advancing youth and community well-being

Ceres Policy Research - Our Research

Ceres Policy Research has provided p0licy-related research for the fields of education and juvenile justice reform since 2002.  Our current areas of focus are multi-system data analysis, survey research, and program evaluation--either single programs or multi-site programs and initiatives.



Ceres Policy Research has provided p0licy-related strategic research for the fields of education and justice reform since 2002.  Our current areas of focus are multi-system data analysis, survey research, and program evaluation--either single programs or multi-site programs and initiatives.  We describe our work in more detail below.


Photo Credit:  William Stitt

Photo Credit: William Stitt

Multi-System Data analysis

Ceres has developed projects to compile data from multiple systems.  This allows us to track youth from school through the child welfare system, behavioral health agencies, and into the justice system, to identify risk factors that lead to exclusionary school discipline and justice involvement, and to develop solutions to system disparities.

2018-2019 National SOGIE Data Collection Project. Ceres is working with four justice systems across the country to collect sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression (SOGIE) data.  We will then conduct data analysis that provides information that will be used to improve outcomes for youth.

2018  National Study of How Assaults and Robbery Charges May Drive Racial/Ethnic Disparities. Dr. Angela Irvine and her staff are partnering with the Justice Policy Institute to analyze individual case files to determine whether assault and robbery charges may be driving racial and ethnic disparities in the youth justice system.  While JPI is conducting research in Washington, DC, and Chicago, IL, Dr. Irvine is focused on Santa Clara County in California.

2018 Slowing the Number of Youth Who Cross from Child Welfare to Probation. Working with Santa Clara County in California, Ceres analyzed system data to determine what factors most strongly predict which fourteen year olds will cross from the child welfare to justice system.

2017 Analysis of Data from Charlotte-Mecklenberg, North Carolina. Ceres is analyzing child welfare, school discipline, and justice data to identify how wraparound services might improve school outcomes for youth.

Survey Research

Between 2010 and 2017, Dr. Irvine completed survey research that ranged from small youth surveys for program evaluations to a survey of 1400 youth in seven detention halls around the country and another survey of 4000 youth at every detention hall, ranch, and camp in the state of California while at the National Council on Crime and Delinquency and Impact Justice.  Prior to that work, she completed the following needs assessment and large-scale survey research projects for Ceres Policy Research:

2018-2019 National Survey to Measure the Chilling Effects of Impact of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Raids on State and Local Courts.  Dr. Irvine and her staff are partnering with the Immigrant Defense Project and immigrant-serving organizations across the country to measure how ICE raids are keeping families from participating in proceedings held at state and local courts.

2008 National Survey to Measure Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Gender Expression (SOGIE) of Youth Detained.  Dr. Irvine completed a survey of six detention halls in Annie E. Casey Foundation Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative Sites.  This survey determined that LGBQ/GNCT youth are overrepresented in juvenile detention.  

2008 Youth Substance Use Survey for Santa Cruz Reclaiming Futures Site. Ceres surveyed eight high schools to determine youth substance use in Santa Cruz County.  

2005 Health Assessment of Santa Cruz Latino Immigrants. Ceres, in partnership with Barrios Unidos, surveyed Latino immigrant families in central and north Santa Cruz County to determine the health needs of this population.  

2005 Survey of Girls At-Risk of Justice Involvement in Santa Cruz County. Ceres, in partnership with the Santa Cruz County Girls Task Force, surveyed over 200 boys and girls to assess the service needs of girls at-risk of justice involvement.  

2005 Survey of Youth Exiting the Santa Cruz County Detention Hall. Ceres surveyed youth exiting the Santa Cruz County juvenile hall on their health needs.  This survey became a baseline measure for the Santa Cruz site of The California Endowment Healthy Returns Initiative.

Photo Credit:  Annie Spratt

Photo Credit: Annie Spratt

Photo Credit:  Angello Lopez

Photo Credit: Angello Lopez


Ceres has a history of evaluating programs for youth who have been suspended or expelled from school as well as youth in the justice system.  These evaluations sometimes focus on one program and sometimes focus on multi-site initiatives.  The following projects represent examples of current and past evaluations:

2019 Community Activism Law Alliance. Ceres is evaluating how the Community Activism Law Alliance’s grass-roots lawyering model assists immigrant communities in Chicago.

2019 New York Legal Aid. Ceres is evaluating and documenting the impact of Wellspring Philanthropic Fund’s grants on the development of an affirming culture and practice for LGBTQIA staff and communities.

2018-2019 Ahimsa Collective. This evaluation uses participant surveys collected by program staff over time to measure how restorative justice circles for men who have experienced and caused sexual harm improve well-being. 

2018 Community Connections for Youth. Dr. Angela Irvine partnered with Antoinette Davis at Impact Justice to evaluate the efforts by CCFY in the South Bronx to develop a network of support services for girls of color.

2010 Title II Evaluation. This evaluation was a mixed-method program evaluation of two Title II funded programs for girls in the justice system.  This evaluation included youth surveys, interviews, and analysis of justice system data.

2007 Evaluation of Girls Circle, Inc. This evaluation was a mixed-method program evaluation of twelve Girls Circle sites across the country.  The evaluation was based on surveys collected from girls participating in the sites.

2005 Evaluation of Abriendo Caminos de la Comunidad. This evaluation was a mixed-method evaluation of a three-county program for youth suspended and expelled from school.  This evaluation compiled surveys from participants in Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, and Monterey Counties as well as interviews from youth in the programs.