Elizabeth Cauffman, professor of psychological science, has received a $780,000 grant from the National Institute of Justice to evaluate the Orange County Young Adult Court (YAC). This will be the first randomized control trial in the country of a YAC. Such courts are designed to focus specifically on people between the ages of 18 and 25, with the goal of addressing and preventing criminal behavior. Offenders participating in Cauffman’s study will develop and follow individualized action plans in order to achieve personal and professional goals that support positive life outcomes and decrease recidivism. Successful completion of the program may result in an earlier end to probation or the reduction or dismissal of a felony conviction.
The Orange County YAC was created through the joint efforts of Cauffman, Orange County Superior Court Judge (and UCI alumna) Maria D. Hernandez, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, the Orange County Probation Department, defense counsel and the Orangewood Foundation.