Program Evaluation and Results/Impact

Dr. Naomi Goldstein and her research team from Drexel University’s Department of Psychology are leading the evaluation of the Police School Diversion Program. First implemented in May 2014, the program has produced impressive results during its first two years of implementation:

Goal 1: Decrease the number of students arrested at school

During the 2013-2014 school year, 1,580 students were arrested in the School District of Philadelphia.

During the 2014-2015 School Year:

  • 1,210 students engaged in incidents that could warrant arrest (23% decrease from the 2013-2014 school year)
  • 724 students were arrested (54% decrease from the 2013-2014 school year)
  • 486 students were diverted

During the 2015-2016 School Year:

  • 1,041 students engaged in incidents that could warrant arrest (34% decrease from the 2013-2014 school year)
  • 569 students were arrested (64% decrease from the 2013-2014 school year)
  • 472 students were diverted

Goal 2: Maintain school safety

  • The number of behavioral incidents reported in SDP decreased from 6,359 during the 2013-2014 school year to 5,298 during the 2014-2015 school year (a 17% decrease)
  • The number of school disciplinary transfers decreased 75% from the 2013-2014 to the 2014-2015 school year
  • As of December 31, 2015 (1.5 years post implementation), 36 youth (4.5%) had been arrested following a diversion. These numbers are particularly impressive when compared to the percentage of youth rearrested within one year of release from correctional custody (37-67% depending on the state). (Mendel, 2011)

 

These results indicate that school climate can improve even when students remain in school following minor incidents.

Goal 3: Connect students to services that address their underlying needs

  • Approximately 90% of youth and families who participated in the Police School Diversion Program during the 2014-2015 school year accepted the intensive prevention services offered to them.

 

Dr. Goldstein’s evaluation is supported by funding from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.