Arizona Judicial Branch

 AZ Standardized Program Evaluation Protocol     
SPEP, Contact Us

For further information regarding Arizona's
Standardized Program Evaluation Program (AZ SPEP) please contact:

Deborah Kurth,


Phone: 602.452.3537

Arizona's (AZ) Juvenile Justice Services Division (JJSD) of the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) expends approximately $22 million annually in contracts that provide treatment services to court involved youth.  Legislative mandate requires evaluation of these programs to ensure they reduce recidivism.  In 2006 the JJSD established a partnership with a team of experts lead by Dr. Mark Lipsey, Director of the Peabody Research Institute at Vanderbilt University to evaluate existing programs utilizing the Standardized Program Evaluation Protocol (SPEP).

The SPEP is an evidence-based evaluation tool that assesses how closely juvenile justice treatment programs match the key features found most predictive of positive effects on recidivism.  Using a technique known as meta-analysis, Lipsey examined nearly 600 controlled studies of interventions with juvenile offenders.  The identified features (primary service type, supplemental services, amount of service, quality of implementation, and the youth's delinquency risk level) have been translated into guidelines for effective interventions.  In essence, the purpose of the AZ SPEP is two-fold, to measure effectiveness and to serve as a road map for program improvement.

NOTICE:  The SPEP is considered propriety information and should not be used without permission!