A program evaluation of a multiagency community-based violence reduction program
Established through a grant awarded by the Texas Criminal Justice Division, Office of the Governor, the Denton Delinquency Prevention/Intervention Program facilitates collaboration among several local agencies, city government, and university personnel as well as professionals from the local school district, police department, and juvenile justice system. The multiagency community-based violence reduction program for at-risk youth facilitated both the Boys and Girls Club of Denton (a prevention program providing after-school and summer activities for youth) and the Denton Teen Court (an intervention program providing deferred adjudication for first-time offenders). Both qualitative and quantitative methodology were used to analyze perceptions of key persons within the two programs as well as perceptions of community agency personnel regarding the multiagency collaboration experience. The study analyzes first-year program evaluation results for the Denton Delinquency Prevention/Intervention Program.
In general, responding program evaluation participants for both the Boys and Girls Club of Denton and the Denton Teen Court felt positive about program impact and were satisfied with the overall programs. Analysis of Boys and Girls Club of Denton group respondents' perceptions regarding the tutoring program impact on youth participants' school progress differed significantly with program personnel perceiving a greater impact than parent/guardian and youth participant respondents. Comparison of the Denton Teen Court parent/guardian and juvenile defendant respondents' perceptions regarding fair sentencing differed significantly with more parent/guardian respondents believing that their teenager received a fair sentence than the responding juvenile defendants. Multiagency personnel identified limited funding and lack of communication and collaboration among participating community agencies as hindrances to effective multiagency collaboration efforts.
Four critical issues regarding effective multiagency collaboration emerged: (a) the necessary formation of an administrative board representing fiscal accountability of the multiagency collaborative effort that allows active representation and participation of all involved parties, (b) the continuing trend of funding allocations mandating shared responsibilities between community agencies serving similar populations, (c) the need for periodic data collection procedures throughout funding timelines when evaluating dynamic changing subject populations, and (d) the need for continued university support in the areas of grant writing/development, program evaluation, and/or results publication. Program results support previous research regarding multiagency collaborative efforts.