Program Evaluation - SPEP

Through a research partnership with Vanderbilt University's noted researcher Dr. Mark Lipsey and criminologist James C. (Buddy) Howell (former OJJDP research director), the Division of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention created a Standardized Program Evaluation Protocol (SPEP) to evaluate the effectiveness of the programs now funded through counties and JCPCs.

This instrument will be used by JCPCs and by staff in the juvenile justice system to assess essential characteristics of effective programming. Later phases of the project will determine intervention methods and provide training to determine cost-effective improvements to program operation. Dr. Lipsey and his colleagues constructed a database and meta-analysis of evaluation findings for intervention programs across the country that prevent or reduce delinquency. This analysis showed that programs effective in reducing recidivism in youth offenders exhibited the following characteristics:

  • Provided certain services. Used juvenile justice systems that play a distinct role.
  • Delivered a sufficient amount of service.
  • Delivered services to the most appropriate juvenile sub-population.

Portions of this material are copyrighted by the Division of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and the Center for Evaluation Research and Methodology, Vanderbilt University. Approval to use any of the material in this presentation for purposes other than JJ-related activity must be obtained from the author.

SPEP Fundamentals Training (video): presented by Dr. Buddy Howell in Raleigh on 3/30/2015