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Best Implementation Practices: Disseminating New Assessment Technologies in a Juvenile Justice Agency

NCJ Number
Crime & Delinquency Volume: 52 Issue: 1 Dated: January 2006 Pages: 135-158
Douglas Young; Karl Moline; Jill Farrell; David Bierie
Date Published
January 2006
24 pages
Following a review of literature relevant to juvenile justice practices, this article describes the research-based strategies employed over the past several years by the Maryland Department of Juvenile Justice.
Much has been written in recent years about advances in assessment technologies designed to aid decisionmaking in the juvenile justice system. Adoption and implementation of this latest generation of actuarial tools, however, have lagged behind their development. Assessment in juvenile justice exemplifies the "science-practice gap" that has spurred a growing national interest in technology transfer. This article describes and assesses efforts in one jurisdiction to close the assessment technology gap through a progressive series of research-based strategies introducing field supervisors and staff to best practices concepts and tools while gauging their capacity for assimilating change, participative decisionmaking and peer training, and integration of the technology with existing, related practices. Researchers' use of various data-driven monitoring reports for enhancing staff accountability and implementation fidelity, addressing resistance to the use of dynamic need factors in assessment protocols, and ongoing program and policy development and are also presented and discussed. Tables and references (Published Abstract)