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The Office of Adult and Juvenile Justice Assistance (OAJJA) manages several state and federal grant programs--all designed to provide support to and assist in the improvement of the justice system. Programs range from juvenile justice funding to support priorities such as addressing the needs of low-risk but high-need juveniles or research and evaluation, to criminal justice funding that supports local law enforcement and other criminal justice entities. Funding is generally made available to local and state agencies (both governmental and non-governmental) through a grant-making process.
CrimeSolutions is a central resource from the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) to help practitioners and policymakers understand what works in justice-related programs and practices. Its purpose is to assist in practical decision making and program implementation by gathering information on justice-related programs and practices and reviewing evaluation and meta-analysis research against standard criteria.
Recent Ratings from NIJ
Program Summary: This is a group-based learning approach that seeks to enhance peer relations by increasing opportunities for positive social integration between adolescents. The program is rated Promising. Students in intervention schools reported they were less willing to use alcohol, had fewer deviant peer affiliations, lower perceived student stress and emotional problems, and had higher academic engagement, compared with students in control schools. These differences were statistically significant.
Cognitive Life Skills (CLS)
Program Summary: This is a cognitive–behavioral intervention that seeks to reduce recidivism in offenders leaving secure confinement by addressing antisocial attitudes and decisionmaking. The program is designed for adult medium- and high-risk offenders. The program is rated Promising. Treatment group offenders were statistically significantly less likely to recidivate, compared with control group offenders, during parole supervision.
Nurturing Families Network (NFN) Home-Visiting Program
Program Summary: This is a home-visiting program for first-time mothers in high-risk families that promotes positive parenting to prevent child maltreatment and out-of-home placements. The program is rated No Effects. Treatment group families had a statistically significant lower number of substantiated child maltreatment and neglect cases, compared with the comparison group, but there was no statistically significant effect on out-of-home placements, and substantiated physical abuse.
GEAR UP – Academic Mentoring in Mathematics
Program Summary: This is a school-based mentoring program for low-income high school students designed to increase academic achievement and college attendance and success. The program is rated Promising. Program participants had a statistically significant increase in receiving a C grade or above in algebra I and in scores on a standardized state math exam, compared with the comparison group. However, there was not a statistically significant difference between groups in receiving a C grade or above in geometry.
Eye to Eye
Program Summary: This is a group-mentoring afterschool program in which elementary and middle school students with the diagnosis of a learning disability (LD) or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) meet with high school or college student mentors who also have LD/ADHD, to discuss and address their strengths and challenges. The program is rated Promising. The program was shown to be associated with statistically significant decreases in depression and increases in self-esteem over the program period.
A Re-review of Strengthening Families Changes Rating from Effective to Promising
This is a family-based intervention that seeks to reduce substance use and other problem behaviors in youth ages 10–14. The program is rated Promising. Treatment group youth showed a statistically significant greater number of intervention-targeted behaviors and alcohol refusal skills and a lower initiation of alcohol use, compared with the control group.
In 2011, the Strengthening Families Program (SFP) 10–14 received a final program rating of Effective based on a review of studies three studies. A re-review of the same studies in 2020 using the updated CrimeSolutions Program Scoring Instrument resulted in a new rating of Promising
Responsive Aggression Regulation Therapy (Netherlands)
Program Summary: This is a responsive intervention that seeks to reduce severe aggressive behaviors of incarcerated youth at a juvenile justice institution in the Netherlands. The program is rated Promising. Intervention group youth, compared with treatment-as-usual group youth, had statistically significant higher aggression-related skills, lower cognitive distortions (such as how youth think about aggression), and a lower recidivism risk for violent and general offenses at the 3-year follow up.
Selective School-Based Violence Prevention Programs
Practice Summary: This practice consists of programs designed to prevent or reduce aggressive or violent behavior in K–12 students who are considered at risk of or who have demonstrated such antisocial behaviors. The practice is rated Effective for reducing aggression in students who participated in school-based violence prevention programs, compared with students who did not participate.
Psychosocial Interventions for Cannabis Use Disorder
Practice Summary: This practice involves the use of psychosocial interventions to treat cannabis use disorder. Psychosocial treatments may include many forms of therapy, such as cognitive–behavioral therapy, contingency management, and relapse prevention. The practice is rated Effective for reducing the use of cannabis and the symptoms of dependence, and increasing the prevalence of abstinence.