FSU and Florida Department of Juvenile Justice Research Partnership Project

The purpose of this project, through the addition of dedicated resources, is to advance an existing collaborative and productive partnership. Through this collaboration, three research agendas will be pursued resulting in peer-reviewed publications, policy-relevant research reports, presentations and recommendations for system improvement. The goals involved in this project are meant to formalize and advance an existing collaborative and productive partnership between FSU and the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice through additional dedicated resources. The project will consist of three goals encompassing areas of study that have been largely ignored in the scientific research to date. The collaborative efforts will continue to generate scientifically valid findings to be used by practitioners, agency decision makers, and policymakers to produce effective juvenile justice outcomes resulting in future cost savings and improvements to public safety.

  • Assessing Civil Citations as an Alternative to Arrest
    This project will provide empirical evidence to juvenile justice administrators and policymakers with an assessment of the use of civil citations during the initial contact of police with juvenile suspects as an alternative to traditional official arrest practices. This project will examine approximately 44,000 youth eligible for civil citations in Florida from 2011 to 2013 to determine if there are disparities in its application across jurisdictions and youth demographic characteristics and if civil citations reduce the likelihood of youth involvement in subsequent delinquency.
  • Family Attachment and Juvenile Justice Outcomes
    This project will examine the practice of family visitation within a juvenile justice system which has been virtually ignored in the research literature but may have implications for improving the adjustment of youth committed to residential facilities and their post-release outcomes. Empirical data on visitation events and information collected through surveys of committed youth in the FDJJ will be captured to determine the impact that stronger family bonds, as measured by family member visitation, has on institutional adjustment and post-release recidivism. The findings will provide empirical evidence to practitioners and policymakers in which to base possible policy changes to the current practices related to family visitation.
  • Assessing School-to-Prison Pipeline
    This project will provide empirical evidence to practitioners and policymakers with an assessment of the use of school-based referrals to the juvenile justice system, a practice that has been relatively ignored in the research literature. Using data from the FDJJ Juvenile Justice Information System, the Florida Department of Education, and county contextual measures, cohorts of youths who received school-based referrals to FDJJ and youths who received referrals outside of schools will be created for the years 2004 to 2011. Analyses will provide practitioners and policymakers with important information as to the consequences of school-based referrals and whether these youth are adversely impacted relative to their future offending and immersion in the juvenile justice system.


Principal Investigator: William Bales, Ph.D.

Project Director: George Pesta, Ph.D.

Research Advisor: Thomas Blomberg, Dean and Sheldon L. Messinger Professor of Criminology

Research Partner:Mark Greenwald, Department of Juvenile Justice

Graduate Students: Julie Mestre Brancale and Melissa Nadel

Dates: 2014  – 2017

Funding Agency: U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice

Funding Amount: $495,000

title-inside title-centered