The Juvenile Justice Data Project was started in October 2004 and ended in 2007, as a joint effort by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (formerly the Youth and Adult Correctional Agency) and the Youth Law Center. The Juvenile Justice Data Project (JJDP)(formerly the California Juvenile Justice Accountability Project) is an outgrowth of the Juvenile Justice Reform Working Group, convened by Governor Schwarzenegger in early 2004. The Governor’s Juvenile Justice Reform Working Group included representatives from state and local government agencies from throughout the continuum of California’s juvenile justice system (police, sheriff, probation, courts, and the California Youth Authority) along with several juvenile justice advocates. The Governor’s Working Group was tasked with identifying specific juvenile justice policy areas around which there was consensus, i.e. policy directions that everyone at the table could agree were needed to address existing problems and/or gaps. One of the primary areas of consensus was the need for better statewide juvenile justice data collection and outcome information.
The Juvenile Justice Data Project was created to further develop this goal. The JJDP included all of the original members of the Governor’s Juvenile Justice Reform Working Group, plus representatives from victim advocacy, mental health, social services, drug and alcohol providers, and others.
The first initiative undertaken by the JJDP was a detailed survey of the current practices of the 58 county probation departments and the state Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) regarding the interventions and sanctions provided for juveniles referred for infractions or criminal behavior across the state. The specific objectives of the survey were to describe the prevalence, duration, intensity and content of interventions delivered to juveniles, with an eye toward illuminating capacity for evidence-based practices and capacity to track outcomes in the juvenile justice system in California. Thesurvey reports focused on the interventions in use across a continuum of graduated responses delivered by county probation departments and DJJ and the criteria used to determine the level of response.