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Evaluation of Radius: A Program for Justice-Involved Girls in the Twin Cities

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 2015
74 pages
This report presents the findings and methodology of an evaluation of "Radius," a Volunteers of America-Minnesota program that is one of the Nation's first gender-responsive programs for girls in the juvenile justice system.
The program has operated continuously since 2000, serving approximately 90 girls (ages 12-18) annually in three regions of Hennepin County, MN. The program combines multiple best-practice approaches for justice-involved girls. It consists of four main components: weekly girls groups, individual counseling and case management, restorative-justice talking circles, and resource referrals. Radius clients and their family members identified several ways in which the program positively affected their relationships and communication skills. The social skills learned in the program had helped develop friendships with other girls in their group. Many of the girls noted they had learned how to identify and break off relationships with people who were negative influences in their lives. Girls and their family members mentioned that the program had assisted in improving their communication skills in interactions with family members. Also mentioned were improvement in self-control and a focus on long-term goal-setting within a framework of preparatory education and vocational skills. Those who successfully completed the program were significantly less likely to have an out-of-home placement; and compared to other girls participating in community-based programs in the Hennepin County criminal justice system, Radius client were not significantly more or less likely to have a reoffense in the year following their program start date. The evaluation methodology consisted of key informant interviews with program clients and their family members, interviews with key Radius and county probation staff, client pre- and post-program surveys, and comparison analysis using data from the Hennepin County Human Services, Public Health Department, and corrections agencies. 25 figures

Date Published: December 1, 2015