JRSA Presentation:  Analysis of Data from the Iowa Juvenile Courts

 

Presentation

10/01/2003

Introductory Statement

 

The Iowa Division of Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning (the Iowa SAC) is involved in a number of different activities including research, evaluation, technical assistance, and consultation to assist the Iowa juvenile court and its various services.  Some of the current projects include: (1) the development and creation of a computerized risk/needs assessment for juvenile court intake to be used across the state, (2) the analysis and reporting of delinquency data through the Justice Data Warehouse (developed and implemented by the Iowa SAC), (3) the oversight of Iowa’s disproportionate minority confinement (DMC) effort, and (4) the tracking of a number of delinquency services to measure results. 

 

In the mid 1990’s four new community-based services were implemented in the state --

tracking & monitoring, day treatment, life skills, and school-based services.  The State’s Chief Juvenile Court Officers elicited CJJP’s assistance to track these services in order to provide results regarding program completion, re-referral, and out-of-home placements. 

 

Purpose

 

The purpose of the presentation is to discuss the factors that led to the collection of data, the manner in which the results/findings are used by the state, and the use of crime, data and program performance measurement challenges amid new fiscal realities.

 

This effort ties in with the juvenile court’s desire to determine effective strategies in juvenile justice related issues.

 

The Programs

 

The state of Iowa has 99 counties, organized into eight judicial districts.  Each of these districts has a Chief Juvenile Court Officer who oversees the juvenile court officers and juvenile court services.  In the mid-1990’s the Iowa legislature appropriated money for four new community-based delinquency services (Tracking and Monitoring, Day Treatment, Life Skills, and School-Based Services).  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

            Tracking and Monitoring Services – are activities undertaken to provide intensive one-to-one guidance and monitoring of a child (under 18 years of age) with the goal of maintaining client accountability and establishing positive behavior patterns for a client in a non-residential, community-based setting.  These services are designed to provide a continuum of individualized interventions to adolescents and their families 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and are composed of two primary service components.  The primary service components include:

 

 

 

Community-Based Day Treatment Services – are activities intended to provide daily treatment and support services to youth adjudicated as delinquent or evaluated by a juvenile court officer to be at risk of such adjudication.  These youth experience problems that place them at risk of group care or state institutional placement.  Supervised community treatment services were developed by the Iowa Department of Human Services, in collaboration with Chief Juvenile Court Officers, as a result of funds appropriated to the Department for these purposes.

 

 

 

Life Skills Development Services – are intended to provide training in life and job-seeking skills, as well as job training experiences, to adjudicated delinquent youth or youth who are evaluated by a juvenile court officer to be at risk of such adjudication.  These youth receive specific training to develop and enhance their interpersonal skills.

 

Examples of allowable skill development training includes, but is not limited to, interpersonal relationships, self-esteem, anger-management, problem-solving, stress reduction, accountability and accepting responsibility, victim empathy, job skills and experiences.  Life Skills development instruction is provided in community-based settings to prevent placement in more restrictive settings or assist youth in returning to their communities from out-of-home placement.

 

            School-Based Supervision Services – provides on-site services to middle and high school students experiencing truancy or other behavior problems at home, at school, or in the community.  These programs are designed to assist with behavior and classroom management, conflict resolution, school attendance and violence prevention.  It is the aim of these services to identify and address problems before they escalate and typically involve the family in addressing the student’s problems.  These programs reflect an important partnership among DHS, juvenile court services, and the local schools.

 

These services basically led to the development of school liaisons who were considered school employees but paid jointly by the JCS and the school/community.

 

Data Collection/Methodology

 

            Tracking & Monitoring, Day Treatment, and Life Skills

 

In the late 1990s the court desired information regarding the effectiveness of the services – as such they began with the first three services (tracking and monitoring, day treatment, life skills) because it was assumed that the services were somewhat similar and more common.  The information desired was very basic – client name, JCO name, program type, status of completion (successful / unsuccessful), re-referral to juvenile court (defined as the filing of a police complaint), and out-of-home placement.   In the beginning we agreed to capture information from closed cases in a given month (e.g., January) then six month later we captured the outcome data and compiled the information into one-page fact sheets (description of program, funding/allocation amounts, and highlights of findings).  These immediately became popular to describe the program and when courting funding.  So a decision was made to expand the capture to two month out of the year (Jan and July) and then it was decided to capture information monthly switching from closed case to new admissions to better identify the use of the service.  The outcome information was to come from the JCO field staff so it was considered to be time intensive and as such we decided to take snap shot pictures a few times a year instead of capturing outcome information on every new admission.  The hope is that through a new data justice warehouse that we can begin to use that to track these individuals and take the burden off of the field staff and be able to track more and be more timely.


 

 

Background Data

 

Tracking & Monitoring, Day Treatment, & Life Skills

 by Sex

 

Calendar Year 2002

 

Student Characteristics

2000 Iowa Census

 (Ages 0-17)

Tracking &

Monitoring

Day Treatment

Life Skills

SEX

%

%

%

%

Male

51.3

75.4

75.4

63.0

Female

48.7

24.6

24.6

23.7

N

733,638

2,934

268

670

 

 

 

 

 

RACE

%

%

%

%

Caucasian

90.8

84.7

75.4

83.8

African-American

3.0

9.7

16.0

11.5

Hispanic*

4.5

2.9

3.4

3.4

Native American

0.4

0.3

0.4

0.1

Asian/Pacific Islander

1.4

1.0

1.1

0.1

Mixed/Other

4.2

1.4

3.7

0.7

N

733,638

2,928

268

671

*Please note that the Hispanic/Latino category is an ethnic category, and all of the youth numbered in this category by the Census Bureau are counted above in the other six racial categories.  In addition, there were 35 individuals who received a combination of services not included in the above data.

 

 

 


Outcome Data

 

The Chief Juvenile Court Officers decided to capture follow-up data regarding, program completion status (successful or unsuccessful), recidivism (re-referral to juvenile court on a new complaint) and out-of-home placement.  Because the follow-up data is currently collected from the juvenile court officers, meaning that this is a time consuming process, a decision was made to limit the follow-up from tracking everyone who is admitted to one of these services to tracking quarterly cohorts.  So for the Months of January, April, July, October, I send the list of new admits for the previous year during January and the other months to the juvenile court offices and then the officers fill-in whether the juvenile has successfully completed the program, been re-referred to juvenile court, or been placed out of the home.  We are currently working on an automated way of doing this so that we can take the strain of the juvenile court officers as well as increase the number of cases that we track to everyone being admitted to one of the services.  We have just recently developed a justice data warehouse that captures court information and once cleaned and the data quality checked off on we will put it to use.

 

Delinquency Services by Program Completion Status

 

Program Type

Successful

Unsuccessful

 

n

%

n

%

Tracking & Monitoring

768

79.7

196

20.3

Day Treatment

116

80.6

28

19.4

Life Skills

176

97.8

4

2.2

Total

1060

82.3

228

17.7

 

Delinquency Services by Recidivism

 

Program Type

Recidivism

No Recidivism

 

n

%

n

%

Tracking & Monitoring

224

23.3

740

77.1

Day Treatment

36

25.0

108

75.0

Life Skills

20

11.1

160

88.9

Total

280

21.7

1,008

78.3

 

Delinquency Services by Out-of-Home Placement

 

Program Type

Out-of-Home Placement

No Out-of-Home Placement

 

n

%

n

%

Tracking & Monitoring

152

15.8

812

84.2

Day Treatment

20

13.9

124

86.1

Life Skills

12

6.7

168

93.3

Total

184

14.3

1,104

85.7

 

 

 

 

            School-Based Supervision Services

 

The planning and implementation for the collection of school liaison data took a little longer, part of the problems was agreeing on the definition of terms such as a contact and collection period and so on.  The other reason was that school districts had different definitions of terms and ways of capturing or not capturing information.  For example, attendance and truancy -- After some development and trial runs it was decided to define a contact as a meaningful contact in which the liaison and student discussed a referral reason or focus of intervention (attendance issues, truancy issues, disciplinary behavioral issues, law violations, GPA/academic issues, tardiness issues, mental health issues).  At first the chiefs asked the liaisons to capture background information from all students from whom they had one of these meaningful contacts and then capture pre and post performance information on those students having 5 or more meaningful contact within a 60-day period.  The performance items captured were attendance, truancy, tardies, suspensions, law violations, GPA.    The information was captured pre- and post- liaison involvement.  

Background Data

 

School Liaisons Sex and Race of Students

Student Characteristics

2000 Iowa Census

 (Ages 0-17)

2000-2001

School Year

2001-2002

School Year

SEX

N

%

N

%

N

%

Male

376,710

51.3

2,634

67.1

3,895

66.7

Female

356,928

48.7

1,292

32.9

1,942

33.3

Unknown

--

--

--

--

2

0.0

Total

733638

100.0

3,926

100.0

5,840

100.0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RACE

 

 

 

 

 

 

Caucasian

666,498

90.8

3,415

87.0

5,152

88.2

African-American

22,040

3.0

216

5.5

318

5.4

Hispanic*

32,727

4.5

115

2.9

207

3.5

Native American

3,148

0.4

15

0.4

21

0.4

Asian/Pacific Islander

10,566

1.4

35

0.9

25

0.4

Mixed/Other

31,386

4.2

50

1.3

104

1.8

Unknown

--

--

80

2.0

12

0.2

Total*

733,638

100.0

3,846

100.0

5,827

100.0

*Please note that the Hispanic/Latino category is an ethnic category, and all of the youth numbered in this category by the Census Bureau are counted above in the other six racial categories. 

 

 

 

 

However, the representation for youth of color for community based services including, school liaison services, is not as high for some of the upper end services  such as residential group care (16 percent),  detention centers (30 percent), the boys state training school (26 percent), the girls juvenile home (30 percent), and residential group care (16 percent).

 

Grade Level

 

Grade Level

2000-2001

School Year

2001-2002

School Year

 

N

%

N

%

Elementary (grades 1-5)

126

3.2

327

5.6

 

 

 

 

 

Middle School (grades 6-8)

1,564

39.8

2,266

38.8

 

 

 

 

 

High School (grades 9-12)

2,159

55.0

3,243

55.5

 

 

 

 

 

Unknown

77

2.0

4

0.1

 

 

 

 

 

State Total

3,849

100.0

5,840

100.0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outcomes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

School-Based Supervision Services

Pre- & Post- Measures

 

 

Attendance

Truancy

Tardiness

Suspensions

Law Violations

GPA

 

%

%

%

%

%

%

 

00-01

01-02

00-01

01-02

00-01

01-02

00-01

01-02

00-01

01-02

00-01

01-02

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Worsened

48.1

40.1

21.9

40.1

38.1

27.7

24.5

15.1

28.7

7.6

54.4

53.1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stayed the

Same

12.4

13.1

61.2

13.1

33.2

35.7

57.7

63.7

62.9

67.3

8.2

9.8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Improved

39.5

46.7

16.9

46.7

28.7

36.6

17.7

21.2

8.4

25.2

37.4

37.1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

N

3,875

4,672

3,762

4,673

3,831

4,612

3,926

4,613

3,761

4,661

3,356

3,844

Pre Mean

5.6

5.2

1.2

1.2

3.6

3.2

1.1

0.9

0.4

0.4

2.6

2.0

Post Mean

5.1

5.0

1.2

1.1

3.4

3.1

1.0

0.8

0.2

0.2

2.5

2.0


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conclusions

 

 

The data regarding these four services began being collected to – (some of dicks words) --- although the data has only been captured for a relatively short time it is already being seen by juvenile court personnel as meaningful and useful.  These data are being used by the juvenile court to:

 

 

 

 

 

Recommendations and next steps