- Landscape Analysis
- Due Diligence
- Tactical Guidance
A major philanthropy and recognized leader on criminal justice reform sought Engage’s assistance determining how to leverage its investment in state-level campaigns to reform juvenile justice systems. Though states were facing high costs of juvenile incarceration and stagnant levels of recidivism, it was unclear what guidance was needed to better focus resources on high-risk offenders and find alternatives to detention facilities. Engage conducted a twelve-state landscape assessment of opportunities to provide the client with meaningful due diligence data and tactical recommendations to shape its campaigns.
Engage and the client selected twelve states for a landscape assessment analysis based on the size of the potentially affected population, potential cost savings, the relationship to policy drivers in the federal debate, likely influence on other states if it successfully advanced reforms, and receptivity to having outside assistance.
Engage utilized an extensive research and interview process to prepare the twelve individual assessment reports. Each included: a snapshot of the current juvenile justice system; a review of previous legislation and policy impacting juvenile justice reform; a summary of the interests of various stakeholder groups; an analysis of critical success factors and potential failure points; tactical recommendations; and an estimate of potential annual state cost savings from potential reforms.
To begin, Engage reviewed research materials and created a draft research guide and script to ensure precise, thorough and targeted analyses. To ensure that research and interviews resulted in data that could be compared across states, Engage adhered to a standard set of research parameters and questions as much as possible, leaving room for natural variation.
Engage’s findings narrowed the opportunities from twelve to six states where an investment would have the most impact. Strategic recommendations and tactical guidance were used by the client as it designed and launched a multi-year campaign to advance reforms. Juvenile justice reform campaigns continue to show reductions in crime at lower cost.