EVIDENCE-BASED CRIMINAL JUSTICE PRACTICES: Current Status and Strategies for Successful Youth Outreach and Enrichment Programming

McKenzie N. Berezin, Raquel E. Rose, Shabnam Javdani

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Youth involved in legal systems are at heightened risk for program underutilization and dropout. As such, outreach and enrichment programs and practices that promote access and cultivate strengths and well-being are a critical component of the service of care continuum. This chapter synthesizes the existing evidence around enrichment-focused programs and the available evidence on their effectiveness and promise. Overall, programs with a strong and consistent outreach component are rare but critical to increasing service utilization. Further, most enrichment programs focus on developing individual skills and healthy relationships, with a smaller subset considering the resource needs of youth; their ability to navigate legal, education, and welfare systems; and enhancing youth culture and community safety. Cross-cutting and effective outreach and engagement strategies include incorporation of program flexibility, strategies to promote youth choice and voice into content and delivery, and individualized programming for young people and families. Programming, implementation, and evaluation recommendations are delineated and provide concrete solutions for incorporating socio-cultural and structural factors into youth programming, promoting success for families through effective outreach and engagement, and systematizing and evaluating these efforts across the legal spectrum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook of Evidence-Based Criminal Justice Practices
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781000965346
ISBN (Print)9781032107349
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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