The Nebraska Center for Justice Research at the University of Nebraska-Omaha conducted an evaluation of Youth Impact! which was completed in 2014. Youth Impact! is the Douglas County implementation of the Crossover Youth Practice Model, as developed by Georgetown University’s Center for Juvenile Justice Reform. This project consisted primarily of: 1) a process evaluation, 2) an outcome evaluation, 3) a systems-impact analysis, and 4) a cost-benefit analysis. This evaluation suggested that the reduction in information silos across the juvenile justice and child welfare systems led to better decision-making because of interagency collaboration and information sharing, although agency professionals still faced many challenges (Wright, Spohn, Chenane, and Juliano 2017). Moreover, overall, the findings suggest that Youth Impact! dismisses or diverts crossover youth more often, closes delinquency cases more often, and results in more crossover youth living at home (as opposed to shelter, treatment center, correctional center, foster care, etc.) nine months after initial arrest as compared to a control group of crossover youth served prior to the implementation of the initiative (Wright, Spohn, and Campagna (Forthcoming)). Finally, the cost/benefit analysis suggested that Youth Impact! saved $173,161 per year compared to the prior methods of serving crossover youth. Five years later, Youth Impact! continues to represent an evidence-based intervention representing dedicated professionals from both the juvenile justice system and the child welfare system, focused on improving outcomes for youth involved in, or “crossing over,” both systems. However, due to cost changes and modification in the implementation of the initiative, an updated cost-benefit analysis is warranted to inform the Youth Impact! Team and stakeholders regarding sustained cost savings of the initiative.
Nebraska Center for Justice Research, University of Nebraska at Omaha and Spohn, Ryan E., "Douglas County Youth Impact! Cost/Benefit Analysis Revised Edition: 2019 Dollars" (2020). Reports. 102.