Partnership with HCJPD

Support system reform efforts in youth justice using data and evidence.

The Harris County Juvenile Probation Department (HCJPD), the largest juvenile probation department in Texas, provides supervision and services to Harris County youths under the jurisdiction of the Juvenile Court. HCJPD is responsible for a wide range of services, including intake of youths referred to the Juvenile Court, diversion programs, pre-adjudication detention, post-adjudication local residential services, health and education services for youths under its custody, and multiple treatment and rehabilitation programs.

TPL’s Role

The Texas Policy Lab and HCJPD have established an exciting, long-term research partnership to support HCJPD’s mission through data-driven and scientifically based efforts. Our partnership is to support system reform efforts in youth justice using data and evidence that will lead to a less punitive system and contribute to the elimination of pervasive racial disparities.

The Lab and HCJPD have already worked together in the design of an innovative program to rehabilitate serious offenders and collaborated in TPL’s design of a data analytics tool for the Harris County Task Force to Transform Youth Justice. As operations begin to normalize in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, TPL and HCJPD have embarked on multiple collaborative research agendas (scroll down for more details). 


HCJPD is committed to an evidence-based approach to meet the needs of justice-involved youth in Harris County. The results from our partnership will continue to enable HCJPD as they develop a portfolio of programs that is fully supported by evidence. Youth justice stakeholders in Harris County will be able to make decisions based on a body of rigorous evidence grounded in local data, understand the ways in which the youth justice system affects lives, and to develop effective strategies to address disparities in the system.

Research Agendas

  • 01/03

    Understanding the juvenile justice system

    Understanding the Harris County juvenile justice system and the consequences of its decisions on youths. Learn more here

  • 02/03

    Evaluating Interventions

    Develop an evidence-based portfolio of programs through a series of impact evaluations. Learn more here

  • 03/03

    Characterizing racial disparities

    Rigorously characterize racial disparities in the Harris County juvenile justice system to develop interventions that address these disparities. Learn more here