Effective Intervention for Serious Juvenile Offenders
Mark W. Lipsey, David B. Wilson, and Lynn Cothern
Methods of Analysis and Findings
Interventions for Noninstitutionalized Juveniles
Interventions for Institutionalized Juveniles
Effectiveness of Treatment Types
The Challenge of Providing Effective Interventions
for Serious Juvenile Offenders
For Further Information
This Bulletin is based on "Effective Intervention
for Serious Juvenile Offenders: Synthesis of Research" by Mark
W. Lipsey and David B. Wilson, a chapter in Serious and Violent
Juvenile Offenders: Risk Factors and Successful Interventions,
edited by Rolf Loeber and David P. Farrington (Sage Publications,
Inc., 1998). Refer to the chapter for more information about the
meta-analysis discussed in this Bulletin, including its methodology,
the quantitative data produced, and a complete bibliography of
the 200 studies selected.
Mark W. Lipsey, Ph.D., is Professor of Public
Policy and Codirector of the Center for Evaluation Research and
Methodology at Vanderbilt University, Institute for Public Policy
Studies, Nashville, TN. David B. Wilson, Ph.D., is Jerry Lee Assistant
Research Professor with the Department of Criminology and Criminal
Justice, University of Maryland, College Park. Lynn Cothern, Ph.D.,
is a Senior Writer-Editor for the Juvenile Justice Resource Center
in Rockville, MD.
Points of view or opinions expressed in this
document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent
the official position or policies of OJJDP or the U.S. Department
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
is a component of the Office of Justice Programs, which also includes
the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Bureau of Justice Statistics,
the National Institute of Justice, and the Office for Victims
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|Juvenile Justice Clearinghouse
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Rockville, MD 20849-6000
| From the Administrator
Although research indicates that intervention programs can reduce overall recidivism rates among juvenile offenders, inadequate attention has been paid to their impact on serious juvenile offenders.
This Bulletin describes a meta-analysis that addresses the following questions: Can intervention programs reduce recidivism rates among serious delinquents? If so, what types of programs are most effective?
While 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.
The Bulletin 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, and interpersonal skills training and community-based, family-type group homes for institutionalized offenders.
The information provided by this Bulletin and by the final report of OJJDP's Study Group on Serious and Violent Juvenile Offenders, cited by the authors as a resource, should guide efforts to provide effective intervention programs for serious juvenile offenders.
John J. Wilson