An Evaluation of the Southeast Austin Community Youth Development Program
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The purpose of this research is explore the effectiveness of the Community Youth Development (CYD) program to reduce juvenile crime and have a positive impact on targeted communities. The CYD Program is the responsibility of the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services (PRS). In 1995, the 74th Texas Legislature created the Community Youth Development (CYD) Program to address juvenile crime. The goal of the program is to decrease the incidence of juvenile crime in Texas. Research methodologies to explore the working hypotheses consisted of comparative case study and field research. First, the comparative case study allowed the comparison of the two zip code areas (CYD local area and comparison local area), to determine the effect of the Community Youth Development (CYD) Program in the targeted community. Second, the field research tested the impact of CYD in the targeted community through open-ended interviews, direct observations, and a focus group. Although the evidence reviewed does not clearly indicate the impact of the program on juvenile crime, the Southeast Austin Community Youth Development Program has community support. The program is definitely meeting the needs of the youth for extracurricular activities. Children and families are afforded opportunities and resources within the 78744 community that were not present prior to the implementation of the program. Although many of the individuals interviewed for this study admitted they do not know the impact the CYD Program has had on juvenile crime in the community, they believe the program has had a positive impact in the community. Although preliminary evidence did not show the clear impact of the program in meeting the goal of reducing juvenile crime, the Southeast Austin Community Youth Development Program is certainly meeting many of the needs of the targeted community.