Cochrane Collaboration College for Policy
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Pew Center on the States Juvenile Justice Supervision Costs Study



On behalf of the Pew Center on the States, researchers at The Cochrane Collaboration College for Policy at George Mason University are conducting a study of state-level spending on juvenile justice for fiscal year 2011. The study will capture spending on residential facilities housing young people under age 21 charged or adjudicated for an offense and Juvenile probation supervision in the community under formal court-order.

About the Study

The Pew Center on the States, in collaboration with George Mason University’s Cochrane Collaboration College for Policy (CCCP at GMU), is unveiling a new project to document the total costs to states and the District of Columbia for providing juvenile justice supervision. The CCCP team has already documented the actual number of supervised youth, in facilities or on probation. Using our census data of juveniles in the court system and the systematic breakdown of state-by-state budgets, we will create a total expenditure report for juvenile supervision at the state level.

“Merging CCCP’s decades of juvenile supervision data with the PEW Center on the States’ interest in state spending offer the perfect opportunity to provide decision makers with a complete picture of the public costs for youth supervision,” CCCP research associate Ann Gallagher said.

The cost to states for the supervision of juvenile’s in the justice system will provide policymakers, stakeholders and members of the juvenile justice community with current, authoritative figures. Increasing the difficulty of teasing comprehensive figures from state budgets are the complicated and variable structures of supervisory agencies. Provided by an extensive network of state, regional and local offices, juvenile supervision can be shared in any number of ways; cross-agency, through volunteer networks, or by interstate arrangements for holding young people to name just a few.

CCCP ’s new survey mechanism to capture complete state spending on juveniles in the state justice system care will address the unique characteristics of each state. Elements of flexibility within the survey instrument will account for state variation.

“Public spending decisions can be made with more awareness and understanding of real costs for important projects.” Gallagher said.

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