What Works Initiative

What works in reducing re-offending behavior? 40 years of research points the way forward.

After more than 40 years of studying correctional programs, experts in criminal justice are able to provide practitioners with the principles of effective interventions to guide the development and operation of juvenile justice programs.

WWI Providing effective rehabilitation programs to youth already in Florida's juvenile justice system is a critical component of the mission of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. Decision-makers need to know whether they are purchasing what is needed to reduce juvenile crime, what is actually reaching youth in the "last mile," and whether these services are making a difference. Implementing a statewide system of continual program improvement based on the What Works principles would help answer these questions, and place Florida at the forefront of juvenile justice practice.

The What Works Initiative Residential Pilot Project (WWIRPP) operated by the Justice Research Center, Inc. guides the development and operation of effective juvenile justice programming by educating and supporting 20 juvenile justice program providers in the principles of effective correctional interventions.

The long-term goal of the WWIRPP is to reduce recidivism among youth released from the pilot sites. This is accomplished through training and the implementation of evidence-based practices, i.e., interventions based upon the delinquency research literature on treatments that have a record of proven effectiveness and are directly associated with reducing the risk of re-offending. The WWIRPP is guided by the five research-based principles of effective correctional interventions, targeting risk, need, responsivity, treatment and fidelity.

TCU Program Change Model

The WWIRPP uses the TCU Program Change Model depicted below as a guide to implementation.

TCU Program Change Model