MDRC studies programs and policies that seek to improve opportunities for young people and to reform the juvenile and criminal legal systems.

The Latest

Roca Baltimore works with young men who have been involved in the justice system and who are at high risk of violence. This brief assesses the extent to which Roca identified and engaged its target population, through an analysis of data on participants.


Many jurisdictions use electronic monitoring (electronic devices that monitor people’s locations) and sobriety monitoring (drug and alcohol testing) as alternatives to pretrial detention. The analyses described in this report from four jurisdictions found that neither form of monitoring improves court appearance rates or the avoidance of new arrests.

Key Documents
Issue Focus

A Case Study of PACE Center for Girls

MDRC worked closely with PACE in evaluating its program for girls. As an organization dedicated to continuous improvement, PACE used the implementation research findings to refine its services in several ways. This issue focus summarizes the study and the partnership and explains how the program applied some of the lessons.


Two-Year Impact Findings from the Youth Villages Transitional Living Evaluation

This study tested a program that offers individualized services to young people who are making the transition from foster care or juvenile justice custody to independent living. The program had modest, positive effects on earnings, housing stability, and economic well-being and improved some health and safety outcomes.


A Guide to Social Impact Bond Investing

MDRC President Gordon Berlin draws lessons from MDRC’s implementation of the first social impact bond (SIB) project in the United States, providing valuable insights into the inner workings of SIB deals and explaining the challenges and the potential of this impact investing model.