Evaluation of the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice’s Regional Service Coordination (RSC) model

The Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) launched the Regional Service Coordination (RSC) Model in 2017 to support a core goal of its Transformation Plan—reduce the overuse of juvenile correctional centers and develop a statewide continuum of evidence-based services and alternatives to incarceration as part of its efforts to replace large correctional settings.  DJJ is partnering with Child Trends on a process evaluation of the RSC Model to help ensure its success. The overarching goal of this evaluation is to provide meaningful feedback and recommendations to DJJ and other juvenile justice systems interested in implementing similar reform efforts.

This evaluation will focus on four main aspects of implementation:

  • Adherence. A core focus of the evaluation will be to understand the extent to which the RSC Model is being implemented as intended.
  • Responsiveness. Child Trends will also examine the extent to which services are individualized and aligned with the needs of each youth, as identified by the Youth Assessment and Screening Instrument (YASI).
  • Access/dosage. Child Trends will conduct analyses to examine youths’ degree of participation in individual services, and whether the service data identify combinations of particular services that tend to be delivered together.
  • Youth outcomes. Finally, Child Trends will analyze how implementation of the RSC Model is associated with recidivism, as well as with positive youth development outcomes, such as education.

Child Trends will use multiple data sources in this evaluation, including DJJ’s administrative data, qualitative data collected from a wide array of stakeholders, such as CSU staff, RSCs, direct service providers, judges, and youth. Across all four areas of the Child Trends study, a key focus will be identifying the extent to which implementation varies by youth characteristics (e.g., gender, age, race/ethnicity) and urbanicity of the CSU.

This project is supported by Grant # 2017-JF-FX-0062 awarded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and managed by the National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Justice.