Data Nerd Alert! Making Juvenile Justice Data Accessible and Useful


Monday, August 19, 2019
4:15 PM - 5:15 PM
Session Type: Workshop

More and more juvenile justice practitioners are expected to not only collect data, but to also understand it and know how to use it to inform decisions. Some jurisdictions have access to fancy technology and well-staffed research teams, while others have just one person who likes numbers and is familiar with Excel. This workshop is for those on both ends of the spectrum! You’ll hear concrete and practical examples of how the Allegheny County (Pennsylvania) Juvenile Court has made its data more accessible and useful. Participants will learn about the most important measures in juvenile justice, as shown by research, and the presenters will share tips for improving your jurisdiction’s data gathering and research capacity–no matter where you are starting from! Leave this session with a plan to make immediate and beneficial improvements in your data collection.


Melanie King
Research Analyst, Allegheny County Juvenile Court

Melanie King is the Juvenile Justice Planner for the Allegheny County Juvenile Probation Department in Pittsburgh, PA, the second largest juvenile probation department in Pennsylvania. She manages data analysis and reporting, responds to funding opportunities, and provides recommendations to improve service delivery based on evaluations, research, and data analysis. She also supports interagency data sharing initiatives, such as the Crossover Youth Practice Model and School Justice Partnership. Ms. King is a Level 1 SPEP Specialist and member of Pennsylvania Council of Chief Juvenile Probation Officers’ Research Committee. Ms. King earned her undergraduate degree at American University and her M.S.W. at the University of Pittsburgh.

Melissa Sickmund
Director, National Center for Juvenile Justice

Dr. Sickmund has led several national juvenile justice data projects including the Juvenile Justice Model Data Project. She serves as Managing Editor for the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges’ Juvenile and Family Court Journal. She is best known for the Juvenile Offenders and Victims publication series. She is a member of Pennsylvania Council of Chief Juvenile Probation Officers’ Research Committee. Her Ph.D. is from the University of Maryland. During her career she has worked with juvenile justice practitioners and policymakers providing technical assistance to improve juvenile justice systems across the country. Her work has had the goal of improving juvenile justice statistical information and facilitating the use of data to support decision-making at the national, state, and local levels.