Data-Informed Performance Management for PA’s Juvenile Justice System

Organization: 
NorthEast Treatment Centers Juvenile Justice Services Unit
City: 
Philadelphia
State: 
Pennsylvania
Organization Overview: 

In the state of Pennsylvania there is currently no comprehensive city or statewide juvenile justice performance management system in place to track service provider outcomes, judicial performance, or overall outcomes for youth. This makes monitoring and setting benchmarks for juvenile justice system stakeholders (all of whom receive public dollars to service court-involved youth) difficult, if not impossible.

NorthEast Treatment Centers (NET) is a non-profit provider that provides community-based supervision services to youth in the juvenile justice system. The agency’s Juvenile Justice Services (JJS) Unit uses a balanced and restorative justice approach, offering a variety of innovative interventions that acknowledge the need for community safety and victim restitution, while also allowing young people to remain, grow, and develop in their home environments while under court supervision, avoiding many of the negative consequences typically associated with holding youth in secure detention facilities. 

Over the course of the past year, agency management has worked to implement data-informed performance management practices across its entire JJS unit, creating and piloting numerous proprietary databases to track significant referral, demographic, compliance, courtroom, staffing, and outcome trends to help better inform services and improve outcomes for system-involved youth. In fiscal year 2018 (July-June), the unit is rolling out a full STAT program, with quarterly data reviews of all agency and staff performance indicators, as well as reports compiled for and presented to all significant juvenile justice system stakeholders. 

Project Name: 
Data-Informed Performance Management for PA’s Juvenile Justice System
Project Type: 
Data Analysis
Project Overview: 

For a Fels Lab opportunity, interested students could work with the agency as data analysts and management consultants, helping to further implement data-informed management processes, as well spot any significant juvenile justice trends that could be of use for larger systemic policy reform. This is a very fluid opportunity to make a real-life impact through the use of data, and agency management is willing to support student inquiries into any particular areas of interest, which could include (but certainly not be limited to) disproportionate minority contact, implicit bias, detention alternatives, gender responsive programming, efficacy of risk assessment tools, database development, management consulting, behavioral health service integration, statistical analysis, and many others. It should be noted that involvement with this project will not simply be an “academic” exercise, as all reports and innovations produced will be aimed at directly influencing both agency practice as well as the larger juvenile justice system in Philadelphia. 

Spots Available: 
1-3
Eligibility: 
Executive; Full-Time
To Apply: 

To apply for this project, please contact Cassie Tomkins at ctomkins@upenn.edu.

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Contact Information

Fels Institute of Government
University of Pennsylvania
3814 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Phone: (215) 898-2600
Fax: (215) 746-2829

felsinstitute@sas.upenn.edu