Data about the Youth Engaged in Services (YES) voluntary program

This page provides data on participation in the Youth Engaged in Services (YES) voluntary program. In this program, a young person voluntarily extends their engagement with the Department of Youth Services (DYS) after they are discharged on a commitment (after age 18 or 21); for example, to complete a treatment program.

Table of Contents

YES Participation Data Trends

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Annual number of YES program transitions in Massachusetts and rate of transitions for youth that age out of DYS since fiscal year 2015. (Download this data)

YES is an agreement between DYS and a young person, where the youth voluntarily extends their engagement with DYS after they are discharged from a commitment (after age 18 or 21); for example, to complete a treatment program. Through this program, DYS supports youth transitioning out of typical juvenile services into adulthood. Youth can terminate their YES status when they have completed their goals or earlier, without court repercussions. DYS can also terminate a YES extension.

YES Participation Data: Demographic and Geographic Breakdowns

"Demographics of DYS transitions to YES", below, shows total YES participation and demographics over time. From the drop down menu, you can select a demographic variable (race/ethnicity, gender, or age) of interest and see the breakdown of that variable in YES participation over time.

You can also look at data by calendar year or fiscal year, and look at either the total number of youth participating in YES in a given category, or the percent change in that category year over year .

As a point of comparison, this page also includes a visualization showing the racial distribution for all Massachusetts youth (not just those in the juvenile justice system) based on U.S. Census data. 

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Statewide youth YES transitions are shown by race, gender, and age group for each fiscal year since 2015. (Download this data)

The visualization below shows changes in the total number of youth who are participating in the YES program in a given year, as well as demographic breakdowns (age, race/ethnicity, or gender). This is called the YES annual caseload.

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Statewide youth YES caseloads are shown by race, gender, and age group for each fiscal year since 2018. (Download this data)

Below, select a county to see how many YES transitions occurred that year or to see the percent change in transitions from the previous year. You can also select to view the number of YES transitions in each court county per 10,000 youth (ages 12-17) in that county. To change the year, select the option from the drop-down menu. 

The visualization below indicates YES transitions by a youth’s county of residence (home county).

YES Participation Data: Offense Type & Severity

The visualizations below show what types of offenses youth transitioning to the YES program were committed for, and how that has changed over time. You can also look at data by calendar year or fiscal year, and look at either the total number of transitions in a given category, or the percent change in that category year over year.

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Statewide youth commitments are shown by offense types for each year since 2015. Offense types include drugs, motor vehicle, person, property, public order, weapons and other/not available. (Download this data)

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Annual YES transitions by MSO grid level since 2015. 

*Grid level 7 is reserved for youth sentenced in adult court for murder and is not reflected in this graph.

(Download this data)

The Department of Youth Services categorizes the seriousness of offense by “grid level.” This is a numeric representation ranging from 1 (least serious) to 7 (most serious), based on the adult sentencing guidelines. 

Examples of common offense types for each grid level include: 
1- Disturbing the peace, Petty larceny, Possession of marijuana
2- Possession of cocaine, Assault and battery
3- Breaking and entering (felony), Larceny (felony)
4- Assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, Armed robbery
5-Armed assault and robbery, Attempted murder
6- Car jacking with a firearm
7*- Murder

The next visualization indicates the MSO Grid Level for youth transitioning to the YES program.

About the Data

Data Obtained From:

Data on utilization of the YES program comes from the Department of Youth Services.

Juvenile population data is sourced from Easy Access to Juvenile Populations (EZAPOP), a data analysis tool available through the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP)’s Statistical Briefing Book. The population estimates provided are derived from data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau and subsequently modified by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). To learn more about the data click here

Definitions:

Birth Sex: DYS reports with the following options: Male or Female. Youth are asked to self-identify.

Calendar year: From January 1 through December 31 of the year listed.

Fiscal year: From July 1 through June 30 of the year listed. 

Race/Ethnicity: DYS reports with the following options: American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Black or African American, Chooses not to self-identify, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, White, Multiracial (if more than one selected). Ethnicity is self-reported – “Yes” or “No”— as Hispanic. Due to the small numbers of youth, individuals in the following race categories are reported in "Other" in these visualizations: American Indian or Alaskan Native, Asian, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, and Unknown race categories. Youth are asked to self-identify.

In these visualizations, youth who are identified as Hispanic/Latino and any other race are categorized as "Hispanic/Latino." 

Definitions for juvenile justice terms adapted from "Kids and the Law: A User's Guide to the Juvenile Court" 4th ed. by Rebecca Pries, LMHC and Carol Rosensweig, Esq. Click here for an electronic copy and more information.

Definitions for data reporting terms from each reporting agency.

Additional Resources

Date published: November 2, 2020
Last updated: November 2, 2020
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