Research and Data Analysis Committee
Recidivism is one of the most frequently requested measurements of effectiveness and accountability for juvenile justice agencies, facilities and programs. Legislators and budget officers request recidivism data to guide policy and spending decisions to ensure funding programs that prevent crime. Agency and program directors rely on recidivism measures to determine whether their agencies, programs and facilities are meeting the goals of public safety and offender rehabilitation. Juvenile justice agencies are judged successful or not based on recidivism rates that indicate the extent to which youths commit crimes after receiving juvenile justice services. Despite the many uses and demands for recidivism rates, there is no universal, standard or agreed upon recidivism measure for juvenile corrections, a fact that often leads to inappropriate comparisons of rates across agencies. Recognition of the need for common definitions and measure of recidivism arose from attempts by CJCA to facilitate discussions about the different recidivism rates reported by different juvenile correctional agencies. It quickly became obvious that directors of these state agencies were not speaking the same language they were using different decision points in the justice system to define recidivism and they were using different criteria to select cases for measurement.
CJCA’s white paper, Defining and Measuring Recidivism, is a product of the proceedings of the Committee. Members of the Committee submitted ideas, responded to interviews and edited drafts to advance the group’s goal of reaching consensus on how to measure recidivism
The work of the committee is to expand the use of data and analysis to enhance the effectiveness of practices while expanding research partnerships.
The work has expanded to include four Subcommittees focused on: Research & Data Training for new Directors, The Model Data Project, Recidivism Research and Engaging Universities.
Christy K. Daly, Research and Data Analylsis Committee Chair
(former) Secretary, Florida Department of Juvenile Justice