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Effective Intervention for Serious Juvenile Offenders

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2000
8 pages
This Bulletin describes a meta-analysis that addresses the following questions: Can intervention programs reduce recidivism rates among serious juvenile delinquents? If so, what types of programs are most effective?
The results reported in this study were derived by updating a previously conducted meta-analysis of the effects of intervention on delinquency (Lipsey, 1992, 1995) with more recent studies. A subset of studies on serious offenders was selected from that meta-analysis, yielding 200 experimental or quasi-experimental studies of interventions for both noninstitutionalized and institutionalized serious offenders. Although the effects measured across the 200 studies reviewed varied considerably, there was an overall decrease of 12 percent in recidivism for serious juvenile offenders who received treatment interventions. This paper describes the intervention programs that showed the strongest, most consistent impact on recidivism for serious juvenile offenders. The most effective interventions were interpersonal skills training, individual counseling, and behavioral programs for noninstitutionalized offenders, as well as interpersonal skills training and community-based, family-type group homes for institutionalized offenders. 1 table and 32 references

Date Published: April 1, 2000