Abrazaldo, W., Adefuin, J., Henderson-Frakes, J., Lea, C., Leufgen, J., Lewis-Charp, H., … Wiegand, A. (2009). Evaluation of the YouthBuild Youth Offender Grants. Oakland, CA: SPR Associates.
- This report summarizes the findings of an implementation and outcomes analysis of Young Offender grants. These grants, which were awarded to 30 YouthBuild USA sites in 2004 and 2005, were to provide academic instruction, vocational training, leadership opportunities, and counseling and other support services to young offenders.
- The objective was to understand how YouthBuild programming for young offenders was designed and implemented; identify the strategies and approaches associated with positive outcomes; and gain insight into the contextual factors influencing program implementation and participant performance.
- The authors collected and analyzed qualitative information gathered during two rounds of site visits—which included interviews with program staff, instructors and trainers, grantee partners, employers, and program participants—and quantitative management information systems data.
- The implementation analysis found that the extent to which Young Offender grantees implemented the YouthBuild model varied, though all attempted to adhere to the model. In general, grantees had mature organizational structures and were able to form partnerships with workforce development agencies and the juvenile justice system.
- Young offenders tended to have better educational, employment, and social outcomes in grantee sites where teachers invested time in getting to know them on a personal level, the teacher-to-student ratio was low, academic work and vocational training were linked, and leadership opportunities were available.