LA Coordinated System of Care

Evidence-based research

Evidence-Based Research and Treatment Interventions

The Office of Juvenile Justice is committed to utilizing treatment interventions that have a demonstrated ability to help youth acknowledge accountability, learn pro-social attitudes and behaviors and avoid risky thinking and actions. Research indicates that evidence-based treatment is the most efficient and effective means of protecting the public and reducing recidivism.  Below is a list of evidence based interventions/practices employed by OJJ.


The Structured Assessment of Violence Risk in Youth (SAVRY) is a standardized, objective tool used to assess the risk for violence and general delinquency in youth. OJJ utilizes the SAVRY to identify empirically-based risk and need factors for individual youth that are most closely correlated with criminal behavior. Evidence indicates that appropriate treatment of these factors can reduce a youth’s risk for offending in the future.

Motivational Interviewing (MI) is an evidence-based practice used by criminal justice professionals to enhance communication, build rapport and motivate offenders into changing their behavior. OJJ uses Motivational Interviewing as a part of its LAMOD process in secure care as a non-confrontational approach to guide offender awareness of potential problems and the consequences of their actions.

Thinking for a Change (T4C) is an integrated, 25 lesson cognitive behavioral change program for youth that includes cognitive restructuring, social skills development, and development of problem solving skills. T4C is utilized in all of OJJ’s secure care facilities as well as several residential community based programs. 

Functional Family Therapy (FFT) is an empirically grounded, highly successful family intervention program for dysfunctional and at-risk youth and their families, including youth with problems such as conduct disorder, violent acting-out, and substance abuse issues.  OJJ contracts for FFT services with community providers who serve both adjudicated and non-adjudicated youth and their families. Treatment has specific phases that organize intervention in a coherent manner, allowing clinicians to maintain focus in the context of considerable family and individual disruption. 

Multi-Systemic Therapy (MST) is an empirically grounded, intensive family and community based treatment program that focuses on addressing all environmental systems that impact chronic and violent juvenile offenders, including their homes and families, schools and teachers, neighborhoods and friends.  MST clinicians go to where the child is; they are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and they work intensively with parents and caregivers to put them in control and to help keep the youth focused on school and gaining job skills.  MST is a Medicaid eligible service available to at-risk and justice involved youth and their families.  

Effective Practices in Community Supervision (EPICS) is a best practice model used by probation officers and case managers in the community to identify high-risk thinking and anti-social attitudes during one-on-one client meetings. EPICS promotes a risk-need-responsivity framework within which probation officers utilize core correctional practices to intervene where youth are deficient.  


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