Vanderbilt SPEP Work
There are several research projects underway utilizing the SPEP™ as a means of translating research into practice for the purpose of supporting broad juvenile justice system level improvements.
Juvenile Justice Reform and Reinvestment Initiative (JJRRI)
The Juvenile Justice Reform and Reinvestment Initiative was launched by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) in collaboration with the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform at Georgetown University and the Peabody Research Institute at Vanderbilt University. This initiative aims to help juvenile justice jurisdictions achieve the high level of accountability that is necessary to operate in an evidence-based and cost effective manner while building on the jurisdiction’s current service delivery model. t is expected that participating sites will see lower recidivism rates and improved cost effectiveness due to the greater effectiveness of their juvenile justice services. There are two main elements of the JJRRI: (1) implementation of the SPEP™ with its implications for program and system improvement, and (2) an evaluation and cost-benefit analysis of this initiative. The cost-benefit analysis portion of this project is being conducted by The Urban Institute in Washington, D.C. A competitive selection process was used to select the participating sites from those that applied. This project began in 2012 and is ongoing. The participating sites are:
For more information, please visit our reform partner’s (the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform and Georgetown University) project website:
Arizona SPEP Expansion Project
Queensland, Australia SPEP Implementation
Tennessee Department of Children’s Services
Identification of Evidence-based DCS Service Providers. Public Chapter 585, enacted by the Tennessee General Assembly restricts the majority of the Department of Children’s Services (DCS) expenditures of state funds on programs for the prevention or treatment of delinquent juveniles to those programs proven effective by scientific evidence. With the assistance of the Peabody Research Institute at Vanderbilt University, DCS is using the SPEP™ scheme to review its juvenile justice programs for their consistency with research evidence and undertaking program improvement plans based on the results. This project began in 2009 and is ongoing.
Pennsylvania Center for Crime and Delinquency/Penn State EpisCenter Project
Georgia SPEP Implementation Project
North Carolina Statewide Project
North Carolina statewide comprehensive strategy for evidence-based improvements using the SPEP™. In this project the North Carolina Division of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (DJJDP) is expanding and further customizing application of the SPEP ™ to the needs and resources of DJJDP. Its goal is greater recidivism reductions, particularly for high risk youth. This project is a collaboration between the Comprehensive Strategy Group and the Peabody Research Institute at Vanderbilt University. It began in 2012 and is ongoing.
Juvenile Justice System Improvement Project (JJSIP)
The Juvenile Justice System Improvement Project is a collaboration between the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform at Georgetown University, the Peabody Research Institute at Vanderbilt University, and the Comprehensive Strategy Group. This project aims to improve the juvenile justice systems in the selected states through the use of “research-based decision-making, better targeting of risk and needs in service provision, improved risk reduction, program improvement though the implementation of evidence-based practices, and more cost-effective use of scarce resources”. Four states were selected to participate. In the beginning of the project, one jurisdiction in each state was chosen to serve as a demonstration site, after which the project is to be expanded statewide. This project ran from 2011-2013. The participating states for this project were:
For more information, please visit Georgetown’s JJSIP website: