being measured, and how the data are being used; and
- Conduct a thorough examination of all measurement instruments currently in use to measure positive changes in adolescents.
The information these efforts produce will help CJCA come to consensus, and develop guidelines, on the most appropriate and useful methods for collecting and analyzing positive outcome data within juvenile correctional agencies. CJCA looks forward to having available a set of flexible standards that underscore the values that we share and that encourage the development of juvenile correctional systems that work toward maximizing the potential of each youth in their care.