Karen M. Kolivoski

Research Professor and Deputy Director for Research, Georgetown University

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About Karen

Kolivoski is the Deputy Director for Research at the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform (CJJR) at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University and a Distinguished Fellow of Juvenile Justice at Child Trends in the Youth Development department. Previously, she was an Associate Professor in the Communities, Administration, and Policy Practice concentration at the School of Social Work at Howard University and the Lead Data Consultant for the Crossover Youth Practice Model (CYPM) at CJJR. Her research aims to advance social justice through structural changes that affect the lives of children and youth.


"Social Justice for Crossover Youth: The Intersection of the Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice Systems" (with Sara Goodkind and Jeffrey J. Shook). Social Work 62, no. 4 (2017): 313-321.

Utilizes a historical perspective to examine the treatment of crossover youth, from slavery to present-day in the United States, especially highlighting the experiences of African American youth. Incorporates a human rights and social justice perspective.

"Placement Type Matters: Placement Experiences in Relation to Justice System Involvement among Child Welfare-Involved Youth and Young Adults" (with Jeffrey J. Shook, Kevin H. Kim, and Sara Goodkind). Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment 27, no. 8 (2017): 847-864.

Investigates trajectory group experiences on each of three child welfare placement types, and cross-tabulate each with justice system trajectory groups to examine sub-groups.

"Incarcerating Juveniles in Adult Prisons: Examining the Relationship between Age and Prison Behavior in Transferred Juveniles" (with Jeffrey J. Shook). Criminal Justice and Behavior 43, no. 9 (2016): 1242-1259.

Examines the prison behavior of youth who are transferred to the adult system. Shows that juveniles committed to prisons at younger ages accumulate more misconducts than those committed at older ages. Indicates that African American youth, youth with mental health issues, youth with more extensive prior histories in the juvenile system, and youth committed for property and weapons offenses accumulated more prison misconducts.

"Applying Legal Socialization to the Child Welfare System: Do Youths' Perceptions of Caseworkers Matter?" (with Jeffrey j. Shook, Heath C. Johnson, Sara Goodkind, Rachel Fusco, Matt DeLisi, and Michael G. Vaughn). Child & Youth Care Forum 45, no. 1 (2016): 65-83.

Indicates that youth with more negative perceptions of caseworkers view the legal system as less legitimate and exhibit lower overall legal socialization and that legal socialization is significantly related to delinquency.

"The Crossover Youth Practice Model (CYPM)," (with Elizabeth Barnett and Samuel Abbott), Georgetown University's Center for Juvenile Justice Reform, January 1, 2015.

Describes the Crossover Youth Practice Model (CYPM) and how addressing out-of-home placements is a key part to improving the outcomes of dually involved/multi-system youth.