"Positive Youth Justice Initiative Phase I Implementation Evaluation"

Jan 01, 2016
  • Description

Sierra Health Foundation launched the Positive Youth Justice Initiative (PYJI) in 2012 with the goal of supporting California counties to change the way they approach and work with justice-involved youth. Through an integrated model that invests in youth, treats trauma, provides wraparound service delivery, and strengthens local infrastructure, PYJI seeks to reduce barriers to crossover youths' successful transition to adulthood, including structural biases that exacerbate the over-representation of youth of color in the juvenile justice system. The two-year external evaluation of the implementation of systems change reforms in Phase I of PYJI— which included interviews, focus groups, and surveys with staff, youth, and caregivers in participating counties—explored the successes and challenges of the four counties (Alameda, San Diego, San Joaquin, and Solano) who have been implementing this far-reaching and ambitious initiative. This brief summarizes the key areas of progress and areas of challenge in PYJI implementation; facilitators of and hurdles to successful implementation; notable impacts of PYJI thus far; and areas for consideration as counties move forward in their efforts to achieve reforms that are both impactful and sustainable.