Standardized Program Evaluation Protocol (SPEP™)
The SPEP™ is a validated, data driven rating instrument for determining how well an existing service matches research evidence for the effectiveness of that particular type of intervention in terms of reducing the recidivism of juvenile offenders. Developed by Dr. Mark Lipsey at the Peabody Research Institute of Vanderbilt University, the SPEP operationalizes more than 700 research studies allowing practitioners to directly apply research to juvenile justice practice.
It allows both brand name and non-brand name services to be matched to a large body of research on program effectiveness. Once matched, the SPEP can be used to compare the key characteristics of a specific program to the characteristics the research shows to be associated with programs that are effective for reducing recidivism.
Simply put, the SPEP serves as a practical way to evaluate services for juvenile offenders in a standardized, scientific, and sustainable manner.
The SPEP was initiated in three of the eight Judicial Districts and four residential facilities in Iowa in 2013 and has since expanded to include two additional districts. Ultimately, it is intended that the SPEP process be conducted statewide.
If you have questions regarding the SPEP process, please contact:
Division of Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning