Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services

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Public Safety Indicators

Monitoring and reporting public safety outcomes are key parts of the agency’s efforts to enhance the safety of youth and the community. DYRS regularly assesses its performance using a host of public safety indicators, including reconviction and re-arrest rates.  In addition to helping the agency determine whether it is meeting its public safety mission, evaluating these outcomes allows DYRS to develop targeted strategies for improving its supervision and treatment services.

This section presents the agency's most current outcomes with respect to reconviction and re-arrest trends.


One way to measure DYRS’ performance toward meeting its public safety mission is to determine how many of the agency’s youth are found involved, or guilty, of a new offense. This is the "recidivism rate." The formal definition of recidivism used in this and other DYRS reports is:

A committed youth has recidivated if he or she is convicted in Washington, DC, of a new juvenile or adult offense which occurred within one year of being placed in or returned to the community.

Although there are different ways to measure recidivism, the agency’s method—re-adjudication or re-conviction within one year of community placement—is consistent with other jurisdictions and the recommended definition set forth by juvenile justice experts.

Reconviction Rates by Initial Placement Type

The re-conviction rates within one year of community-placement for youth committed to DYRS, by fiscal year of commitment to the agency and initial placement type.

  FY2010 FY2011 FY2012 FY2013 FY2014*
All Community-Based Placements  37%  30% 30% 31% 21%
Home  44%  43% 17%** 0%** 0%**
Community-Based Residential Facilities 35% 28% 30% 31% 22%
All Secure Placements 40% 30% 39% 44% TBD
New Beginnings 35% 40% 36% 44% TBD
Residential Treatment Centers 42% 29% 38% 38% TBD
*FY2014 data reported only for youth with initial community-based placements. Data for youth placed in out-of-community placements is pending.
**Few youth were initially placed at home in FY2012, FY2013, and FY2014.

Reconviction Rates by Type of Re-Offense

The rate of youth re-convicted within one year of community-placement, by fiscal year of commitment to the agency and type of re-offense.

Offense Type FY2010 FY2011 FY2012 FY2013 FY2014*
Violent Offenses 17% 16% 15% 14% 6%
Violent Felony 9% 12% 9% 8% 5%
Violent Misdemeanor 5% 3% 4% 1% 2%
Weapons 3% 1% 2% 2% 0%
Threats Felony 0% 0% 0% 1% 0%
Threats Misdemeanor 1% 0% 0% 2% 0%
Drug Offenses 5% 2% 1% 2% 0%
Drug Felony 1% 0% 0% 1% 0%
Drug Misdemeanor 4% 2% 1% 1% 0%
Property Offenses 10% 8% 9% 8% 5%
Property Felony 4% 2% 2% 2% 1%
Property Misdemeanor 5% 4% 4% 5% 3%
Unauthorized Use of Vehicle 4% 3% 3% 2% 1%
Other Offenses 2% 4% 8% 11% 2%
Persons in Need of Supervision 1% 0% 0% 1% 0%
Other 2% 4% 8% 10% 2%
No Re-Conviction 62% 70% 66% 64% 79%
*FY2014 data reported only for youth with initial community-based placements. Data for youth placed in out-of-community placements is pending. ‘PINS’ indicates “Person in Need of Supervision.”

Re-arrest Trends

While DYRS uses the one-year re-conviction rate as its primary recidivism measure, in 2012 the agency also began to track, in the aggregate, all arrests of DYRS youth. Unlike the standard recidivism measure, however, re-arrest rates do not account for the fact that young people are innocent until proven guilty in a court. Last year, fewer than half of all re-arrests of DYRS youth resulted in a re-conviction, which demonstrates the importance of considering final outcomes when using re-arrest to measure public safety performance. Nevertheless, comparing arrest rates from year to year can provide a snapshot of change in new contacts with the justice system.

Re-Arrest Rates of DYRS Youth as a Portion of Citywide Arrests of Individuals Age 20 and Younger

Re-arrests of youth committed to DYRS as a percentage of citywide arrests of individuals age 20 and younger. The table indicates both percent of all arrests and percent of individuals arrested each calendar year.

  CY2011 CY2012 CY2013 CY2014 CY2015
% of Citywide Arrests 9.1% 6.6% 6.0% 6.3% 5.1%
% of All Youth Arrested Citywide 8.5% 6.4% 5.2% 5.2% 4.3%

Re-Arrest Rates of DYRS Youth as a Portion of All DYRS Committed Youth

The percentage of youth committed to DYRS who are arrested each calendar year.

  CY2011 CY2012 CY2013 CY2014 CY2015
% of DYRS Committed Youth Arrested  33.0% 25.0% 29.7% 33.1% 27.6%

Re-arrest Rates by Offense Type

The number of unique DYRS youth re-arrested, by offense type, each calendar year. Because an individual youth may have multiple arrests with different offense types, the total count of youth arrested may be smaller than the sum of youth arrested for specific offense types.

Offense Type CY2011 CY2012 CY2013 CY2014 CY2015
Violent Offenses 205 144 127 90 81
Drug Offenses 81 40 22 19 4
Property Offenses 132 79 46 74 42
Other Offenses 117 72 118 91 38
All Offenses 415 271 250 209 136