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Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

Who We Are

Whatever disrupts young lives and public safety—from violence to delinquency and from substance abuse to family conflict—is part of our prevention and justice agenda. We are a planning agency that endorses programs built on successful models, channels funding to support programs and system improvement, and monitors program and system compliance and accountability.

What We Do

Preventing Delinquency

Using Prevention that Works: PCCD selects strategies and proven tools that help communities stress prevention. 

Relying on Evidence: Thirty years of Prevention Research has shown that current problems have precursors—signs that point to what is likely to happen. PCCD uses programs that, supported by evidence, impact these precursors either by limiting risk factors or strengthening protective factors as identified in local communities.

Responding to Behavior Changes: The Pennsylvania Youth Survey (PAYS) asks over 200,000 students every other year about such behaviors as drug use and aggression. The resulting data shapes local decision making about implementing programs that fit real needs. 

Creating Lasting ResultsThe Communities That Care (CTC) program moves beyond ambitious intentions, delivering a research-based model for mapping community risk and protective factors to programs that will have a real and lasting impact.

Improving the System

Balancing Accountability with Responsibility: Balanced and Restorative Justice (BARJ) is a mandate that strives to hold juvenile offenders accountable to victims, increases community's safety and works with juvenile offenders to help them develop into productive and responsible members of their communities. 

Monitoring Compliance to Safeguard Youth: PCCD is the designated state agency responsible for ensuring compliance with the four core protections of the Federal Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 2002. The protections include Jail Removal of Juveniles, Deinstitutionalization of Status Offenders, Sight and Sound Separation of adults from juveniles and Disproportionate Minority Contact.  PCCD has introduced a new online compliance monitoring tool. 

Transitioning Home: Aftercare cannot be an afterthought. Releasing young offenders from juvenile court placements supervision must be a planned process that begins when the offender is placed in confinement. 

Juvenile Justice System Enhancement Strategy (JJSES) - Pennsylvania has committed to a strategy that uses evidence-based practices in each step of the juvenile justice system.  Highlights of JJSES include the utilization of the Youth Level of Services (YLS), development of a shared Case Plan, enhanced data collection and the use of the Standardized Program Evaluation Protocol (SPEP).