Home > Policies > Monitor the implementation of the graduated response model

There is strong evidence that the major driver of system involved youth being pushed further into the “deep end” – that is, out-of-home placement – is an overly punitive response to technical violations of probation.  A technical violation of probation is a violation of one or more of the terms of probation, but it need not by itself be a criminal act at all.  For example, a young person may have a term of probation that requires them to maintain at least a certain GPA in school.  Dropping below that GPA would be a technical violation, though of course is not a crime.  The Department of Juvenile Services has acknowledged this and has introduced a “graduated response model” under which technical violations of probation are addressed with finer nuance and individualized consideration, all aimed at reducing the number of children in the “deep end”.  For the GPA example given above, such a violation would merit only a mild response.  DJS caseworkers have been using the model since December 2015.  Indeed there has been a drop in out-of-home placements, and the department is currently analyzing a year’s worth of data to determine if the Graduated Response Model can fairly be credited for this reduction.