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As a national leader in juvenile justice, Pennsylvania has an ongoing commitment to improving its system at all levels and at each decision-making point in the system.  This is accomplished through strong partnerships, both state and local, and collaboration with public and private sector service providers.

Pennsylvania earned its reputation as a reform-minded state in 2005 when it was the first state selected by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to participate in its Models for Change Reform Initiative.  Models for Change was a multi-year commitment to reform work in disproportionate minority contact, mental health and aftercare issues in relation to juvenile justice system operations.

Active participation by the MacArthur Foundation ended in 2010, yet Pennsylvania’s system stakeholders wanted a framework by which the system could maintain the reforms achieved while progressing toward improvement in other areas.  This framework is known as the Juvenile Justice System Enhancement Strategy (JJSES).  To read more of the history of the Models for Change Initiative and to the development of the JJSES, click on the JJSES Monograph link at the right side of this page.  

The JJSES Statement of Purpose sets the stage for system reform advancement by virtue of its grounding in research and evidence-based practices, data-driven decision making, and continuous quality improvement.  To that end, PCCD and its state partners have adopted the Standardized Program Evaluation Protocol (SPEP), which is a valid and reliable tool to evaluate services offered by residential and community-based providers.  To read more about the SPEP, click on the SPEP link at the right side of this page.