Juvenile Justice IRB Policies: Increasing Access to Evidence-Based Practices

This session is from the NASP 2021 Annual Convention

  • PMD: 8,9
  • Skill Level: Intermediate

Learner Objectives

This session will help participants…

  1. explore the inequity of delivery of EBP in JJ settings and how this imbalance of empirically driven instruction perpetuates the marginalization of the youth receiving services in the JJ system.
  2. describe current federal and state policies related to school psychologists conducting research in juvenile justice settings and identify how these policies hinder research with youth in JJ facilities, specifically research to identify and evaluate effective EBPs.
  3. consider how the population characteristics of JJ youth create unique academic, behavioral, and mental health needs for those served in the JJ system and how school psychologists have a responsibility to advocate for necessary supports.
  4. discuss specific steps that school psychologists and juvenile justice professionals can take to collaborate when conducting research to identify and evaluate evidence-based practices for students in the JJ system.


This presentation describes findings from a systematic review of IRB policies and practices across the U.S. for gaining approval and conducting research in juvenile justice (JJ) facilities. Discussion will focus facilitators or barriers in serving this underrepresented population. School psychologists will better understand their role as advocates for social justice and how they can collaborate with JJ personnel to conduct research as they strive to provide equitable access to evidence-based practices.



Brandy Elrod, Georgia State University
Kris Varjas, Georgia State University


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