Part of this paper was presented by Robert Zagar at the United States House of Representatives, Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security Hearing, Washington, D.C., on 24 July 2012.
Special Issue Article
Delinquency Best Treatments: How to Divert Youths from Violence While Saving Lives and Detention Costs
Version of Record online: 4 JUN 2013
Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Behavioral Sciences & the Law
Special Issue: International Perspectives on Preventive Detention
Volume 31, Issue 3, pages 381–396, May/June 2013
How to Cite
Zagar, R. J., Grove, W. M. and Busch, K. G. (2013), Delinquency Best Treatments: How to Divert Youths from Violence While Saving Lives and Detention Costs. Behav. Sci. Law, 31: 381–396. doi: 10.1002/bsl.2062
- Issue online: 4 JUN 2013
- Version of Record online: 4 JUN 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 4 FEB 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 15 JAN 2013
- Manuscript Received: 3 OCT 2012
Youth development and violence prevention are two sides of the same public policy. The focus of much theoretical and empirical effort is identifying delinquency risks and intervening. Given the great costs of homicide and the historically high nationwide prison population, new policies must address increasing violence and rising expenses. Treatments of prenatal care, home visitation, bullying prevention, alcohol-substance abuse education, alternative thinking promotion, mentoring, life skills training, rewards for graduation and employment, functional family and multi-systemic therapy, and multi-dimensional foster care are effective, because they ameliorate age-specific risks for delinquency. At present, these interventions only yield a 10–40% diversion from crime however. Returns on investment (ROIs) vary from $1 to $98. Targeting empirical treatments to those determined to be most at risk, based on statistical models or actuarial testing, and using electronic surveillance for non-violent prisoners significantly diverted youth from violence, improving ROI, while simultaneously saving costs. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.