2016 Tennessee Code
Title 37 - Juveniles
Chapter 5 - Department of Children's Services
Part 1 - General Provisions
§ 37-5-121. Pilot programs -- Evidence-based programs for the prevention, treatment or care of delinquent juveniles.

TN Code § 37-5-121 (2016) What's This?

(a) As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires:

(1) "Evidence-based" means a program or practice that meets the following requirements:

(A) The program or practice is governed by a program manual or protocol that specifies the nature, quality, and amount of service that constitutes the program; and

(B) Scientific research using methods that meet high scientific standards for evaluating the effects of such programs must have demonstrated with two (2) or more separate client samples that the program improves client outcomes central to the purpose of the program;

(2) "Pilot program" means a temporary research-based or theory-based program or project that is eligible for funding from any source to determine whether or not evidence supports its continuation beyond the fixed evaluation period. A pilot program shall provide for and include:

(A) Development of a program manual or protocol that specifies the nature, quality, and amount of service that constitutes the program; and

(B) Scientific research using methods that meet high scientific standards for evaluating the effects of such programs must demonstrate on at least an annual basis whether or not the program improves client outcomes central to the purpose of the program;

(3) "Research-based" means a program or practice that has some research demonstrating effectiveness, but that does not yet meet the standard of evidence-based; and

(4) "Theory-based" means a program or practice that has general support among treatment providers and experts, based on experience or professional literature, may have anecdotal or case-study support, and has potential for becoming a research-based program or practice.

(b) The department of children's services, and any other state agency that administers funds related to the prevention, treatment or care of delinquent juveniles, shall not expend state funds on any juvenile justice program or program related to the prevention, treatment or care of delinquent juveniles, including any service model or delivery system in any form or by any name, unless the program is evidence-based. The department shall continue the ongoing research and evaluation of sound, theory-based and research-based programs with the goal of identifying and expanding the number and type of available evidence-based programs, and to that end the department may engage in and fund pilot programs as defined in this section.

(c) Implementation of programs shall be accompanied by monitoring and quality control procedures designed to ensure that they are delivered as prescribed in the applicable program manual or protocol and that corrective action shall be taken when those standards are not met.

(d) The department shall include in any contract with a provider of services related to prevention, treatment or care of delinquent juveniles a provision affirming that the provider shall provide only evidence-based services, except for services that are being provided pursuant to a pilot program as defined in this section, and that the services shall be accompanied by monitoring and quality control procedures that ensure that they are delivered according to the applicable standards. The department may use performance requirements or incentives in determining the amounts payable in contracts or grants.

(e) In order to prevent undue disturbance to existing department programs, the department shall ensure that twenty-five percent (25%) of the funds expended for delinquent juveniles meet the requirements of this section during fiscal year 2009-2010, that fifty percent (50%) of such funds meet the requirements of this section during fiscal year 2010-2011, that seventy-five percent (75%) of such funds meet the requirements of this section during fiscal year 2011-2012, and that one hundred percent (100%) of such funds meet the requirements of this section during fiscal year 2012-2013 and each fiscal year thereafter.

(f) The commissioner is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations to effectuate the purposes of this section. The rules and regulations shall be promulgated in accordance with the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled in title 4, chapter 5.

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