Juvenile Justice Model Fidelity

Model fidelity is founded in the Fidelity Principle of the Eight Principles of Effective Intervention as outlined by the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) and the Crime and Justice Institute (CJI). While a program may be ‘evidence-based,’ the outcomes are most effective when the program adheres to model fidelity, or aligns with the curriculum as designed by the developers. To ensure model fidelity, there must be proper training and ongoing support for staff. According to CJI, fidelity to program model integrity includes three parts, including: (1) training of staff, (2) supervision and coaching of staff, and (3) adherence to the Principles of Effective Intervention.

Research on adherence to model fidelity demonstrates reductions in recidivism can be realized when the program is implemented as designed; however, when there are deviations from the model, recidivism reductions are not often achieved and in some instances recidivism rates have even increased (Washington State Institute of Public Policy, 2004, 2010).

Georgia’s Criminal Justice Coordinating Council is committed to assisting Juvenile Justice Incentive Grantees with the implementation of evidence-based programs through coaching and feedback on model fidelity and general programmatic operations. As such, the Model Fidelity Coordinators are responsible for this effort, and conduct site visits to support this role. If you are interested in available trainings provided model fidelity staff, please click here.

Model Fidelity Site Visit

The purpose of the model fidelity site visit is to recognize program successes as well as identify areas for which technical assistance can be provided. With collaborative efforts, recidivism reductions can be achieved for Georgia youth.

The information below provides a description and timeline of the activities for the model fidelity site visits.


There are several activities that will occur prior to the model fidelity site visit to guide preparation for on-site activities. The specific preparation and on-site activities follow.

Preparation Activities

  • Introductory conference call to discuss general overview of model fidelity site visit and to schedule initial phone interview with program director
  • Phone and email communication to coordinate site visit details, including scheduling of group observations and staff interviews, and request for materials to be reviewed during on-site visit
  • Request and review program materials and policies
  • Respond to any questions or concerns related to on-site visit

On-site Activities

  • Interviews with all program staff including director, group facilitators, counselors, and case managers
  • Interview questions will focus on:
    • Training, internal couching of group facilitation and case management practices
    • Program development and implementation
    • Modifications to the program to assist with operations, target population, and motivation
    • Program participation selection criteria and eligibility
    • Program policies related to behavior and learning objectives for successful completion
    • Quality assurance processes
  • Random case file review
  • Group observations (2)
  • Review of program manual, materials, and policies
  • Program assessment review, including risk and needs assessment information, program success rates, and performance measures
  • Voluntary and confidential program participant surveys

Depending on group schedules and staff interviews, most on-site program visits will last up to two days. Scheduling for on-site activities will be done in the most efficient manner and with great consideration for group schedules and program routines.

Following the model fidelity site visit, CJCC staff will present to the program a report summarizing findings and respective recommendations. The Model Fidelity Coordinator will create an action plan to outline the steps necessary for grant compliance and adherence to the model. A consultant will also be available for facilitator development.

Note: For FY2021 Incentive Grant Program, CJCC has prioritized Thinking for a Change and Aggression Replacement Training as the two curricula and respective sites to be evaluated.

Please access the links below and also see the Related Files at the bottom of this page for additional information.

Program Information;

Policies and Procedures

Attendance and Participation

Referral and Intake

Quality Assurance

Behavioral Modification Tools

Note: It’s important to note while one resource may be suggested to be for T4C/ART, it can be easily adapted to either program.

For more information, please contact Model Fidelity Coordinator Chelsea Benson at [email protected].