Video Transcript: Environmental Scan of Criminal Justice Responses to Justice-Involved Young Adults
The informational webinar will discuss the results of the recently published
Environmental Scan of Developmentally Appropriate Criminal Justice Responses to Justice-Involved Young Adults produced by NIJ. It will provide a launching point for us to connect with others doing similar work and plan for future meetings to discuss research gaps and research needs of those providing programming to justice-involved young adults.
Learn more about and download the Environmental Scan
Presenting in this video:
- Carrie Mulford, Ph.D., Social Science Analyst, NIJ
- Marina M. Mendoza, Ph.D., SRCD Policy Fellow, NIJ
- Brent Cohen, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of the Assistant Attorney General, Office of Justice Programs
MARY JO GIOVACCHINI: Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to today's Webinar: Environmental Scan of Criminal Justice Responses to Justice-Involved Young Adults, what we learned and the next steps. This is hosted by the National Institute of Justice. At this time, I would like to introduce you to Dr. Carrie Mulford, Social Science Analyst at the National Institute of Justice.
CARRIE MULFORD: Thank you. So what I'm going to do to start, I feel like this is quite — this feels very formal for such a small group, but we — because we're audio recording and having everything posted online, we're doing it in a more formal way. So what I'm going to do is start with a history of how we got involved in this topic at the National Institute of Justice and then I'm going to turn it over to one of my colleagues at NIJ to talk about what we learned in the environmental scan. But first of all, I want to thank you all for your participation in the scan. We did it on a very quick turnaround and we really appreciate all of your help in getting the information and getting it accurately recorded into that report.
So back in 2008, NIJ hosted — or actually funded a study group that Drs. Loeber and Farrington ran and that produced a book called From Juvenile Delinquency to Adult Crime and that was published in 2012. That book gave us a really good overview of the — of the science available, psychological science, criminology, some of the neurodevelopment around issues related to this age group, particularly with justice-involved young adults. There's also information on that book about types of programs that are being done in other countries, just sort of a sampling of them and some of the legislative issues, some program, what we know about effectiveness of programs and policies in that — in this area, but there was a lot that we didn't know and we realize that in this book and there's a whole chapter devoted to some things that we need to know and know more about.
Then back in — then just last year around this time, there — a publication came out from the Harvard executive session on Community Corrections and it was — the title of that was Community-Based responsive — Responses to Justice-Involved Young Adults and that came across my desk and was really excited to see the NIJ was back into this. And I reached out to our leadership and the Assistant Attorney General's office and said, you know, if we're going to do more in this, I'd like to be involved and so we start thinking about what are the first steps going to be? What do we need to do? And I said, "Well, it seems like one thing we need to — we really don't know what is going on in the United States around this issue in any kind of systematic way." We have to get a sense of the programs and new legislation and — I mean, particularly around programming and policies, the in practices that are going on in this area. So that's where we started, so we contracted to someone to do this work for us, but I'm going to turn it over to Marina Mendoza, who is a fellow NIJ from the Society for Research and Child Development. She's in the second year for fellowship here and she is going to go ahead and give you some of the — discuss a brief overview of the findings from what we found in the scan.
MARINA MENDOZA: Thank you, Carrie. I also want to echo a huge thank you to all of you on the call because really, without your contributions, this project wouldn't have been possible and I don't think we would've had an understanding of the program and legislation that is happening across the nation in regards to justice-involved young adults.
So as Carrie said, the project is really simple and that we just wanted to get a lay of the land. What are people doing? What are the developmentally-appropriate programs available to justice-involved young adults? We had a wonderful contractor who collected the information and many of you probably spent time talking with her, so — but apart from talking to you all and meeting you all in person at different conferences, she also did extensive web searches on several search engines. She also monitored social media platforms, so taking a look at who is involved in the conversation, who's tweeting about it, what hashtags are being developed. And in addition to all of these methods, we also had support from the Assistant Attorney General Karol Mason who provided a letter to us that we distributed on several listservs that people provided information to us. Through this method, we identified 51 programs in various settings, so from Young Adult Courts to Parole and Probation, there were Community-Based, Prison-Based programs. And if you look on the screen and see — can see the graph, the Hybrid category was the largest category and really, there were probably some other programs that could've fit into that Hybrid category, but what that really speaks to is the collaborative effort and the integrated systems that are needed to target these justice-involved young adults.
The programs were diverse and vary jurisdiction-specific and no two programs were functioning in the exact same way and most of them use their resources available to them to target the specific needs of the justice-involved young adults in the community. Even though they were all different, they were some common trends. A lot of the programs were in an innovative state or using pilot projects to figure out what works best for them. There were also programs that may have already been in existence but were using new adaptations or putting in new components to help better serve their justice-involved young adults.
Program structures and services were also similar. A prominent feature and almost all of the programs was intensive case management. The services also provided to young adults tended to be around housing, substance abuse, mental health, vocational training, and employment opportunities and what this spoke to was that many of the programs were not just helping young adults navigate the criminal justice system but they were also helping them manage life challenges that they might be facing outside of those — outside of the criminal justice system.
So many programs also express interest in using evidence informed and evidence-based practices which lead to one of, I think, the most exciting part of this is that science is actually making a difference. And just to read a direct quote from the document, "Most persons interviewed mentioned an increased understanding of the science regarding the development of the brain into young adulthood as playing a role in pursuing enhanced programming." So clearly, the evidence that is coming out and the way that it is messaged especially when it's accessible to practitioners and policy makers is striving some of the programs and changes for justice-involved young adults.
Moving on to legislation. We have seven pieces that we highlighted and one that was pending. There were several other pieces of legislation that were pending, we chose not to include those because we either didn't have enough information about the legislation itself or enough information to know whether or not it was going to be put up for a vote in the — in their legislation session, but we are hoping to continue to track these pieces of legislation, so we didn't include them this time. When we do updates, they might be included in future documentations. The pieces that were highlighted, they mostly surrounded jurisdiction boundaries, mitigating circumstances, so more discretion in sentencing, different sentences, things along those lines and a focus on expungement of records particularly if the justice-involved young adults successfully completed whatever program they were in.
We also had a session on Ban the Box and though it's not specific to justice-involved young adults, a lot of practitioners highlighted that this type of legislation would be important for young adults especially when we're considering that employment is an important issue to consider for the specific group.
Along with Ban the Box, there are other areas legislation that are important to consider for justice-involved young adults and those are things such as delinquency age boundaries and transfer discretion and provisions and policies. And just to give an example of a few of those extended age boundaries by state has real big implications four justice-involved young adults especially considering keeping the juvenile jurisdiction could have implication for their sentencing provision, special holdings, program requirements, and even in some cases, correctional facilities. Looking at this graphic that's online — that's up right now, there are three — currently three states that can retain that juvenile jurisdiction through the full term regardless of age. So there are some programs that sort of help out with that transition. Looking at transfer discretion and policies, there are several out there such as transfer waivers. I — I'm highlighting right now the "Once An Adult, Always an Adult" statute. As you can see, the majority of states has this statue, but what they don't take into consideration is current seriousness of offense so a young — an adolescent can be charged as an adult but don't — but their next offense is — and their seriousness isn't taken into account and so they're always going to be charged as an adult. Of course, these two pieces of legislation are focused on the transition between adolescents and young adults. And what it doesn't focus on are those 18, and 19-year olds, and 20-year olds, and so on who enter the criminal justice system as an adult but may developmentally, look more like their juvenile justice counterpart.
So that's generally what we learned from this document. And of course, you can
look online at nij.gov for the full document. And we do plan to update those programs and legislations. So we want to make sure that we're keeping on top of what people are doing and keep an eye on the landscape and what's happening nationally.
And our next step we hope to convene a roundtable of experts to identify what research is needed and what gaps we can fill. Also, we want to identify programs that are ready for full-scale evaluations. So what works, what doesn't work, and what are some best practices that are out there, having that open communication especially with a group that is so interested in the science and research behind these programs and this issue, we think it's vitally important that we move forward in the best way. So as you can imagine, this has huge policy implication not just at local and state level but also the national level. And to provide comments for us, we have Brent Cohen who is a senior advisor to the Assistant Attorney General here at the Office of Justice Programs.
BRENT COHEN: Thanks, Marina. So thank you to everybody on the phone and a big thank you to my colleagues here at NIJ for all their work with this environmental scan. And my apologies, I do not have wonderful graph for you, but you do get a picture of me, so not quite the same thing. But, you know, graphics nonetheless.
So just very briefly, why I got involved, what we know in this area, sort of the policy implications and it's specifically focusing on the environmental scanning and why this was so important for us from a policy perspective and why your contributions from the field are so incredibly important to the future policy in this area. So I came onboard here at the Department of Justice a little more than two years ago specifically to focus on this issue of justice-involved young adults. It's a priority issue for our Assistant Attorney General Karol Mason, really recognizing that just because somebody turns 18 does not solely mean that the switch goes off and they're full-fledged adult who has rational decision-making. Anyone who's been a high school teacher or anyone who's been to college or anyone who's been around young adults for any period of time, maybe you have kids who are teenagers, you know that simply turning 18 does not mean that the switch is there and everything is rational all of a sudden. In fact, the behavioral science tells us quite clearly that that's not the case. So I came along board about two years ago to work on this issue, to elevate it within the criminal justice field and also across other sectors.
We've — we really tried to make concerted effort to work with our colleagues at the Department of Education, the Department of Labor, Health, and Human Services may have been extremely receptive because I think they've seen this issue. They've seen the same things, the developmental differences with young adults through their lens. The current Secretary of Education, John King is a former social studies teacher and he'll tell you that he had kids in his class who turned 18 and they act the exact same way when they were 17 as they did the day they turned 18. And so through those sectors, through to My Brother's Keeper initiative, we really tried to elevate this issue and make sure that we're learning as much as possible about what is and what is not working in this area.
So what do we know in general and most of — for most of you, you know this very, very well. I'm going to skim through it really fast. But with young adults, this 18 to 24 generally is how you define it, although in certain states where the age of adult criminal responsibility is 17, they would certainly be included in this. And there's not a hard stop at 24 just like there's not a hard stop at 18 although it is a better approximation. What we know with this age group is that young adults are more likely to be influenced by peer pressure. They're more likely to have trouble making rational decisions in an emotionally-charged situation. So you can have a conversation on one day and cognitively, they are at the same level as 35 or 55-year olds might be. But in an emotionally-charged situation, the ability to regulate emotions and respond in a way that we might find appropriate doesn't quite exist and that has to do with the brain development, that has to do with psychosocial maturation and the — what they call the psychosocial maturity gap that developments between knowing right from wrong and being able to act right from wrong in a given situation.
Part of what happens — in part because of this and in part because of other environmental factors, we know that young adults are overrepresented in a number of arrests. We know that they are disproportionately likely to be arrested for violent crimes. We know that they are more likely than any other age group to recidivate when they leave incarceration. And so what we really get down to from a policy perspective is if we begin to get it right with this age group, if we take a different approach, one that is sensitive to and responsive to their developmental needs, given where they are, we have an opportunity to reduce future victimization, to reduce the number of future crimes because this age group is overrepresented in arrests and overrepresented specifically with violent arrests. There's a real opportunity here to change behavior, recognizing that in addition to peer pressure, susceptibility to peer pressure and emotional regulation. This age group is also particularly malleable to positive intervention. But this is a time where significant brain development is happening, where there's a certain level of plasticity with the brain at this — during this age group where we can significantly improve and influence future behavior and in so doing reaps significant public safety benefits. And that's part of the reason that we've been so interested from a policy perspective in the justice-involved young adult area.
Now, the criminal justice sector is not the first sector to take behavioral science into account and to take this young adulthood period into account. Healthcare is beginning to recognize this. Now, they have recognized this for some time, the Affordable Care Act, specifically said, that young adults to remain on their parent's healthcare for an extended period of time because we recognize there are certain differences there. Marketing companies use it constantly to make sure that they are showing the right TV ads at the right time to the right people. And I would say that rental car companies have probably done it better than everybody else. If you have ever tried or if your child has ever tried to rent a car at 18 or 19, they have their driver's license, they're legally an adult, but they're not yet 25, good luck because they either won't rent it to you or if they do, it is with a significant surcharge. And the reason is because the data is so incredibly clear if you were under 25, particularly if you're male under 25, you are more likely than anybody else to get into a car accident. And there have been studies on this where they put 23-year olds in cars next to each other and say stop at every red light. And when they're by themselves, they stop at every red light and when they're with friends, they try to run that yellow and they get into a car wreck. And so the rental car companies have really looked at this and adjusted their policies accordingly.
Now, the concept isn't even completely new to the justice system. Colleges and universities have been doing this for decades. If not, centuries. With everything from public intoxications to college fights, justice is meted out differently on many college campuses than it is in many of our cities. And so even from a justice perspective, it has not been applied equally across to all communities. But certainly, there has been a recognition within certain communities that this period of time comes with a rational thinking and that the response to that should not be a lifelong consequence of criminal justice involvement but rather the opportunity to get ones life back on track and they'll still be successful.
So from a policy perspective, what's next? Really, there are — there are three primary broad buckets through which policy can move forward in this — in this area. One, which was a legislative proposal we saw at Connecticut and has been introduced in some other places, would be to extend the age of juvenile jurisdiction beyond 18. And so, what that would mean is, for example, if you were 19 or 20 in that specific state, you're case automatically went to the juvenile justice system as opposed to automatically going to the adult criminal justice system. That is similar to certain countries, European countries, where I think the age goes all the way up to 21 and 23 in some areas. We have not yet seen that here. Conceivably, that's one policy avenue.
A different policy avenue would be to implement significant reforms within the adult criminal justice system so that 18 and 24-year olds stay where they are structurally, but there are different opportunities available to them within the adult system and significant reforms within the adult system.
The third and perhaps the most ambitious policy step would be to create an entirely new young adult system. And so, you would then have a three-pronged justice system as opposed to a two-pronged system. You'd have a juvenile justice system, a young adult justice system, and then a adult criminal justice system. That is, I think, the most ambitious, and one that we have not yet seen real movement on, but nonetheless, it is a policy avenue.
Most reforms to date have really focused on the second option, and I think the environmental scan bares that out as well. Where you see young adults in the criminal justice system, but with either programmatic opportunities or policy differences that are applied specifically based on their age. Now, within that second category, significant reforms within the adult system, there are really opportunities for reform at every single stage of the criminal justice continuum. When we start thinking about young adults, we're not only talking about the back-end reentry aspect of the system, but we're also talking about arrest, we're talking about diversion opportunities. Many juvenile justice systems, for example, the — in New York at times, it could be up to 50% of kids who are arrested as juveniles for lower level offenses. Their cases do not need to proceed to formal court process, and conceivably we can move in that direction, and some folks already have begun to move in that direction. Long Beach for example, with their PATH program, looking at diversion opportunities for young adults. Sentencing, there could be different sentencing structures for young adults, using age as a mitigating factor. There could be probation reforms. San Francisco, among other places, have done significant reforms with young adults who are on probation, making sure that they have opportunities to earn their GED, attend to charter high school, someone- and in so doing, earn time off of probation.
For those who are at the back-end of the system, who are incarcerated, whether at the county jail or the state prison level, there, again, could be opportunities for reform. Modified housing — modified therapeutic housing communities for example or something along those lines that continue to encourage better decision-making and education attainment while someone is incarcerated. So, really rethinking what that incarceration looks like for this population, and arguably for everybody, but specifically for this population. And then finally having reentry programs or community-based programs that are tailored to the needs of these population, that recognized that with — the developmental differences come the, you know, honestly, relapse, not necessarily drug relapse, but behavior relapse, and recognizing that that's part of being a 20-year-old.
And then finally, some of the policy reforms that we've seen are things, like, confidentiality. New York has the youthful offender law, which is for 16 to 19-year-olds, because 16 is the age of criminal responsibility there, where they enjoy many of the same confidentiality provisions as — that a young person would in the juvenile justice system. And so, as we think about the 40,000 collateral consequences in this country that accompany a conviction, we recognize for young adults who have taken certain steps. They could have their record essentially sealed in such a way that that conviction does not haunt them from 20 until 80, but they are in fact allowed to live their remaining 60 years or 80 years getting jobs, going to school, getting student loans, buying a house, etcetera. So, the confidentiality is a significant piece there.
So — and I'll wrap up shortly with this, and then I think we open it up to Q&A.
But really getting specific about what the environmental scan means to the policy world and why it was so incredibly important, why we're so grateful to all of you for sharing what it is that you shared with us. So, we knew and we know from the data that there is an opportunity here to do something more effective. The data is really clear that the criminal justice system's response to young adults is not the best that it can be. I don't think that would shock anybody. When you look at recidivism rates that are higher than any other age group, it means we could be doing something different. When we look at the science related to brain development and psychosocial maturity, we recognize that there is an opportunity there from a developmental perspective to do something differently. And we knew that the field cared about this issue. Literally, every time we spoke, someone from our office would go around the country or would speak at a conference or we would speak at a launch event, somebody from the audience would come up and say, "Oh, do you know what we're doing in South Carolina? Do you know what we're doing in Kalamazoo?" And we would learn something new, right? And it really — and so, we knew that the field cared about this issue, we knew that things were happening, but we didn't know exactly what was happening or how widespread it was. And so for us, this environmental scan really helps us wrap our arms around this issue in a much more coordinated and a holistic way. It allows us to learn everything that you all had been doing largely on your own, saying, "We know this is an issue in our community or in our state or this is simply the right thing to do, and so we're going to start X program or we're going to pass Y policy." And so now, we have that in a way that allows us to learn from you. It allows us to take stock of what is out there. I hope it also facilitates some peer-to-peer learning where you may not have realized there was a young adult court in a different state, and now you have the contact information to reach out to somebody and learn from what each other is doing, but it also allows for future study to really learn what works best. I think we've got a good deal of information to know that what we've been doing as a system is not effective. What we don't have necessarily is the evidence to say this is the route forward. And beginning to take stock of what is out there will hopefully turn into future study which can allow us to develop more robust data and evidence to inform future policy work. So, there's really an opportunity here, and again, my thanks to all of you for participating in this environmental scanning.
CARRIE MULFORD: Great. This is Carrie again, and I'm going to — I'll just sort of lead our Q&A as that comes up. We — you all can actually speak. I think you raise your hand and then you'll be called on to speak, to do the Q&A. I'm hoping this can be somewhat informal, and I'll tell you that if you all don't ask questions, we're going to start asking questions of you, so that's how this is going to go.
I will say — I'll just say a couple of things while people are, you know, gearing up their questions until I get some kind of like signal that I should stop talking.
The — I started doing this kind of work around the — mostly around the juvenile justice system at the time in the late 1990s, and I have to say, at that point, I never thought I'd see a day when people are talking about raising the age of juvenile justice jurisdiction. It's even a remote possibility. I'll — was that — what's happening was lowering the age and lowering the age and lowering the age. And even though we might not have gone to the point where a lot — a lot of states are considering raising it into adulthood, past 18 at least, some of the states that were lowering it are moving it back up. So, that's I think a positive outcome of both things that have had happened in the field, but in science as well. So, that's been a nice — a nice refreshing change.
Do we have any questions yet? I am not seeing anybody raised their hands. And if you don't want to speak, you can go ahead and type your question into the Q&A panel, and we will take your questions that way if you feel more comfortable.
Okay. So, I can post — I can post some my questions for all of — for all of you. Some of the things that we're still thinking about and still trying to get our hands around, so we know that all these programs have developed and come to be, and we're not really sure if this — is it — is it the developmental science that has led to this? Is it — you know, we know that this program — these programs aren't working, so we got to do something different. We got to catch — you know, get people at an earlier stage of their lives when they still might be amenable to change even amongst the — you know, in the young adult period. So, what is it that, sort of, caused or led your — the changes in where you are that — to happen. I've — we're not really sure about that. So, that's one of the things that we're thinking about, and you are welcome to actually type answers into the Q&A and we can read them or you can raise your hand if you have answers to any of the questions that I'm going to raise.
And related to that is the — is the messaging of the science, is that important? Is there something that we could do to make the science more digestible around this issue, in a ways that more other jurisdictions might use it? That would — that is something that we would love to know about. [INDISTINCT] leave off that one.
MARY JO GIOVACCHINI: I don't know if anybody is having hard time finding where they raise their hand at, but if you look at the Q&A…
CARRIE MULFORD: I see someone.
MARY JO GIOVACCHINI: And — are you seeing it?
CARRIE MULFORD: I see your hands raised.
BRENT COHEN: Yeah.
MARINA MENDOZA: [INDISTINCT]
BRENT COHEN: Just keep it — yeah.
MARY JO GIOVACCHINI: But I don't know how to make her [INDISTINCT]
MARY JO GIOVACCHINI: Okay. I see — as well on my screen. Okay. [INDISTINCT] let me see.
SHAKIVA PIERRE: Hello?
MARINA MENDOZA: There you go.
SHAKIVA PIERRE: Oh, hi. Sorry.
MARINA MENDOZA: Great. We're happy to have you on.
SHAKIVA PIERRE: Yes, thank you. I'm calling from the Kings County District Attorney's office in Brooklyn, New York.
CARRIE MULFORD: Can you identify your name — yourself by name to the other people?
SHAKIVA PIERRE: Sure. Shakiva Pierre.
CARRIE MULFORD: Great. Thank you.
SHAKIVA PIERRE: With the Brooklyn Young Adult Justice Initiative. We are a prosecution-led project. I wanted to give a quick shout to Brent Cohen who came to our opening ceremony back in May when we open our court this year. So just to answer your first question, I think you mentioned — or you asked why — like, kind of what was the motivation to get behind this, and as everyone on the call knows, New York, in addition to North Carolina, we're the only two States that treat a 16-year-olds as criminals, adult criminals. So our DA, Ken Thompson, was very passionate about getting involved or making a move because quite frankly the legislation has been really slow on it, to raise the age, so he kind of wanted to make a move or start an initiative that would hopefully encourage the legislation to move and raise the age. So we applied for a grant, got it through the Bureau of Justice Assistance, you know, OJP. And so with that, we created the young adult justice initiative, which includes a young adult court for every young person in Brooklyn ages 16 to 24, charged with a misdemeanor. In our court, we have a specialized prosecution unit with a bureau chief and an assigned judge. We have a stakeholder partnership. We get together once a month. In fact, they're meeting today but obviously I wanted to be on this call. But we meet — we meet monthly with the stakeholders, that include the judge, our prosecution unit, and the Defense Bar, so Brooklyn Defender Services and Legal Aid. So, it's been a great collaborative effort so far, and we've been up since March 2016. We see about 115 cases a day. And again, our goal of the court is really to just off-ramp these young people into a life of incarceration, unfortunately, it becomes like a cycle, and put them into — connect them to social services, as well diversion programs, but again, the matter is very urgent in New York, just because we're, like, one of two states that are still treating, you know, kids like adults.
CARRIE MULFORD: Okay. Great. Thank…
SHAKIVA PIERRE: I hope that answered the question.
CARRIE MULFORD: That's great. Thank you so much. That's really helpful. And yeah, that's something I probably should have. . . thought of. That when you — when you can't — when you're not in a place where the board of legislation is perhaps behind what, you know, you know and think is possible to accomplish that you can do it in other ways. And that's a great — a great thought. Thank you.
Someone else in the — in the question box has raised an issue that a challenge that they — it's Laura Furr. The challenge they face on messaging brain development research is that much of the adolescent brain development research is communicated in messages — message related to comparing juvenile brain research to young adult research. And that's a very — a very good point. And something that — you know, these are the kinds — this kind of question I'm asking you is so that when we go to — go to our next step, that we can talk to the researchers, and we can think about how to message the research in the future. So, I don't really specifically — it's not like I have an answer for this. It's not really a question. It's a challenge that we all have to work on, but that's definitely true. Brent seems to have a little something he wants to say. Go ahead.
BRENT COHEN: Thanks. And I would — I would just add, I think among similar lines, we sometimes see young adults contrasted with older adults in a way that can — I think — I think we need to — we need to very conscious about how we describe young adults, both in relation to juvenile [INDISTINCT] and in relation to adults, because many of the reforms that may be appropriate for young adults would be also be appropriate for older adults. And it isn't a sense of young adults are savable and therefore we should do something different, and if you're over 25, you are not savable. I think this is a conversation, a small conversation that is part of a larger criminal justice reform conversation, really making sure that we have a justice system that most effectively responds to criminal behavior in a way that deters it in the future, and allows for justice to be served, certainly for whoever that victim of that crime is and also sets up that individual who is on the wrong side of the law to avoid future contact with the justice system. And so I think — I think that's a really good point, both in terms of the comparison to the juvenile side and also the comparison on the adult side, making sure that we're talking about young adults in a — in a way that is distinct and appropriate but not in a way that — is at the expense of any other population.
CARRIE MULFORD: Yeah, and that — the question that was raised in that — or the issue that was raised is not unique to the brain development research. I think that's also true about decision-making, a risk-taking research in this area. I know, specifically, the MacArthur Foundation has done some research on adolescent decision-making and compared it to young adult decision-making. And a lot of the things they talk about is not the cognitive part but the risk — the — their ability to think through those different risks and make a mature decision. And that does the same — that research falls into the same box as what you said about the brain development research.
I see something else coming up. Okay. So, another question is — or a comment, I'm not sure. We'll see when we get — when I get — read it. In Illinois, they found that strong and growing interest in approving interventions and outcomes with young adults. That's good — Oh, oops. It just went away. Hold on one second. Much of this momentum has grown out of the juvenile justice reform work of the last decade, but there are new partners at the table, too. That's great. That's excellent. So, it's more of a comment, not a question.
BRENT COHEN: And then I think it's followed by — among the most pressing issues for us is offering clear models of what works for young adults. The ongoing research on this will be very, very helpful.
CARRIE MULFORD: That's what — yeah, I mean, that sort of what drove us to start this event. I probably — -I could've made that clear, that the scan is, at least in our way of thinking, a first step to determining where we can start doing some evaluation research and what, you know, what programs or models might be amendable to doing some kind of evaluation research and thinking about what that research might look like. So we definitely appreciate that comment. Couldn't agree more.
I can throw one more question for you all. So we've been thinking a lot about outcomes and what outcomes we want to see. So, whenever we ask about the success of a program or a model, the first question that comes to my mind after what, you know, what you're actually doing is, what do you want to see happen? Like, what — how will you know if you are successful? So if anyone has any thoughts about that — I mean, I think the sort of obvious, simple answer, but a lot of people will say it's recidivism but that's a very complicated — actually, complicated answer. It sounds simple but it's quite complicated. So anyone has any thoughts about that? If they're measuring anything, if they're doing any — even just, you know, some — sort of more simple pre-post mess — outcome measures with their populations, we'd love to hear about that.
MARINA MENDOZA: Oh.
CARRIE MULFORD: We have a hand up. Okay.
PARTICIPANT 2: [INDISTINCT] from Roca.
CARRIE MULFORD: Thank you.
PARTICIPANT 2: Can you hear me?
CARRIE MULFORD: Go ahead.
PARTICIPANT 2: Oh, great. Yeah, so our program, we operate in Massachusetts, and the name of the program is Roca, and you probably saw it the scan. In terms of outcome, so the long-term outcomes that we're looking at are actually very defined and very specific. We're looking at long-term incarceration and employment. And I think it's important to remember in this context that you can't really stay out of harm's way if you are not working as an adult. So I think it's important to kind of look at it together, and this is — this is what we're looking at. And we also have a lot of result. The framework is a little bit more complicated than that, but if you want to try and understand me for having the impact until we look at the long-term outcomes, we measure progress in certain — in a lot of areas, but if we're talking specifically on recidivism, so we're looking at arrests and we're looking about compliance with conditions on probation.
CARRIE MULFORD: That's great. Oh, provision of — okay. I mean, it's great to, you know, sort of know in the end what you want to get to. And it seems so obvious, right? That you would know that, but that is not the always case. If you ask people, they sometimes don't know what the — what they want in terms of what would demonstrate success for them. So you can see it clear — definitely have a clear idea of that. I mean, the steps to get there may be varied but at least in terms of your long-terms outcomes, you have a clear goal. [INDISTINCT]
BRENT COHEN: So I would just add as a quick follow on to the comment about employment, not specially related to the environmental scan but as an FYI, the Department of Labor recently — semi-recently announced $30,000,000 that were awarded specifically for organizations to focus on increasing employment prospects for young adults who have been involved in the justice system, both juvenile and criminal justice system. And It's the first time to my knowledge that they've released the awards specifically to focus on the young adult population, 18 to 24, and that concluded past criminal justice involvement. In the past, they've had a broader age range, and one that focused on juvenile justice involvement exclusively. So I think that also speaks to the momentum in the field and the work that you all have been doing in that front.
CARRIE MULFORD: Okay. There are nobody else raising their hand or typing in anything? Okay. And, you know, we will definitely look forward to being in touch with many of you in the future as we move forward with this work, because it's certainly far from — this is definitely intermediate stuff for us, not the long-term outcome that we're striving for ultimately. But we thank you very much again for your participation in both the scan and on this Webinar.
MARY JO GIOVACCHINI: And before we leave, we will be sending out a link to this audio, as well as the slides, again, within about eight days.
CARRIE MULFORD: Okay.
MARINA MENDOZA: Okay.
MARINA MENDOZA: Thank you.
CARRIE MULFORD: Great. Thank you much.
CARRIE MULFORD: Have a good afternoon.
Date Created: October 13, 2016