Crime Prevention & Justice

Funder: The William Penn Foundation, The City of Philadelphia
Project Time Period: 2012-2014 (by MAI)

Project Category: Crime & Violence Reduction/Health/Youth Development/Summative Evaluation

About YVRP: YVRP is an intervention that aims to break the cycle of persistent criminal offending by reducing recidivism, particularly for violent or potentially violent offenders. The program targets serious and persistent youthful (between the ages of 14 and 24) offenders who live in high crime urban neighborhoods who are on probation. It strives to bridge a critical tension faced by probation—the dueling goals of social control and social welfare (i.e., punishment and rehabilitation)—by providing participants with both intensive supervision from probation and police/probation patrols and support/connection to services from a street worker employed by a community-based organization.

The Work: MAI led the quasi-experimental evaluation of YVRP. Using criminal records and program data, MAI assessed the program’s impact on its participants’ engagement in crime and violence as well as the impact of probation and street worker contact with participants.  

What We Learned: Overall, this study revealed that participating in YVRP was not consistently associated with lower or delayed recidivism. However, it was also found that street worker contact had an additive effect on recidivism reduction among adult probationers. Specifically, adults with greater contact with street workers had significantly lower odds of recidivating with a new crime or conviction over the 18 month follow up period than those with less contact.