Reinvestment & structure

Strategic Goal: Utah will allocate resources toward evidence based approaches in its juvenile justice system with a focus on front end services. Ensure efficient allocation of roles, responsibilities, and resources with respect to maximizing outcomes.

Oversight Requirements & Progress

The JJOC is tasked with making reinvestment and system structure recommendations.


1. Recommendations

The JJOC will review averted costs from reductions in out-of-home placements for juvenile justice youth placed with the Division of Juvenile Justice Services and the Division of Child and Family Services, and make recommendations to prioritize the reinvestment and realignment of resources into community-based programs for youth living at home, including the following:

i. statewide expansion of:

   A. receiving centers;

   B. mobile crisis outreach teams, as defined in Section 78A-6-105;

   C. youth courts; and

   D. victim-offender mediation;

ii. statewide implementation of nonresidential diagnostic assessment;

iii. statewide availability of evidence-based programs and practices including cognitive behavioral and family therapy programs for minors assessed by a validated risk and needs assessment as moderate or high risk;

iv. implementation and infrastructure to support the sustainability and fidelity of evidence-based juvenile justice programs, including resources for staffing, transportation, and flexible funds; and early intervention programs such as family strengthening programs, family wraparound services, and proven truancy interventions (HB 239 lines 2166 - 2183).


Progress Summary

Since FY 2018, millions of dollars have been reinvested to front end services such as the JJS’ Youth Services Model. Youth Services helps redirect youth from Locked Detention and other out of home placements so they can safely remain in their homes, schools, and communities. It is important to note that participation in the Youth Services Model is all voluntary.

Tactical Plans

  • Targeted reinvestment with a race and equity lens.

2. Alignment of Resources

Analyze the alignment of resources and the roles and responsibilities of agencies, such as the operation of early intervention services, receiving centers, and diversion, and make recommendations to reallocate functions as appropriate (HB 239 lines 2187 - 2190).

Progress Summary

Early intervention services within the Division of Juvenile Justice and Youth Service (JJYS), help redirect youth from Locked Detention and other out of home placements so they can safely remain in their homes, schools, and communities. It is important to note that participation is all voluntary.

Outcomes for FY 2022 includes:

  • 4,343 youths were engaged in early intervention services statewide which includes 2,934 for Youth Services and 1,409 for School Based Outreach
  • 1,007 youths completed intervention services
  • 98% of those who completed, avoided a new JJYS custody and probation supervision at 180 days follow up

Additionally, JJYS reports that over the last four years, there has been an average risk reduction of almost 21 points for youth in secure care. This is on average, a 17% improvement over the baseline risk score established in FY 2018. This is significant based on the fact that JJYS have more complex youth in care.

And although there has been an increase in the risk and complexity of youth entering JJYS, the one and two year follow up recidivism rate for youth leaving JJYS custody is decreasing overall. More information on specific recidivism rates for JJYS custody youth can be found here.

Outcomes for FY 2023 includes:

  • 1,698 youths completed JJYS’ Youth Services statewide. At 90 days after completion, 98.5% of these youth avoided Probation or JJYS/DCFS custody. Further, there were School Based Outreach in rural Utah to 77 different schools.

Tactical Plans