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Model Programs Guide Literature Review: Prevention

NCJ Number
249716
Date Published
Author(s)
Development Services Group, Inc.
Annotation
Based on a literature review, this paper discusses the features of the public health model (PHM) of juvenile delinquency prevention.
Abstract
Generally, the PHM focuses on reducing the risk of and increasing the resiliency against illness and disease. Disciplines other than the public health field, including criminal justice, have adopted this approach in explaining and countering criminal and delinquent behavior. In the context of delinquency prevention, the PHM focuses on reducing the risk of and increasing the resiliency against problem behavior. This approach to preventing delinquency involves a four-step procedure. First, define the nature of the problem using scientific methods (data collection and analysis). Second, identify potential causes through analyses of risk and protective factors associated with the problem. Third, design, develop, and evaluate interventions. Fourth, disseminate successful models as part of education and outreach. Risk factors are personal characteristics or environmental conditions scientifically linked to the likelihood of problem behavior. Protective factors are personal characteristics or environmental conditions that have been shown scientifically to interact with risk factors in reducing the likelihood of problem behavior. The potential for an individual to engage in delinquent behavior is expressed as an algorithm of risk and protective factors that increase or decrease the likelihood that a particular youth will engage in problem behaviors. Currently, many juvenile delinquency prevention programs use variations of this approach, but they have been ineffective because they do not adequately address both risk and resiliency (protective factors). Evaluations of programs that use the PHM suggest that they use programs and strategies that address the dynamics and inter-relationship of both risk and protective factors. 22 references
Date Created: February 7, 2016