Court-involved youth: Youth who are processed through the juvenile justice system but who are not ordered to a period of confinement in a residential or correctional facility. This includes populations of arrested youth, diverted youth, charged youth, adjudicated youth, and youth on probation or formal supervision.
Youth in state institutions: Youth who are confined in a residential or correctional facility when they participate in the program.
Youth post-release: Youth who are returning to the community following a period of confinement in a residential or correctional facility and who participate in the program after release to the community.
|Benefit-Cost Summary Statistics Per Participant|
|Taxpayers||($2,591)||Benefits minus costs||($24,875)|
|Participants||($1,292)||Benefit to cost ratio||($1.41)|
|Others||($4,505)||Chance the program will produce|
|Indirect||($6,174)||benefits greater than the costs||2 %|
|Net program cost||($10,312)|
|Benefits minus cost||($24,875)|
|Meta-Analysis of Program Effects|
|Outcomes measured||Treatment age||No. of effect sizes||Treatment N||Adjusted effect sizes(ES) and standard errors(SE) used in the benefit - cost analysis||Unadjusted effect size (random effects model)|
|First time ES is estimated||Second time ES is estimated|
Any criminal conviction according to court records, sometimes measured through charges, arrests, incarceration, or self-report.
Percent change in labor market earnings, typically weekly or monthly wages.
Enroll in any college^
Enroll in either a 2-year or 4-year higher education institution.
A lack of stable housing, often measured through self-report of conditions like living on streets or in shelters in a given time period.
Illicit drug use^
Adult use of illicit drugs that does not rise to the level of “disordered.” When possible, we exclude cannabis/marijuana use from this outcome.
Problem alcohol use
Alcohol use reflecting problem behaviors (e.g., high frequency drinking, binge drinking, or drinking that has a high impact on daily life) for individuals who do not have an alcohol use disorder.
|Detailed Monetary Benefit Estimates Per Participant|
|Affected outcome:||Resulting benefits:1||Benefits accrue to:|
|Crime||Criminal justice system||($2,044)||$0||($4,510)||($1,022)||($7,576)|
|Problem alcohol use||Property loss associated with problem alcohol use||$0||$0||$1||$0||$1|
|Health care associated with problem alcohol use||$3||$1||$4||$2||$9|
|Mortality associated with problem alcohol||$0||$0||$0||$3||$3|
|Earnings||Labor market earnings||($551)||($1,293)||$0||$0||($1,844)|
|Program cost||Adjustment for deadweight cost of program||$0||$0||$0||($5,156)||($5,156)|
|Detailed Annual Cost Estimates Per Participant|
|Annual cost||Year dollars||Summary|
|Program costs||$9,690||2015||Present value of net program costs (in 2018 dollars)||($10,312)|
|Comparison costs||$0||2015||Cost range (+ or -)||20 %|
Benefits Minus Costs
Benefits by Perspective
Taxpayer Benefits by Source of Value
|Benefits Minus Costs Over Time (Cumulative Discounted Dollars)|
|The graph above illustrates the estimated cumulative net benefits per-participant for the first fifty years beyond the initial investment in the program. We present these cash flows in discounted dollars. If the dollars are negative (bars below $0 line), the cumulative benefits do not outweigh the cost of the program up to that point in time. The program breaks even when the dollars reach $0. At this point, the total benefits to participants, taxpayers, and others, are equal to the cost of the program. If the dollars are above $0, the benefits of the program exceed the initial investment.|
Skemer, M. & Valentine, E.J. (2016). Striving for Independence: Two-Year Impact Findings from the Youth Villages Transitional Living Evaluation. New York, NY: MDRC.
Valentine, E.J., Skemer, M., & Courtney, M.E. (2015). Becoming Adults: One-Year Impact Findings from the Youth Villages Transitional Living Evaluation. New York, NY: MDRC.