Livingston County Circuit Court

Michigan Committee on Juvenile Justice and Livingston County Circuit Court Family Division

The Child and Adolescent Data Lab is partnering with the Michigan Committee on Juvenile Justice and Livingston County Circuit Court Family Division to better understand the overall rate of recidivism, the factors that help predict recidivism, and the services that have the greatest impact on reducing recidivism.

In general, juvenile justice  is not data driven in Michigan. Although county courts collect and store vast amounts of data, these data rarely result in practical and action-oriented information. Consequently, the policy planning and program evaluation processes are largely driven by clinical wisdom and anecdotal evidence, which alone are not sufficient to determine and monitor outcomes.

Using large quantities of both administrative and survey data in Livingston County, this project will develop a strong empirical foundation. When paired with clinical wisdom and anecdotal evidence, this empirical evidence will enhance diversion programming and policy-making in Livingston County. This approach serves as a potential model for other Michigan counties.

To develop a strong empirical foundation, the Child and Adolescent Data Lab will:

  1. Centralize critical data (e.g. risk assessments, administrative records) as it relates to juvenile offenders
  2. Use the centralized data to identify which youth are at greatest risk of recidivism and to identify where in the system DMC (disproportionate minority contact) is the greatest problem
  3. Identify which service programs (e.g. diversion, juvenile drug treatment court, truancy program, and others) have the largest impact on critical long-term outcomes (e.g. recidivism, high school graduation)

The Child and Adolescent Data Lab will create data visualization tools to help juvenile court administrators better understand this population and to estimate recidivism rates. Through these tools, the Court will have a firm grasp on the overall risk profile of youth and how these profiles look over time. Having a deeper understanding of these youth will allow for the development of a specified plan to improve juvenile services offered in Livingston County.