Standardized Program Evaluation Protocol (SPEP) Validation

The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (FDJJ) has contracted with Florida State University’s College of Criminology and Criminal Justice, to conduct a six-month validation study of FDJJ’s Standardized Program Evaluation Protocol (SPEP). The SPEP is a tool used by FDJJ to assess the quality of treatment programming that youth receive during their residential placement. The SPEP captures such things as whether the treatment is classified as an evidence-based practice, whether it is administered in the recommended dosage, and whether it is used for the appropriate class of offenders.

The purpose of this project is to evaluate how different facilities and treatments score on the SPEP tool and whether variations in SPEP scores across facilities predict levels of youth reoffending in the period after release. These findings will inform FDJJ’s efforts to use and refine the SPEP to further improve the quality of treatment programming received by residential youth. The ultimate goal is to reduce youth reoffending. This project will be conducted from February 2017 through August 2017 and the results will be used to make any necessary improvements to the SPEP. For more information on the SPEP please visit the FDJJ website.


Principal Investigator: Carter Hay, Ph.D.

Project Manager: George Pesta, Ph.D.

Graduate Research Assistants: Brae Campion and Alex Widdowson

Funding Agency: Florida Department of Juvenile Justice

Dates: 2017

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