Step One: Define the Problem

In the juvenile justice field, programs and policies are developed to address the prevention or reduction of delinquent behavior. This tutorial presents program evaluation concepts through the use of a fictional city called Devonville.
Devonville is a mid-sized, semi-urban metropolitan area with a population of approximately 700,000 people. The city is divided into quadrants (NW, NE, SW, and SE). Citizens in Devonville, specifically in the NW quadrant, have been complaining about juvenile crime during the day. They see more kids hanging out in and around their neighborhoods and say that they are using their idle time to commit crime.

Within the NW area, there is a city-funded community center that has existed for three years which primarily serves as an after school hang-out for teenagers. While the center holds numerous activities for youth, it has never had a formalized program designed to prevent or reduce juvenile delinquency. Darcy Austen, the Program Manager of the Center, recently received this letter:

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