Oakland Aerial photo

Research & Reports

An independent retrospective evaluation that looked at outcomes across 10 years shows that Oakland Unite programs reduce recidivism. Oakland Unite was able to increasingly reach the “highest risk” individuals (those most likely to victims or perpetrators of violence) in Oakland and at the same time Oakland Unite program participants had lower rates of re-arrest for serious or violent crimes.

Evaluation Graph

Overall 78% of participants had an arrest in the five years before program involvement compared to only 37% in the two years after participating in the Oakland Unite program. Typical re-arrest rates in CA range from 60-75% of people being re-arrested within one year of release.

On this page you will find information on community assets and needs, independent evaluations, and best practices. This information is essential to Oakland Unite’s work as it provides data on outcomes, and creates opportunities to learn and improve programs and services.

Reports on Oakland’s Needs:

Information & Reports on Oakland Unite’s target populations and communities.

2014 Assessment of Community Stressors

Oakland’s communities are affected by violence at vastly different levels. Oakland Unite’s resources have been distributed with consideration given to a stressor analysis which has been updated periodically. The most recent 2014 Stressor Map and Table were compiled by the Urban Strategies Council, utilizing Census data and school and crime data, and includes the following:

  • Crime Factors: Juvenile and young adult arrests, and incarceration and probation rates; as well as domestic violence, shootings & homicides, other violent crimes and burglaries.
  • Economic Factors:  Eligibility for food stamps serves as a proxy for poverty that correlates highly (greater than 90%) with other social service indicators and also represents the needs of families with individuals from all age groups.
  • Education Factors: The rate of chronically absence students and of students who have been suspended for violence.

To access the stressor map and table please click on the following documents:

Stressor Map

Stressor Table

2011 Assessment of Community Stressors

Oakland’s communities are affected by violence at vastly different levels. Oakland Unite’s resources have been distributed with consideration given to a stressor analysis which has been updated periodically. This most recent 2011 Stressor Report update was compiled for Measure Y by Urban Strategies Council, utilizing 2010 Census data and Fiscal Year 2010-11 school and crime data, and includes the following:

  • Crime Factors: Juvenile and young adult arrests, and incarceration and probation rates; as well as domestic violence, shootings & homicides, other violent crimes and burglaries.
  • Economic Factors:  Eligibility for food stamps serves as a proxy for poverty that correlates highly (greater than 90%) with other social service indicators and also represents the needs of families with individuals from all age groups.
  • Education Factors: The rate of chronically absence students and of students who have been suspended for violence.
  • Beats were ranked based on z-scores which take into account the average level of stress in each indicator for each beat. Z-Scores represent an average of the number of standard deviations over (or under) the mean each beat placed for each indicator.

To access the 2011 stressors report, please click on the following documents:

Stressors Report
Stressors List
Stressors Map

There have been numerous studies and websites dedicated to tracking and reporting violence in Oakland. Links to some of these studies are listed below. Please be aware that it is best to check if these studies have been verified and/or updated before using them in any document.

2015 Assessment of Gaps in Violence Prevention and Intervention Services

Prevention Institute and Urban Strategies Council Report: Estimated Gaps in Oakland Unite and Oakland Fund for Children and Youth Violence Prevention Services

To read full report click HERE.

2015 Strategic Report on Short Term and Long Term Goals for Violence Reduction Services

Targeting High Risk Offenders: A Violence Reduction Strategy by Corey Matthews, Oakland Unite Graduate Intern

To read the full report click HERE.

To read the Executive Summary click HERE.

To read the PowerPoint Presentation of the report click HERE.

Evaluation Reports:

Information on the effectiveness of Oakland Unite programs. 

Measure Y legislation required an independent evaluation of all Oakland Unite funded programs to measure outcomes. Resource Development Associates (RDA) was the external evaluation firm selected by the City of Oakland to evaluate the police, fire and violence prevention activities related to the Measure Y legislation.

Their evaluation stated that Oakland Unite programs reduce recidivism. A retrospective evaluation of Measure Y found that Oakland Unite was able to increasingly reach the “highest risk” individuals in Oakland and at the same time OU program participants had lower rates of re-arrest for serious or violent crimes.

2005-2013 Retrospective Evaluation of Violence Intervention Programs

RDA Retrospective Evaluation 2005-2013: Oakland Unite Violence Prevention Programs

To read full report click HERE.

OAKLAND UNITE VIOLENCE PREVENTION PROGRAMS RETROSPECTIVE EVALUATION PRESENTATION: 2005-2013

2014-2015 Independent Evaluation of Violence Prevention Programs

RDA Qualitative Evaluation 2014-2015: Oakland Unite Violence Prevention Programs

To read full report click HERE.

RDA Report-Oakland Unite: Overview of Findings and Recommendations.

To read full report click HERE.

Additional Independent Evaluations prior to 2014

Oakland Unite Independent Evaluation 2012-2013

Oakland Unite Independent Evaluator 2012-2013 Final Report

Messengers4Change Parks Program Evaluation

Friday Summer Nights at the Park Evaluation 2013

Oakland Unite Independent Evaluations 2009-2012

Resource Development Associates (RDA), the external evaluation firm selected by the City of Oakland to evaluate the police, fire and violence prevention activities related to the Measure Y legislation, released their FY 2011-12 Final Evaluation Report, which found that Oakland Unite’s Juvenile Justice Center (JJC) program resulted in reduced justice system involvement and increased educational opportunities for participants.  RDA’s 2011-2012 Fiscal Year Annual Report on the effectiveness of the JJC program area is summarized in this page of the Executive Summary and the results are elaborated upon in this section of the Appendix

Measure Y Independent Evaluator 2011-12 Final Report – Part 1 (Executive Summary)  |  Part 2 (Body)  |            Part 3 (Appendices)

Measure Y Independent Evaluator 2011-2012 Mid-Year

Measure Y Independent Evaluator 2010-11 Final Report – Part 1 | Part 2

Measure Y Independent Evaluator 2009-10 Final Report –   2009-10 Initiative-Wide Report –  Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3  |       Individual Program Evaluation Reports – Part 1 | Part 2Part 3

Measure Y 2009-10 Interim Reports –   Measure Y Evaluation Interim Report for FY 2009-10 (zip file)   |                    Grantee Specific Evaluation Sections

Measure Y 2008-2009 Independent Evaluator Report

Volume One:

Introduction and Executive Summary (zip file)

II Community Policing and Neighborhood Services

III Crime Trends and Neighborhood Conditions

IV Beat Profiles

V Violence Prevention Programs (zipfile)

VI Violence Prevention Cluster-level Reports:

VI.A Diversion and Retraining

VI.B Employment and Training

VI.C Youth/Street Outreach & Engagement

VI.D School-Based Prevention Services

VI.E  Special Services — Exposure to Violence

VII Appendices

Volume Two: Individual Violence Prevention Program Reports

Measure Y Independent Evaluator 2008 Report      |     Measure Y Independent Evaluator 2008 Interim Report

Measure Y Independent Evaluator 2006-2007 Report

 

Department of Justice (DOJ) Second Chance Act Juvenile Offenders Reentry Demonstration Projects Evaluations

Dr. Sonia Jain, Senior Research Associate for WestEd, a research and evaluation agency, published a report on the process evaluation of the Second Chance demonstration project led by Oakland Unite between 2011 and 2013, highlighting the substantial systems change work that has been done to improve outcomes for reentry youth in Oakland. Download it here.

Dr. Laura Abrams, Associate Professor and Doctoral Program Chair of the Department of Social Welfare at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, produced an independent evaluation of the individual outcome evaluation of the program in 2011, which included in its conclusions that the overall  rate of violent recidivism for participants was quite low.

Background on Second Chance

In 2012, DHS was selected as one of five recipients across the country to receive additional Second Chance funding from the Department of Justice (DOJ)  to continue juvenile reentry services that were funded through an earlier DOJ grant and seeded by DHS in 2009, and to participate in a national evaluation grant.  This evaluation participation comes with additional funding of $750,000 for two years (January 2013 to December 2014), totaling $1,875,000 in Second Chance funding over 4 years. Building upon the successes of earlier efforts, these DOJ grant funds enable more reentry youth to be served and enhance system changes for the most at-risk reentry youth in Oakland.  Collaborative partners include: Alameda County Probation, Alameda County Health Care Services Agency (ACHCSA), Oakland Unified School District (OUSD), Bay Area Legal Aid, and Oakland Unite funded Juvenile Justice Center (JJC) strategy case management agencies.

Dr. Abrams' Report on 2nd Chance

Examination of Oakland Unite Juvenile Justice Strategy Participant Probation Data

 

By: Laura S. Abrams, PhD

Associate Professor

UCLALuskinSchoolof Public Affairs

Department of Social Welfare

 

Introduction

The provision of effective reentry services for detained youth is part of an overall violence prevention strategy.  According to several studies, youth who are detained in a juvenile hall setting have an over 50% chance of being re-arrested within 2 years of release (Wiebush et al., 2005).  Being separated (while detained) even for short periods of time from schools and family members can alienate young people from the mainstream institutions that give them a sense of support and normal routines. In addition, detention itself can have a “contamination effect,” whereby youth who may be detained for more minor offenses are exposed to even more serious criminal associations that can lead to violence (Mendel, 2011). Thus the purpose of concerted reentry services is to provide supports that can buffer the likelihood of repeat criminal behavior and/or a worsening criminal trajectory. These supports are most likely to include case management, mentoring, family work, and/or connections to school. Interventions which are multi-modal, meaning that they work on several levels of the youths’ system, are most likely to reduce recidivism (Abrams & Snyder, 2011).

The purpose of this study was to examine factors leading to recidivism among youth involved in a reentry program in Oakland, CA. The main questions posed were:

1)    Among youth served, what was the recidivism rate for crimes overall and violent crimes in particular?

2)    What risk factors correlated most significantly with likelihood to be reconvicted of a crime?

3)    What effect did agency or dosage have on recidivism rates?

Program Background

The Juvenile Justice Center/Oakland Unified School District Wrap Around Services provides case management and advocacy for youth leaving the Alameda County Juvenile Justice Center (JJC) and reconnecting with Oakland Unified School District or other appropriate educational institutions.  Youth Advocates/Case Managers work with a multi-disciplinary team to promote school attendance and academic progress, family support, and employment as appropriate for youth, starting from the time a youth arrives at the JJC through their return home.  Services are coordinated with Probation to support the successful completion of Court Orders and disengagement from the Juvenile Justice System.

 

Method

Data sources. Five de-identified datasets were merged from excel spreadsheets into SPSS v.19 into one larger dataset. The final data set contained elements from each of those described below all matched by a unique identifier.

  • Dataset 1 (city span master) contained the dates of program entrance and exit, assigned agency, and number of recorded group and individual hours youth served between July 1, 2009 and the June 30, 2012.
  • Dataset 2 (assessments) contained assessment scores based on the YLS-CMI tool used by Alameda County Probation department.
  • Dataset 3 (bookings) contained demographic information such as race, age, gender, and zipcode for all youth in theAlamedaCounty juvenile justice system.
  • Dataset 4 (arrests) contained records of allAlamedaCounty arrests occurring between January 1, 2005 and December 31, 2011.
  • Dataset 5 (convictions) contained records of all dispositions for minors inAlamedaCounty occurring between January 1, 2005 and December 31, 2011.

Population of Interest: The population of interest included 447 young people who were provided measure Y transition services between July 1, 2009 and the June 30, 2012.

Key Variables: the following key variables are referred to throughout this report.

  • New conviction (post-program): a new conviction post-program refers to a conviction that resulted from an arrest that occurred after the program start date.
  • Prior conviction: A conviction that occurred based on an arrest that occurred before the program start date.
  • Violent conviction (post-program): A conviction related to a violent offense is recognized as such by the California Attorney General’s office.
  • Aggregate risk score: A score related to the YLS/CMI measure that represents the total of all measured risks. A higher score means greater propensity to re-offend.
  • Program dosage: a sum total of all hours served by the JJC program in both individual and group contexts.

Analysis strategy: Descriptive statistics were used to examine frequency of post-program convictions, mean risk scores, and demographic characteristics. Chi-square tests, t-tests, and correlations were also used to examine differences between groups on key new conviction outcomes. Multiple regression and ANOVA were also used to model new convictions by multiple independent variables.

Description of Population

Agencies served 447 young people under measure Y funding between July 1, 2009 and June 30, 2012. The following are the relevant demographic characteristics related to this population.

  • 80% of the sample was male, and 20% was female.
  • 69% were African American, 21% Hispanic, 7% Asian or Pacific Islander, and 3% other.
  • The average risk level among program participants was 15.4 (sd. 8.2) on a scale of possible points from 0 to 42. This average of 15.4 fell into the “moderate risk” category according the YLS/CMI manual.

It is important to note that compared to other youth served by probation in this same time frame, JJC youth had, on average a 1.2 point higher risk score than those who weren’t served, which was statistically significant (15.4 vs. 14.2 p < .01), yet both still in the “moderate” range.

Results

  1. 1.    New Convictions (Post-Program Enrollment)

New convictions by program year

Table A below displays the percent of youth served who had officially acquired one or more new convictions related to an arrest occurring after the program start date, by program year, and in total across program years. The average (overall) new conviction rate was 26.0, and of the remaining youth, 63.2% had no new contact with the law and 11.2% were arrested for a charge but were not convicted. The new conviction rate was highest for the 09-10 program year (36.2%), declined by more than half those who only participated in the 10-11 program year (14.8%), and hovered around the average rate of 26% for those who participated in multiple program years (09-10 and 10-11) or who were still enrolled in the program during 11-12 (many of whom also had others years of service).

Table A: New Convictions related to arrests occurring after program start date, by year(s) of participation

All

(n   = 447)

09-10

(n   =130)

10-11

(n   = 108)

09-10   and

10-11   (n = 95)

Serviced   in

11-12   (n = 114)

Not arrested

62.9

47.7

75.9

69.5

62.3

Not convicted

11.2

16.2

9.3

6.3

11.4

Convicted

26.0

36.2

14.8

24.2

26.3

 

Note that individuals in the “convicted group” (1 or more times post-program) had a statistically significant, higher aggregate YLS-CMI risk score (18.6 vs. 14.3; p < .05) than those who were not re-convicted (i.e., the not convicted and no arrests groups combined). This demonstrates that the YLS-CMI risk assessment is working in the expected direction.

Average number of new convictions in total and by subgroups

The average number of new convictions across the sample of 447 youth was .71 (sd = 1.7) meaning less than 1 per person, and the range was quite wide: 0 to 14. The number of new convictions was significantly and positively associated with aggregate risk score (R = .22 p. < .01), and number of prior convictions (R = .181, p < .001).

In addition, young men were significantly more likely to have new convictions than young women (average mean difference of .49, p < .01).  The average number of new convictions was not significantly significant across racial groups, although the Hispanic group appeared to be much lower than African American or Asian/PI/Other (see Table B).

Table B: Average number of new convictions by racial group

Racial Group

Mean New Convictions

N

Std. Deviation

African American

.7994

309

1.86349

Hispanic

.3803

94

.90379

Asian/Other

.9048

42

1.57433

Total

.7208

445

1.68550

 

The multiple regression analysis below models the number of new convictions based on risk score, number of prior convictions, and gender. The results show that even when controlling for gender, both aggregate risk score (p < .001) and number of prior convictions (p < .005) independently exerted a significant influence on number of new convictions. These two variables remain significant when disaggregated by program year as well (tables not shown).

Table C: Regression analysis predicting number of new convictions for all program years

Model

Unstandardized    Coefficients

Standardized    Coefficients

t

Sig.

B

Std. Error

Beta

1 (Constant)

.084

.295

.286

.775

Aggregate Risk Score***

.047

.009

.252

4.944

.000

Number of prior** convictions

.150

.045

.172

3.362

.001

Gender

-.358

.200

-.092

-1.793

.074

a. Dependent Variable: number of convictions post program**p < .005 ***p < .001

 

Odds of receiving a new conviction

Another way to look at the same issue is to examine the “odds” of receiving a new conviction based on certain characteristics of the individual youth. The following table contains the results of a binary logistic regression analysis wherein the outcome variable is 1 or more new convictions. Like the prior table, aggregate risk score and number of new convictions are highly significant. In addition, we can interpret the far right column to mean the following: for every point increase in risk, they are 1.07 times (or 7%) more likely to have one or more new convictions.  For every additional prior new conviction, they are 1.28, or 28% more likely to be reconvicted. Whether or not a person had a violent new conviction was not related to the odds of a new conviction overall.

Table D: Logistic Regression Predicting new Convictions

B

S.E.

Wald

df

Sig.

Exp(B)

Step 1a Violent or not (pre)

-.031

.336

.009

1

.926

.969

Aggregate Risk Score***

.069

.016

18.459

1

.000

1.072

Number of prior convictions**

.244

.073

11.215

1

.001

1.276

Constant

-2.773

.345

64.468

1

.000

.062

**p < .005 ***p < .001

  1. 2.    New Convictions Related to Violent Crime

The overarching goal of Measure Y is violence prevention. As such, the data were examined to assess the extent to which violent crime persisted among those involved in the JJC transition program.

Overall new violent convictions

The number of new violent convictions related to arrests occurring after the program start date was very small- just 5.4% of the sample (24 out of 447). Table E identifies violent new convictions by program year, showing that the majority came from those involved in only the 09-10 program year (n = 10) or in the first two program years (09-10 and 10-11, n = 7).

 

Table E: Violent new convictions by program year

 N

N

None

1 or more new violent    conviction

Total

Program year 09-10

120

10

130

10-11

105

3

108

both

88

7

95

Still Participating

110

4

114

Total

423

24

447

Although not statistically significant (likely due to very uneven sample sizes in the two groups), those who were convicted of a new violent crime had nearly a 3 point higher mean aggregate risk score than those who did not (18.05 vs. 15.26).

Table F: Mean risk score by new violent crime

N

Mean Risk Score

Std. Deviation

No new violent convictions

342

15.26

8.172

1 or more new violent convictions

20

18.05

8.550

 

The majority of those who committed a new violent crime were not convicted of violent crimes in the past (n = 17/24), but a very slightly higher proportion of those with a history of violent crime(s) were convicted of 1 or more new violent crimes (8% vs. 4.7%). See table below.

Table G: New Violent Crimes based on prior (pre-program) violent history

No   New Violent Crime

(n   = 423)

1   or More New Violent Crimes

(n   = 24)

No Prior Violent   Convictions(n = 360)

95.3%

(n   = 343)

4.7%

(n   =17)

1 or More Prior   Violent Convictions(n = 87)

92%

(n   = 80)

8%

(n   = 7)

 

  1. 3.    Program Dosage

Across the full sample of 447 participants, the total number of service hours (including group and individual hours summed together) ranged from less than 1 hour to 364 hours. The mean number of service hours was 65.3 hours, with a large variance (sd = 67.6).

Total service hours (including group and individual hours) was negatively correlated with aggregate risk score (R = -.125, p < .05). This means that those who had a higher risk scores received fewer service hours. It should be noted that 362 individuals were included in this analysis based on missing risk data, so this interpretation may be limited. Moreover, those who were convicted of a new violent crime received, on average (again, to be interpreted with caution due to imbalanced sized groups), fewer mean service hours (66.1 vs. 50.1) than those not convicted of one or more new violent crimes. However, this difference was not statistically significant at the p < .05 level.

Table H: Mean hours served by new violent crime

N

Mean total hours

Std. Deviation

No new violent crime

423

66.0771

68.36262

One or more new violent crimes

24

50.7739

51.61372

Adding program dosage to the earlier regression model concerning number of new convictions, one can see in the table below that aggregate risk score and number of prior convictions are still the only statistically significant predictors of number of new convictions; neither service hours nor gender were significant in this model.

Table I: Regression analysis predicting number of new convictions

Model

Unstandardized    Coefficients

Standardized    Coefficients

t

Sig.

B

Std. Error

Beta

1 (Constant)

.070

.319

.221

.825

Total Service Hours

.000

.001

.006

.116

.908

Gender

-.356

.201

-.091

-1.776

.077

Aggregate Risk Score**

.047

.010

.253

4.904

.000

Number of Prior Convictions***

.150

.045

.172

3.358

.001

a. Dependent Variable: number of convictions post program**p < .005 ***p < .001

 

For the next set of analyses below, individuals who were served with less than 10 program hours (combined between individual and group hours) were excluded from the dataset, resulting in 353 participants. The remainder were coded into three equal “dosage” groups as follows: 1) between 10 and under 40 hours; 2) between 40 and under 90 hours; and 3) 90 or more hours. Looking at the data in this way, there were still about equal proportions of youth with at least one new conviction and for at least one new violent conviction for each dosage group.  The average number of new convictions appeared to be a bit higher for those served between 10 and 40 hours, but none of these differences were statistically significant.

Table J: Dosage groups and new conviction rate

 Dosage

N

New Conviction Rate

New Violent Conviction   Rate

Average # of new Convictions

Over and 10 and less than 40   hours

114

25.4%

5.3%

.86

Over 40 and less than 90 hours

121

24.8%

4.1%

.55

90 or more hours

118

27.1%

5.1%

.64

Note: no differences between groups were statistically significant.

 

  1. 4.    Agency Differences

Table K below displays the number served, average number of prior convictions mean risk scores, and number assessed with the YLS-CMI for the 09-10 program year.  As the table shows, the contracted measure Y agencies served mostly equivalent populations across risk level and number of prior convictions. In the 09-10 program year, EBAC served the youth with the highest average risk scores and Mentoring Center served youth with the highest number of prior convictions. However, these were not statistically significant.

Table K: Mean risk scores and prior convictions by agency 09-10

 

Average Prior Convictions

Number Served

Mean Risk Score

Number Assessed

California Youth Outreach

1.7

54

16.3

41

East Bay Agency for Children

1.7

72

17.3

65

East Bay Asian Youth Center

1.7

131

13.9

111

The Mentoring Center

2.1

44

16.4

39

Youth UpRising

1.7

127

15.0

102

 

For the 10-11 program year, risk scores and average number or prior convictions were also nearly equivalent. Many participants also overlapped in these two program years, so one should note that Tables K and L are not fully distinct analyses.

Table L: Mean risk scores and prior convictions by agency 10-11

 

Average Prior Convictions

Number Served

Mean Risk Score

Number Assessed

California Youth Outreach

1.6

48

16.5

41

East Bay Agency for Children

1.2

54

17.6

48

East Bay Asian Youth Center

1.7

100

14.0

86

The Mentoring Center

1.8

28

16.1

26

Youth UpRising

1.7

70

13.5

63

 

New Convictions by Program

For the 09-10 program year, the percentage of youth served who had one or more new convictions ranged from 21.2% to 33.3%. No differences between agencies were statistically significant, which could possibly be attributed to sample size.

Table M: New Convictions by Agency, 09-10 program year

          Agency

N

% New Convictions

 

California Youth Outreach 

55

30.9

East Bay Agency for Children 

73

24.7

East Bay Asian Youth Center 

137

21.2

The Mentoring Center 

45

33.3

Youth Uprising

133

24.1

Total

330

25.5

 

For the 10-11 program year, the percentage of youth served who had one or more new convictions ranged from 16.2% to 28.6%, reflecting also an overall average slight decrease in the new conviction rate of 22% versus 25.5 as noted above. No differences between agencies were statistically significant.

Table N: New Convictions by Agency 10-11

          Agency

N

% New Convictions

 

California Youth Outreach 

55

28.6

East Bay Agency for Children 

73

17.9

East Bay Asian Youth Center 

137

23.6

The Mentoring Center 

28

28.6

Youth Uprising

74

16.2

Total

313

22.0

Conclusions

This analyses presented above can offer some conclusions related to the research questions that were posed.  Granted the data are limited by some missing information and the absence (in this analysis) of a control or comparison group, the following trends can be noted in the program data to date.

1)    Among youth served, what was the recidivism rate for crimes overall and violent crimes in particular?

  • Overall, the recidivism rate hovers around 26% of the youth served, which is potentially lower than expected based on studies with similar populations (Weibush et al., 20050, but needs to be examined in relation to youth who were not served by the program for more concrete information about recidivism reduction.
  • Not surprisingly, recidivism is more likely to occur the longer that a young person has been released from the program.
  • The overall rate of violent recidivism is quite low which bodes well for the goals of Measure Y. Specifically, just 24 out of the 447 served have been convicted of a crime classified as violent.

2)    What risk factors correlated most significantly with likelihood to be reconvicted of a crime?

  • It is very clear that the YLS-CMI risk score and number of prior convictions had strong and consistent relationships with likelihood of a new conviction. These two variables held up as strongly influential in every type of analysis and controlling for gender.
  •  The YLS-CMI appears to thus be working in the expected direction. Number of prior convictions should also be utilized in treatment planning as well.

3)    What effect did agency or dosage have on recidivism rates?

  • Overall the 5 agencies are serving youth with nearly equivalent major risk factors.
  • Agency rates of re-conviction ranged to some extent year by year, but not at a statistically significant level.
  • Program dosage level appeared in these analyses not to make a large difference in reconviction rates, although those with the high risk scores received fewer hours overall.

Future Research

Future program studies should continue to examine a) optimal program dosage for various risk groups; b) the relative effects of curbing violent crime in relation to those not offered services who had similar risk factors.

References

Abrams, L. S., & Snyder, S. (2010). Youth offender reentry: Conceptual models for intervention and directions for future inquiry. Children and Youth Services Review, 32, 1787-1795.

Wiebush, R., Wagner, D., McNulty, B., Wang, Y., & Le, T. (2005). Implementation and outcome evaluation of the Intensive Aftercare Program. Report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

Mendel, R. (2011). No place for kids. The Case for Reducing Juvenile Incarceration. Baltimore, MD: The Annie E. Casey Foundation.

 

 

Program Best Practices:

Information on Oakland Unite’s trauma informed and evidence-based practices. 

Oakland Unite funds evidence-based programs that are developed from best practices. By evidence-based we mean methods or techniques that have documented outcomes and ability to replicate as key factors. By best practices we mean methods of work that have consistently shown positive results, based upon years of demonstration, and that are used as a benchmark. A best practice can evolve to become better as improvements are discovered.  In this section, we share the best practices for each program strategy that influence our work.

Life Coaching/Intensive Case Management

Best practices approaches to case management include:

  • Shared Experience: Coaches/case managers share similar life experiences or are otherwise intimately connected to the communities from which participants are drawn.
  • Dosage: Services for highest-risk participants are intensive (or “high dose”), meaning low caseloads (15:1), high frequency (“daily touches”), and longer service-periods (12-18 months).
  • Outreach and Flexibility: Frequent, persistent efforts are made to engage referred participants in services, including home visits and follow-up with those who have refused services in an effort to re-offer support. Case managers are responsive and flexible around availability to be able to meet participants’ emergency needs.
  • Family Involvement: Coaches/case managers get to know the families and loved ones of participants and involve them in planning and service provision.
  • Assessment: Services include the use of an assessment tool (ideally one that is validated) or method to determine risks, particularly around violence, strengths, and needs of participants.
  • Linkage and Advocacy: Participants and family members are referred to appropriate and necessary services to address identified needs, including but not limited to: education, employment, mental health, substance abuse, legal aid, housing, and transportation. Coaches/case managers intercede on behalf of participant and family to ensure equity and appropriate services.

Additional Resources on Best Practices: 2015 Evaluation Findings and Recommendations Report prepared by Resource Development Associates: http://goo.gl/a5A66M

References specific to youth case management best practices include: https://www.sierrahealth.org/pyji and “Tools for Promoting Educational Success and Reducing Delinquency.” National Center on Education, Disability, and Juvenile Justice, 2007: http://goo.gl/4a82n8

References specific to adult case management best practices include: Behavior Change Information: “TPC Case Management Handbook: An Integrated Case Management Approach.” National Institute of Corrections, 2010: http://goo.gl/UE2hrV and “Mentoring Ex-Prisoners: A Guide for Prisoner Reentry Programs.” U.S. Department of Labor, 2007: http://goo.gl/xfs0nF

Education & Economic Self-Sufficiency

BEST PRACTICE APPROACHES TO EMPLOYMENT AND EDUCATION SERVICES
An integral piece within the larger Oakland Unite violence prevention/intervention continuum, this strategy is intended to work hand-in-hand with the Life Coaching/Intensive Case Management strategy. Case managers are more effective in moving clients toward real economic self-sufficiency with concrete services and resources available to participants. Employment and education providers are more effective in engaging this high-need, high-risk population with case managers providing participants with consistent, holistic coaching and referrals.

The vision for this strategy includes multiple pathways to economic self-sufficiency, including job readiness training, transitional employment, and long-term, career track employment opportunities.

In pursuing the ultimate goal of living-wage, career-track employment for this difficult-to-hire population, best practices indicate using a dual-client approach that prioritizes both the participants’ and employers’ needs. For example, training curriculum should align with the participants’ levels of job readiness, as well as with the skill sets necessary for specific jobs and/or employers.

Best practices and evidence-based approaches to education and employment programming for youth and young adults include:

  • Ability to develop deep levels of participant engagement through consistent relationship-building-mentoring that focuses on pro-work behaviors/attitudes.
  • Assessment of job readiness needs/barriers and development of employment placements that anticipate challenges and obstacles to employment.
  • Promoting job readiness, including focus on motivation, soft skills, and hard skills.
  • Incentivizing educational attainment and providing funds to support job readiness and retention (travel, attire, tools, certification).
  • Focus on finding and retaining employment, including: career planning, job coaching, connecting work opportunities, development of retention plans, frequent contact with employer, supporting individuals in advancement.
  • Comprehensive follow-up with participants, families, and employers to address any issues and celebrate successes.

References specific to youth best practice approaches include: “Appendix F: Youth Employment” in the 2015 Evaluation Findings and Recommendations Report prepared by Resource Development Associates for an overview of effective models and research findings: http://oaklandunite.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/RDA-Eval-Recommendations-Memo_20150520_STC.pdf

References specific to transition aged youth (TAY) & adult employment & education support best practices include: “Appendix E: Reentry Employment Programming” in the 2015 Evaluation Findings and Recommendations Report prepared by Resource Development Associates for an overview of models and research findings: http://oaklandunite.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/RDA-Eval-Recommendations-Memo_20150520_STC.pdf

Street Outreach

Best Practice Approaches to Street Outreach include:

  • Clear target population and purpose: focus on working with those most likely to commit or be victims of gun violence, in order to reduce gun/street violence.
  • Outreach Workers and Interrupters must be credible to be able to connect with the target population – workers may have past gang/group involvement and have since redirected their lives, or otherwise have credibility in the community.
  • Building relationships in targeted community and with family members of target population to build foundation of support for participants.
  • Responsiveness and flexibility to meet the demands of the work: Workers must have adjustable schedules, intimate knowledge of the community, effective communication skills, and the ability to mediate hostile situations.
  • Strong coordination with key partners, including other community-based providers, referral partners such as hospitals, and central organizing entities.
  • Clear understandings of and ability to negotiate relationships with law enforcement, which are often coordinated through senior-level program staff, while maintaining integrity of community-based, street-level outreach work.

Additional references include:

Shooting & Homicide Response

Best practice approaches to Shooting and Homicide Response include:

  • Post-incident services provided in a timely manner.
  • Capacity and qualifications to serve the target population in a compassionate, culturally and linguistically appropriate manner.
  • Ensuring that staff are trained in providing services to youth and young adults who are in crisis and who may have serious and lifelong health conditions.
  • Mental health approaches that are culturally appropriate and trauma-informed.
  • Conducting home visits and working with family members, including young children directly involved or impacted.

Best practice approaches to Emergency Temporary Relocation:

  • Assessment of housing location where there are social ties.
  • Close contact with clients post-relocation.
  • Access to and coordination with case management support.
  • Educational and /or job training and placement assistance.
  • Counseling and other social services in relocated area to help reduce likelihood of future involvement with violence and/or crime.

Additional references include:

  • Fostering Resilience in Traumatized Communities: A Community Empowerment Model of Intervention. Cambridge Health Alliance, http://goo.gl/QwqDqx
  • Before and After the Trauma Bay: The Prevention of Violent Injury Among Youth. R. Cunningham, et al. Annals of Emergency Medicine: April 2009, Vol. 53, Issue 4, pp 490-500. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19162376

Outreach to Commercially Sexually Exploited Children

Best practice approaches to Serving CSEC:

In alignment with the State of California Department of Social Services CSEC Program guidelines, Commercial Sexual Exploitation should be understood as child abuse and reported as such, and should not be criminalized. The State outlines a three-tiered response to support CSEC:
1. Immediate Crisis – that involves both a rapid response, as well as intensive, ongoing support during the first 72 hours post-identification.
2. Initial – that involves convening a team within 10-14 days to address the youth’s needs where immediate safety risks may not be present.
3. Ongoing – that involves ongoing case planning and coordination, which may occur on an individualized basis or in a broader case review setting.

Additional references for CSEC include:

Family Violence Intervention

Best practice approaches to Family Violence Intervention include:

  • Services to survivors of physical, emotional, sexual, economic and psychological abuse facilitate survivor empowerment and increase safety, mental and physical health, and financial and housing stability.
  • Provision of comprehensive supports that engage community resources and includes services such as crisis response, emergency housing, safety planning and legal advising and advocacy, and ideally, prevention efforts and policy-level anti-violence support.
  • Community-wide collaborations with law enforcement, legal resources, medical providers, community organizations, shelters/housing providers, economic and employment programs, mental health providers, and schools, among others.

References specific to family violence intervention include:

Community Asset Building

Oakland Unite’s community asset building strategy area uses proven and best practices to engage and empower Oakland communities to be messengers of peace.

Friday Summer Nights Program: Messengers4Change Friday Summer Nights Program is based on Los Angeles’ Summer Night Lights program. Both the Los Angeles and Oakland program efforts are intended to disrupt violence by offering programming and extended park hours in neighborhoods with high rates of violence, during the peak hours when violence occurs. References for the  Los Angeles’ Summer Night Lights program: http://grydfoundation.org/programs/summer-night-lights/2015-snl-impact-highlights/

City-County Neighborhood Initiative (CCNI): The CCNI builds the capacity of residents to identify and address violence and other health inequities in their neighborhoods. Founded in 2004, the CCNI is a partnership between the Alameda County Public Health Department (ACPHD), the City of Oakland, neighborhood resident groups, community-based organizations, the Oakland Unified School District and the University of California, Berkeley. It is funded by the ACPHD, Alameda County Measure A, City of Oakland, Oakland Unite and a City of Oakland Community Block Development Grant.
The CCNI has four main goals:

  1. Resident empowerment – increased leadership, greater social capital, positive youth development, steps toward improved health
  2. Stronger local grassroots organizations – greater access to resources, linkages between organizations, ability to work with and challenge institutions
  3. Concrete improvements in residents’ lives – meeting action priorities, safer neighborhoods, less violence, improved health and well-being, reduced inequities
  4. Changed City and County institutions – power sharing, responsiveness to needs.

Young Adult Leadership Council: The goal of the Young Adult Leadership Council is to deepen the capacity of communities most affected by violence and the providers that server them to change norms and influence decision-making around violence. This is a pilot program, and as such, best practices are still emerging. This program is inspired in part by the Office of Neighborhood Safety Operation Peacemaker Fellowship developed by the League of California Cities: http://www.cacities.org/Member-Engagement/Helen-Putnam-Awards/California-City-Solutions/2013/Office-of-Neighborhood-Safety

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