To improve the usefulness of its reports so that they can be used to assess the outcomes of realignment, if the Legislature chooses not to change the law as suggested, or if the counties are unable to report countywide statistics, the board should discontinue comparing outcomes for juveniles who receive block grant services to those who do not in its reports.
As noted above, with the enactment of AB 1998, counties that receive YOBG and JJCPA funding are now required to report annually on countywide juvenile justice trend data. As a part of this annual report, counties will also be required to provide: "a summary description or analysis, based on available information, of how the programs, strategies, or system enhancements funded pursuant to this chapter [YOBG and JJCPA] have or may have contributed to, or influenced, the juvenile justice trends identified in the report." (Welf. & Inst. Code, section 1961, subd. (c)(3).)
Historically, the YOBG annual reports have included data comparing outcomes for juveniles who received block grant services to those who did not as this is one of the few ways we have had to present outcomes. Given the recommendations of the JJDWG, it appears likely the outcome reporting requirements will change in a way that will make this recommendation obsolete. Therefore, we anticipate this recommendation will be "fully implemented" by the end of the current legislative session.
Historically, the YOBG annual reports have included data comparing outcomes for juveniles who received block grant services to those who did not. Given the structure of the YOBG program, this is one of the few ways we have had to present outcomes. Although the BSCC has heretofore disagreed with this recommendation, it is anticipated that the work of the JJDWG will result in at least partial implementation. Since the JJDWG is mandated to recommend a plan for improving the reporting requirements for YOBG with an eye toward streamlining and consolidating current requirements without sacrificing meaningful data collection, it is likely that the current requirements will be replaced in the near future. The first meeting of the working group has been set for October 9, 2014 and the recommended plan is due by April 30, 2015.
Please refer to our one-year response.
Please refer to the one-year response assessment.
In the first two annual reports, data comparing outcomes for juveniles who received block grant services to those who did not were included and described in detail. Absent any change to the program - either through legislative or administrative means - this is one of the few ways we have to present outcomes. As such, BSCC disagrees with this recommendation and anticipates the legislative report due next March will again include a comparison of outcomes for juveniles who receive YOBG-funded services with those who do not.
CSA's inference that counties should report data for their juvenile justice systems as a whole exceeds not only the legislative mandate but also the capability of most counties. Moreover, the suggestion that BSCC could measure the success of realignment given the limited scope of the YOBG legislation, the lack of data at both the State and local levels, and the lack of defined goals for the program, is misguided.
Consistent with current public safety priorities and with State law, BSCC is working with counties to develop juvenile investment strategies that capitalize on efficiencies, leverage funds, and employ evidence based practices. This is our mandate relative to realignment - be it adult or juvenile - and this is the foundation from which we administer YOBG and every other program for which we have responsibility.
As we indicated on page one of our report, although the law does not specifically require the board's reports to include an assessment of the outcomes of realignment, because the board is the only state administering body referenced in the law that realigned juvenile offenders, we would expect that its annual reports would give the Legislature information with which to make such an assessment.
The BSCC indicated that because no changes have been made to the YOBG program, the BSCC will continue to include data comparing outcomes for juveniles who receive block grant services to those who do not in its reports.
We stand by our recommendation. Beginning on page 22 of our audit report, we discuss our concerns with the potentially misleading information that the board presents in its annual reports.
The board asserted that it will consider whether there are alternative approaches to present county outcome data when preparing its 2013 annual report. (See 2013-406, p. 230)
Agency responses received after June 2013 are posted verbatim.