In the summer of 2014, a subset of leaders and stakeholders in Douglas County initiated a collective impact project to reform the county’s juvenile justice system. Since the first meeting of that group, a number of additional stakeholders have been incorporated into this initiative, which is now known as “Operation Youth Success.” Operation Youth Success, or OYS, has been engaged since that time in an effort to create system change producing a more effective, efficient, and compassionate justice system that better serves the families and youth who are the users of this system. This report will review the activities and progress of OYS through May of 2016. At this stage of the predicted timeline, OYS has attained many of the objectives and achieved significant progress on the elements of collective impact which were laid out by FSG, the entity responsible for the setup of the collective impact initiative. With respect to independent assessment of the conditions of collective impact (not relative to FSG projections), considerable progress has been made in terms of the development and solidification of a Backbone organization, the development of a common agenda, and the creation of continuous communication channels. Less progress has been witnessed in terms of mutually reinforcing activities, either among Steering Committee members or the working groups which were developed. Finally, with respect to the creation of a shared measurement system, there has been little to no progress to date. Although OYS has been able to facilitate the development of a State of the System report as a central repository for information on juvenile justice, this has not actually resulted in data sharing or discussions of a shared measurement system. The overall findings of the evaluation team at this point are as follows: The chief benefit that OYS provides for participants (according to meeting feedback surveys) is an open forum for education, discussion and collaboration; the space for learning and interaction has appeared as consistent themes of “what works well” across groups; The Steering Committee now appears to have more fractionalization in terms of what the group “should” be doing, although interviews indicate most members have trust in the processes and in other members to be committed to the initiative’s success; Unanticipated consequences from two key decision points (first, to have the Steering Committee allocate community-based aid funds and; second, to open the meetings to the public) have led to setbacks in terms of group openness/trust and cohesiveness for most OYS groups, but chiefly for the Steering Committee; Working groups are making considerable progress on their plans but meeting attendance of members has dropped below 50% for most groups since January 2016. The remainder of this report focuses upon the progress which has been made by the Backbone, Steering Committee, and working groups through May of 2016 and begins with an overall assessment of initiative progress relative to FSG projections. The report then provides a detailed description and analysis of the OYS Steering Committee, including an assessment of group satisfaction, organizational assessment, and group findings/recommendations. Finally, the report describes and reviews all of the working groups (except the Juvenile Justice League and Policy Working Group); specific recommendations are then provided with respect to the functioning of the working groups. Overall recommendations for the initiative are available from NCJR upon request.
Miller, Jennifer and Spohn, Ryan E., "Operation Youth Success: Developmental Evaluation Final Report" (2016). Reports. 84.