A Comparative Study Using Propensity Score Matching to Predict Incarceration Likelihoods Among SSYI and non-SSYI Youth from 2011-2013
To address serious youth violence, particularly that involving guns, Massachusetts launched the Safe and Successful Youth Initiative (SSYI) in 2011, providing a comprehensive public health approach to addressing young men, between the ages of 14-24, believed to be at “proven risk” for being involved with firearms.
In evaluating the initiative, the authors explored three questions:
- Does placement on the SSYI list, regardless of services received, serve as a protective factor against future incarceration?
- Does receipt of SSYI services serve as a protective factor against future incarceration?
- Does active engagement in SSYI services serve as a protective factor against future incarceration?
- Youth who were on the SSYI list, but did not receive any services, were twice as likely to be incarcerated as youth in the comparison group who were not on the SSYI list, but who shared the same risk characteristics.
- Youth in the comparison group were 37% more likely to be incarcerated than SSYI youth who received services.
- Youth in the comparison group were 42% more likely to be incarcerated than youth who were actively engaged in SSYI services.