What Works: Examining Juvenile Corrections Programs

Sarah Bacon, University of Maryland at College Park
Doris Layton MacKenzie, University of Maryland at College Park
Suzanne Kider, University of Maryland at College Park

This paper reviews existing literature on juvenile correctional programs and assesses the most effective methods for reducing future criminal behavior of adjudicated delinquents. Existing meta-analyses of juvenile correctional programs are discussed, and the findings will be compared with those generated by this review. Types of treatments assessed include wilderness/challenge programs, waiver to adult criminal court, educational programs, substance abuse programs, intensive supervision and aftercare, deterrence programs, boot camps, and cognitive behavioral or multicomponent treatments implemented in both residential and community settings. The paper concludes with general findings as to what works, what doesn't, what's promising, and what we don't know based on an assessment of the quality of the research and the significance and direction of effects.

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Updated 05/20/2006