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NCJ Number: 113794 Find in a Library
Title: In Massachusetts: Privatization in Juvenile Services: Competition Promotes Quality
Journal: Corrections Today  Volume:50  Issue:6  Dated:(October 1988)  Pages:78,80,82-83
Author(s): E J Loughran
Date Published: 1988
Page Count: 4
Type: Program/Project Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Following the initiation of a deinstitutionalized reform approach in 1970, the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services (DYS) has developed a balanced system of juvenile facilities in which privatization continues to play a major role.
Abstract: Once it was decided to replace large reform schools with smaller, treatment-oriented programs; the State went in search of professional help from private providers. Initially DYS sought help from traditional child welfare agencies, but later recruited assistance from such groups as the nonprofit Robert F. Kennedy Action Corps and private-sector youth outreach and tracking programs. DYS also decentralized its service delivery system, thus enabling local administrators to work with private providers to develop small residential group homes, foster care, and alternative schools. The market response for community-based services produced a vast array of entrepreneurs offering more than 200 kinds of programs. Eventually, more informal purchase-of-service systems were replaced by uniform contracting procedures and monitoring protocols that would guarantee a reasonable return on DYS investments. Monitoring consists of informal reviews, total access to contracted programs, and annual needs assessments to determine the continuation of existing programs and aid in developing new ones. Today, after 18 years' experience, privatization of youth services is characterized by flexibility, cost-effectiveness, diversity, and competition. Photographs.
Main Term(s): Juvenile correctional programs
Index Term(s): Community-based corrections (juvenile); Massachusetts; Privatization in corrections
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