Juvenile Justice Juvenile Justice Resource Center

Resource Center for Evidence-Based Prevention and Intervention Programs and Practices-EPISCenter



In Partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare's Office of Children, Youth and Families (OCYF), PCCD's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) has committed to the provision of resources to support the proliferation of quality prevention and intervention programs aimed at promoting positive youth development and preventing violence, delinquency, substance abuse and other problem behaviors in children and adolescents.

The Resource Center is a collaborative effort that brings together key stakeholders in the Commonwealth including the Department of Public Welfare’s Offices of Children, Youth and Families (OCYF) and Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS), the Juvenile Court Judges’ Commission (JCJC), the Pennsylvania Council of Chief Juvenile Probation Officers, the Departments of Education and Health, as well as grantees and community-based and residential service providers. PCCD manages the operations of the Resource Center, with oversight performed by Pennsylvania’s State Advisory Group, the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Committee.

The Resource Center’s primary focus is to expand the successful implementation of evidence-based programs and practices in the Commonwealth. 

The Resource Center’s activities will focus on these key areas: 

·        Provide technical assistance to agencies in Pennsylvania interested in implementing evidence-based programs and practices;

 

·        To support the Communities That Care model through training and technical assistance;

 

·        To support local innovative programs in aligning with best practice standards;

 

·        Assist localities in developing a comprehensive approach to juvenile offenders that includes a continuum of effective programs which reduce recidivism; match offenders to services and determine based upon risk/needs assessment; and the development of graduated responses; and

 

·        To evaluate juvenile justice programs through the use of the Standardized Program Evaluation Protocol (SPEP) by maintaining data systems related to the SPEP, developing a rescoring process to ensure on-going quality of programming, and assist providers in developing SPEP-related program improvement.

 

 

The goals of the Resource Center are to:

 

1.    Serve as a resource to the field regarding the implementation of evidence-based programs and practices;

 

2.    Promote the proliferation of evidence-based programs and practices by educating practitioners and providers about the practical and economic benefits of implementing and utilizing these programs and practices;

 

3.    Work with state agencies to standardize data collection for similar programs and to coordinate resources;

 

4.    Promote the proliferation of the Communities That Care model by educating stakeholders about the effectiveness of community planning, providing technical assistance, training, networking opportunities, and sustainability planning;

 

5.    Assist localities in developing a comprehensive approach to juvenile offenders that includes a continuum of effective programs which reduce recidivism; match offenders to services and determine based upon risk/needs assessment; and the development of graduated responses;

 

6.    Develop in-state capacity to provide training and technical assistance regarding the implementation of evidence-based probation practices;

 

7.    Increase understanding of varying levels of research and definitions of types of programs such as evidence-based, research-based, best practices, etc;

 

8.    Evaluate local innovative programs through the use of the Standardized Program Evaluation Protocol (SPEP); and

 

9.    Develop the capacity to assist providers in developing SPEP-related program improvement plans.

 

 

The Pennsylvania State University Prevention Research Center’s Evidence-Based Prevention & Intervention Support Center (EPISCenter)

The EPISCenter has been awarded funding to serve as the primary entity to help carry out the activities described above.  The EPISCenter will promote the proliferation of evidence-based programs and practices by educating practitioners and providers about the practical and economic benefits of implementing and utilizing such programs and practices in achieving high-quality implementation and sustainability.

EPISCenter continues to provide targeted technical assistance to programs targeted by state partners because of their demonstrated effectiveness in Pennsylvania. EPISCenter will provide technical assistance with program start-up, outcome measurement, quality assurance, monitoring fidelity to the models, and data management and reporting. EPISCenter provides program specific information for the following programs and practices:

·      The Incredible Years (TIY)

·      Multisystemic Therapy (MST)

·      Functional Family Therapy (FFT)

·      Strengthening Families Program 10-14 (SFP)

·      Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies (PATHS)

·      Olweus Bullying Prevention Program (OBPP)

·      Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS)

·      Life Skills Training Program (LST)

·      Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care (MTFC)

·      Project Toward No Drug Abuse (PTNDA)

·      Aggression Replacement Training (ART)

·      Communities That Care (CTC)

EPISCenter will coordinate closely with the Juvenile Justice System Enhancement Strategy (JJSES) by providing technical assistance to counties and service providers on program improvement to best support programs in aligning with best practice standards. EPISCenter will work to evaluate juvenile justice programs through the use of the Standardized Program Evaluation Protocol (SPEP) by maintaining data systems related to the SPEP, developing a rescoring process to ensure on-going quality of programming, and assist providers in developing SPEP-related program improvement plans.

For more information about evidence-based programs, practices, or CTC, please contact the EPISCenter at 814-863-2568 or via email at EPISCenter@psu.edu