Accomplishments and Outcomes

Each of the three pilot sites has benefited significantly from the Comprehensive Strategy planning process. While it is still too soon to assess the long-term impact on juvenile crime and delinquency, there are numerous short-term indicators of success, including promising plans for each community's future. Among the pilot sites' accomplishments are the following:

  • Enhanced communitywide understanding of prevention services and sanctions options for juveniles.

  • Expanded networking capacity and better coordination among agencies and service providers.

  • Institution of performance measurement systems.

  • Hiring of staff to spearhead the on-going Comprehensive Strategy planning and implementation efforts.

  • Development of comprehensive 5-year strategic action plans.

Overall, the pilot sites' Comprehensive Strategy participants expressed a great sense of accomplishment in their hard work. Bill Scheu, chair of the Comprehensive Strategy Task Force in Duval County, FL, stated: "None of us really realized how mammoth the undertaking was, but all things said and done, we're glad we did it. It's exhausting, but we're glad." All three sites have made progress toward implementing a comprehensive continuum-of-care approach to reducing juvenile crime and delinquency in their communities, and they have begun incorporating Comprehensive Strategy principles into their existing prevention and juvenile justice systems. These communities are already making budget and program decisions consistent with identified priorities and developing research-based solutions to address them. Moreover, they are already finding themselves better positioned, with a systematically developed, data-driven strategic plan, to leverage Federal, State, local, and foundation funds to achieve their strategic objectives.

In working with the pilot sites, OJJDP and the DRP and NCCD training and TA teams learned a great deal about ways to launch Comprehensive Strategy planning efforts. These lessons have been captured in three planning tools: a Comprehensive Strategy training curriculum, a workplan development packet, and an action guide for community planning teams. The three planning tools, which will help other communities achieve similar results, are significant outcomes of the pilot sites' Comprehensive Strategy planning experiences.

Training Curriculum

OJJDP has supported the development of an extensive curriculum to assist in providing systematic and flexible training to communities in the Comprehensive Strategy planning process. The DRP and NCCD trainers have documented, through a series of four training events, the goals, principles, concepts, and processes of the Comprehensive Strategy to help communities understand and adopt its framework for providing effective juvenile services. These four training events include:

  • Key Leader Orientation. A 1-day session designed to orient key policymakers and decisionmakers representing all areas of the prevention and juvenile justice systems to the principles of the Comprehensive Strategy.

  • Community Planning Team Orientation. A 2-day session to orient members of the community planning team, who represent all areas of the prevention and juvenile justice systems, to the Comprehensive Strategy, their role in the planning process, the phases of the planning process, and the tasks involved in developing the 5-year strategic plan. The training emphasizes the importance of teamwork, collaboration, and coordination among members of the community planning team.

  • Community Assessment Training. A 3-day training session designed to provide the community planning team with the knowledge, skills, and tools necessary to create the data-based profile of its community that will form the basis of their strategic plan. The team learns how to gather, organize, and analyze the data necessary to prioritize, plan, monitor, and evaluate the community's continuum of care.

  • Community Planning Training. A 3-day session designed to assist the community planning team in developing an outcome-focused, data-driven, research-based 5-year strategic plan. Three major areas are covered in this training: outcome-focused planning and evaluation, promising approaches to fill identified service/programmatic gaps, and development of the strategic plan.

Workplan Development Packet

A workplan development packet is currently being used to determine how local training and TA events are designed and delivered to help communities develop strategic plans and implement a comprehensive approach for addressing their juvenile justice needs. Completed by a core team of community members, the packet captures baseline information about the community's existing initiatives, planning processes, key leadership, and strengths and areas for improvement in existing systems and structures. With this information, the training team tailors a training and TA plan that builds on the current circumstances, direction, and needs of the community to ensure a successful Comprehensive Strategy planning process.

Action Guide for Community Planning Teams

Just as the training curriculum was designed to assist in building community capacity to plan and implement a Comprehensive Strategy, an action guide was designed to make the community an active player in the process. It provides a comprehensive set of worksheets, questions, checklists, and forms to help communities organize their assessment and planning efforts and guide the training and TA processes as they develop their 5-year strategic plans.

These tools draw extensively on the experiences of the three pilot sites and are being developed and tested in eight competitively selected States and up to six communities in each State. Selected States and communities receive training and technical assistance to develop local strategic plans for preventing and reducing juvenile crime and delinquency. As the eight States—Florida, Iowa, Maryland, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, and Wisconsin—and their local communities begin to develop and implement their own Comprehensive Strategy plans to address serious, violent, and chronic delinquency, they are benefiting enormously from the experiences and products of the pilot sites. Once the tools are tested, it is anticipated that they will assist other States and communities to develop a Comprehensive Strategy plan.

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The Comprehensive Strategy: Lessons Learned From the Pilot Sites Juvenile Justice Bulletin March 2000