PbS > About Us > Initiatives


 | PbS Family-Youth Initiative

Research has shown that incarcerated youths who maintain positive relationships with loved ones are more likely to accomplish their goals. The Family-Youth Initiative (FYI) was developed by PbS in collaboration with the Vera Institute of Justice, Family Justice Program to help facilities better engage and work with families. FYI created the only national performance standards and outcome measures that lead facilities to implement best practices to meaningfully and effectively include families and social supports in youths’ rehabilitation and reentry.

 | Zero Tolerance for Sexual Abuse

The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) passed in 2003 and led to the development of standards for the elimination of prison rape and expectation of zero tolerance for sexual abuse in prisons, jails, youth facilities and residential programs. To take advantage of PbS’ holistic approach to facility management as the most effective strategy for creating sustainable zero tolerance environments, PbS partnered with Greene County (MO) Detention Center to identify ways PbS’ data-driven improvement model can help facilities use the PbS standards, outcome measures and best practices that promote safe and supportive cultures and healthy staff-youth relationships to meet and demonstrate compliance with PREA’s zero tolerance standards.

 | Trauma-Informed Care

The Maine Department of Corrections, Division of Juvenile Services was awarded a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to expand the THRIVE trauma-informed approach to youths, staff and families. As part of the grant, Maine invited PbS to collaborate and create supplemental surveys for youths, staff and families to measure the level of understanding, sensitivity, training and impact of trauma-informed systems of care. By incorporating THRIVE elements into the PbS process, facilities will be able to measure and monitor how trauma-informed care is being implemented and sustained.

 | Positive Youth Outcomes

The Positive Youth Development (PYD) approach consists of efforts by youths, adults, communities, government agencies and schools to improve outcomes for youths by helping them acquire the knowledge and skills they need to become productive adults. PbS and the Oregon Youth Authority (OYA) are collaborating to identify the PbS outcome measures and data elements that best indicate cultures of positive youth development in facilities and strategies to create new PbS tools and strategies that will promote measure positive change for youths in facilities.

 | Disaggregating PbS Data by Race/Ethnicity

With support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Models for Change juvenile justice reform initiative, PbS collaborated with the Juvenile Justice and Rehabilitation Administration of Washington to build new PbS reports that show 50 PbS outcome measures related to the education, health, mental health, substance abuse, reentry services provided to youths as well as connections to family and community disaggregated by race/ethnicity. The supplemental report is used by PbS participants to drill deeper into the data to learn and change practices that impact different experiences and outcomes for youths along race/ethnic lines so all youths receive the best possible treatment and opportunities for success when they return to their families and communities.

 | Advances in Technology

PbS is constantly working to provide the most cutting edge tools to juvenile justice providers to help them better gather and analyze data quickly and intuitively. In our efforts to ease the data collection process, juvenile agencies are now able to integrate their existing data systems into PbS by using our Application Programming Interface (API). The API allows for an automated real-time transfer of data and eliminates the need for manual data collection and entry. Additionally, PbS participants are now able to survey youths, staff and families using touch-screen kiosk stations. These kiosks eliminate paper-based surveys and help foster anonymity for better feedback.