This report presents findings from a comparative analysis of incarceration status of youth who did versus those who did not participate in the Safe and Successful Youth Initiative.
This report presents findings from a series of studies to evaluate the Safe and Successful Youth Initiative (SSYI) and address serious youth violence, specifically that which involves the use of guns, in Massachusetts. The researchers selected 11 cities for SSYI funding, beginning in 2011, before starting the program which extended through 2013. The participating Massachusetts cities were: Boston, Brockton, Chelsea, Fall River, Holyoke, New Bedford, Lowell, Springfield, and Worcester. The three research questions that the study focused on were structured to test the hypothesis that SSYI involvement results in less serious offending, which should be reflected in fewer commitments to jail or prison in the two-year period following the beginning of the program. The three research questions were: if placement on the SSYI list, regardless of services received, serves as a protective factor against future incarceration; if receipt of SSYI services serves as a protective factor against future incarceration; and if active engagement in SSYI services function as a protective factor against future incarceration. The results provided the following answers to those questions: youth who were on the SSYI list but did not receive any services were twice as likely to be incarcerated than youth in the comparison group who were not on the SSYI list and shared the same risk characteristics; youth in the comparison group were 37 percent more likely to be incarcerated than SSYI youth who received services; and youth in the comparison group were 42 percent more likely to be incarcerated than youth who were actively engaged in SSYI services.
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