Researchers have amassed a large body of evidence concerning what works in the processing, supervision, rehabilitation, and treatment of youths in the juvenile justice system. They’re learning new things every day.

Unfortunately, research doesn’t always find its way to the right audience.

The Model Programs Guide (MPG) was created to help bridge this research-to-practice gap.


The MPG is a user-friendly clearinghouse that contains hundreds of evaluated juvenile justice and youth violence prevention, intervention, and reentry programs. It is a resource for practitioners and communities seeking to know what works, what is promising, and what does not work in juvenile justice, delinquency prevention, and child protection and safety.

In addition to the program and practice reviews, the MPG includes resources for policymakers and practitioners seeking to learn more about juvenile justice, including literature reviews, a glossary of terms, and links to other reputable sources.

History of the Model Programs Guide

DSG in 2001 developed and has since operated the MPG for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the federal agency charged with supporting local and state efforts to prevent delinquency and improve the juvenile justice system.

Introduced originally as a print publication, the MPG was among the first comprehensive resources to identify evidence-based programs in delinquency prevention. In fact, the original focus was on problems of delinquency, violence, and alcohol and other drug abuse. DSG subsequently turned the MPG into its current version as an online database.

In 2005 and again in 2007 and 2009, the scope of the MPG expanded to include programs that target other factors, such as academic failure, poor interpersonal skills, tobacco use, sexual activity/exploitation, trauma exposure, family dysfunction, social and community disorganization, disproportionate minority contact, and deinstitutionalization of status offenders.

In 2009, the U.S. Government Accountability Office named the MPG one of the seven best government-funded evidence-based repositories.

In 2011, with the introduction in 2011 of, also operated by DSG, we began re-reviewing all MPG programs using the criteria created for In 2013, we relaunched MPG to include juvenile justice and youth prevention, intervention, and treatment programs that had been reviewed using the updated criteria.

In 2016, DSG began publishing the Model Programs Implementation Guides to help policymakers and practitioners implement evidence-based programs and practices. Each guide explains the 10 steps, derived from implementation science, which practitioners need to follow to start, support, and secure a program or practice.

The Model Programs Guide Today

DSG research scientists continually assess programs as either effective, promising, or no effects, following a rigorous 8-step review process. As of February 2018, we have evaluated 310 programs. We also continue to update and add literature reviews to the website current on relevant topics. As of February 2018, we have posted 55 literature reviews.


For More Information About the Model Programs Guide

Contact DSG Project Director Rachel Stephenson at 301.951.0056 or