Evaluation Library

Our aim is to provide youth justice professionals with accessible, relevant and objective information about the range of programmes in use across the youth justice system. The Evaluation Library is the YJB's collection of appraised youth justice interventions. The strength of the evidence has been evaluated and is classified into one of four categories based on the methods used:

  • No Classification
  • Level 1
  • Level 2
  • Level 3

These ratings may help inform a user’s decision of whether to adopt the practice.

Library Classification Levels

No Classification:

This is for those awaiting classification.

Level 1 – Theory of effectiveness

This classification level articulates what an intervention aims to do and how it relates to youth justice outcomes such as reducing offending and reoffending, reduction in first-time entrants, and reducing the number of young people in custody.

In these articles, there may not yet be any clear evidence of impact. The intervention should have an underpinning ‘theory of change’.

Level 2 – Preliminary evidence of effectiveness

Interventions at this level meet the Level 1 but also include evidence of the impact of the intervention. This will probably comprise a pre/post measure on key outcomes: a robust comparison group is not essential for inclusion at this level.

The evidence within these papers also includes clear description of the context in which the approach/intervention operates.

Level 3 – Robust evidence of effectiveness

Level 3 provides the most robust examples of evidence. These evaluated interventions are distinguished from those at Level 2 by the ability to say with greater confidence that the approach/intervention is likely to have produced the observed.  This may mean that alternative explanations for positive changes can be rules out.

More details of the categorization used are provided in Standards of Evidence (please note the classification used will be revised shortly following the publication of the new Magenta book).  

The Magenta Book published 01/04/2020 is the recommended central government guidance and presents standards of good practice in conducting evaluations.

The YJB welcomes new additions to its ‘Evaluation Library’. Please email your evidenced interventions to effectivepractice@yjb.gov.uk along with your rationale for inclusion.

Summary: This parenting program is focused on strengthening parenting competencies Classification: Level 3 Age: 10-12 Sex: n/a Duration: 12-20 weeks, 2 hours weekly sessions Cost: yes     Aims: The Incredible Years® evidence based parenting programs focus on strengthening parenting competencies It supports parental involvement in children’s school experiences, to promote children’s academic, social and emotional skills and reduce conduct…
Summary: The Communicate Project is a software-based, literacy-intervention project. Classification: Level 2 Age: 10-Adult Sex: n/a Cost: Yes     Aims: Support people who face major literacy barriers Target high-value language gaps that currently put education, training and employment beyond reach Break the cycle of offending by targeting long-lasting life skills Engage people who have had a negative experience of education…
Summary: Swansea Bureau is a pre-court diversion model, which runs across most of Wales. Classification: Level 2  Age: 10-17 Sex: n/a Cost: none     Aims: Provide children the opportunity to be diverted out of the criminal justice system. Provide children and their parents/carers with the opportunity to access support services that may be able to meet their needs.   …
Summary: Summer Arts Colleges are intensive educational projects designed for children on Detention and Training Orders (DTOs) and subject to Intensive Supervision and Surveillance (ISS) Classification: Level 2 Age: 14-19 Gender: n/a Cost: yes Duration: summer holiday period, 5 days per week     Aims: Summer Arts Colleges are intensive educational projects designed for children on Detention and Training Orders…
Summary: Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communitie is a violence prevention parenting programme. Classification: Level 2 Age: n/a Sex: n/a Cost: yes   Aim: To improve outcomes for children and young people by promoting heathy violence-free lifestyles, families and communities. SFSC does this by focusing on: Supporting parents to increase their confidence and competence Achieving positive change in family relationships Promoting children’s…
Summary: Evaluation of the Resettlement Consortia (2009-2012 & 2015-2017 Pilots) Classification: Level 2 Age: 10-17 Sex: n/a Cost: n/a   Aim: To develop positive links between the secure estate, youth offending teams (YOTs) and local authorities in order to improve resettlement outcomes for children released from custody. To reduce re-offending by children.     Description:In 2009, the YJB commenced working…
Summary: Early intervention programme to support desistence while awaiting sentencing. Classification: Level 1 Age: 10 - 17 Sex: n/a Cost: none     Aim: Provision of support through early intervention to prevent further offending, reduce re –offending offering a multi-agency approach     Description: In August 2014 members of Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) held a "problem solve"…
Summary: Multi Systemic Therapy is an intensive home based intervention for children and families. Classification: Level 3 Age: 12-18 Sex: n/a Cost: yes     Aims To address complex psychological problems in children aged between 12 and 18 and provide alternatives to out of home placements. To increase the skills and resources of parents and carers of children to manage…
Summary: An evidenced based programme that supports families in reducing the use of violence, offending and poor behaviour. Classification: Level 3 Age: 10-18 Sex: n/a Cost: yes     Aim: Support families and children to reduce the use of violence, criminal behaviour, poor behaviour and conduct problems   Description:Functional Family Therapy is a strength-based model, which offers short term, high…
Summary: Evaluation of the YJB Pilot Resettlement Support Panel Scheme. Classification: Level 2 Age: 12-17 Sex: n/a Cost: none Aim: The Resettlement Support Panels Scheme core aim is to coordinate multi-agency support for the resettlement of children through addressing substance misuse, accommodation problems, mental health and education issues. The Resettlement Support Panel also seeks to support children around family and…
Summary: Programme designed to support BAME boys to increase personal development and leadership skills. Age: 10-17 Sex: male Cost: yes Level: 1      Aim: Support children from young black, Asian and ethnic minority (BAME) background to increase personal development and leadership skills.     Description:The Programme is 8 weeks long, with each session lasting 90 minutes. The Programme is…
Summary : This programme has been developed to support children who have exhibited agressive behaviour. Classification: Level 2 Age: 10-17 Sex: n/a Cost: Yes     Aim: Support children who have exhibited aggressive behaviour Support children to reduce some of their violent/aggressive incidents     Description:Aggression Replacement Training is a programme which is made up of three core areas; SkillStreaming…
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