COLORADO DIVISION OF YOUTH SERVICES PERFORMANCE EVALUATION
For the Colorado Department of Human Services’ Division of Youth Services (DYS), DSG conducted a performance evaluation of Colorado’s 10 state-run, secure juvenile residential facilities, reviewing the system’s juvenile justice policies and practices.
The assessment concentrated on identifying the most important strengths, issues, and opportunities for improvement in the priority policy and practice areas identified by DYS, based on structured surveys, interviews, document review, and policy analysis. Throughout the assessment, DSG worked closely with DYS staff and a DSG project advisory group of distinguished experts in juvenile justice. As part of the assessment, DSG conducted a rigorous review of the literature to identify and synthesize policies, practices, and authoritative research results that shed light on how DYS could strengthen its juvenile justice policies and practices in the priority topic areas.
DSG identified other states and juvenile justice facilities where best practices are implemented. We compared qualitative and quantitative data about Colorado’s juvenile justice policies and practices with data about comparable policies and practices in the selected states. In a final report, DSG a) determined the extent to which DYS policies have been adequately framed, shared, understood, and followed, b) identified the facility processes and youth outcomes that have resulted, and c) identified opportunities for improvement for the Colorado juvenile justice system and facilities. We also presented findings to DYS and others in Colorado’s executive and legislative branches.