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ERIC Number: ED519241
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 28
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 65
ISSN: ISSN-1075-7031
Evidence-Based Interventions for Juvenile Offenders and Juvenile Justice Policies that Support Them. Social Policy Report. Volume 25, Number 1
Henggeler, Scott W.; Schoenwald, Sonja K.
Society for Research in Child Development
In a context where more than 1,000,000 American adolescents are processed by juvenile courts annually and approximately 160,000 are sent to residential placements, this paper examines "what works" and "what doesn't work" in reducing the criminal behavior of juvenile offenders and presents examples of government initiatives that have successfully promoted the adoption, implementation, and sustainability of evidence-based interventions for juvenile offenders. In general, the vast majority of current juvenile justice services has little empirical support or exacerbates antisocial behavior. These include processing by the juvenile justice system (e.g., probation), juvenile transfer laws, surveillance, shock incarceration, and residential placements (e.g., boot camps, group homes, incarceration). On the other hand, several effective treatment programs have been validated in rigorous research. Effective programs address key risk factors (e.g., improving family functioning, decreasing association with deviant peers), are rehabilitative in nature, use behavioral interventions within the youth's natural environment, are well specified, and include intensive support for intervention Fidelity. Although only 5% of eligible high-risk offenders are treated with an evidence-based intervention annually, inroads to the larger scale use of evidence-based treatments have been made in recent years through federal (e.g., Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) and state (e.g., Washington, Ohio, Connecticut, Florida) policy initiatives. Based on our experience transporting an evidence-based treatment within the context of these initiatives, recommendations are made to facilitate stakeholder efforts to improve the quality and effectiveness of rehabilitative services available to juvenile offenders. [Commentaries from Samantha Harvell, Christopher Slobogin, and Peter Panzarella are included. Commentaries are individually referenced.]
Society for Research in Child Development. 2950 South State Street Suite 401, Ann Arbor, MI 48104. Tel: 734-926-0600; Fax: 734-926-0601; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serial; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: National Institute on Drug Abuse (DHHS/PHS); National Institute of Mental Health (DHHS); Annie E. Casey Foundation
Authoring Institution: Society for Research in Child Development