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User's Guide to Juvenile Forecaster

NCJ Number
Jeffrey A. Butts
Date Published
July 2002
21 pages
This document highlights Juvenile Forecaster, a website which is designed for the use of juvenile justice professionals to anticipate the size of future detention and corrections populations.
Juvenile Forecaster is best used as part of a more detailed forecasting process. It can provide quick, accessible projections of juvenile custody populations and facilitate the sharing of projection results among members of State and local agency networks. Juvenile Forecaster includes two components: Population Modeler and CaseFlow Simulator. The Population Modeler allows users to enter their own data about juvenile corrections populations and lengths of stay to create projections of future populations for multiple groups of offenders. The CaseFlow Simulator is a way of simulating the effect that aggregate changes in juvenile justice processing may have on the number of juveniles entering various programs. The first step in using Juvenile Forecaster is to become familiar with the navigation and data-entry requirements of the Population Modeler. Users must decide how far into the future a population will be projected; select the smallest most effective set of offender groups; and identify and assemble the data elements required. The five data elements required are the starting population, the current rate of youth admissions, the increase or decrease of admission rate, the average length of stay, and the extent the average length of stay is expected to change in the future. With CaseFlow Simulator, users can examine the effect changes in juvenile justice case processing could have on the number of youth that enter out-of-home placement, probation, or other programs. Users can create their own case processing patterns based upon State or local data. The case processing measures used in CaseFlow Simulator are based upon the generic caseflow model used in the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s Juvenile Court Statistic series. The percentages reported for out-of-home placement in CaseFlow Simulator include non-secure and secure facilities.