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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 re-arrest trends and re-convictions.

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

Arrests attributed to youth committed to DYRS as a percentage of citywide arrests of individuals age 20 and younger. 

  CY2011 CY2012 CY2013 CY2014 CY2015 CY2016 CY2017 CY2018
% of Citywide Arrests 9.1% 6.6% 6.0% 6.3% 5.1% 3.5% 3.1% 4.4%

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 CY2016 CY2017 CY2018
% of DYRS Committed Youth Arrested  33.0% 25.0% 29.7% 33.1% 27.6% 24.3% 24.3% 33.3%


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 FY of Commitment to the Agency

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







FY2015 FY2016

Reconviction Rate






42% 22%