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A systematic review and meta-analysis on the effects of young offender treatment programs in Europe

Koehler, J, Losel, F, Akoensi, Thomas D, Humphreys, D (2012) A systematic review and meta-analysis on the effects of young offender treatment programs in Europe. Journal of Experimental Criminology, 9 (1). pp. 19-43. ISSN 1573-3750. (doi:10.1007/s11292-012-9159-7) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:55979)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided.
Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11292-012-9159-7

Abstract

Objectives

To examine the effectiveness of young offender rehabilitation programs in Europe as part of an international project on the transnational transfer of approaches to reducing reoffending.

Methods

A literature search of approximately 27,000 titles revealed 25 controlled evaluations that fulfilled eligibility criteria, such as treatment of adjudicated young offenders below the age of 25, equivalence of treatment and control groups, and outcomes on reoffending. In total, the studies contained 7,940 offenders with a mean age of 17.9 years.

Results

Outcomes in the primary studies ranged widely from odds ratio (OR)?=?0.58 to 6.99, and the mean effect was significant and in favor of treatment (OR?=?1.34). Behavioral and cognitive-behavioral treatment ranked above average (OR?=?1.73), whereas purely deterrent and supervisory interventions revealed a slightly negative outcome (OR?=?0.85). Programs that were conducted in accordance with the risk–need–responsivity principles revealed the strongest mean effect (OR?=?1.90), which indicates a reduction of 16 % in reoffending against a baseline of 50 %. Studies of community treatment, with small samples, high program fidelity, and conducted as part of a demonstration project had larger effects; high methodological rigor was related to slightly smaller outcomes. Large effect size differences between evaluations from the UK and continental Europe disappeared when controlling for other study characteristics.

Conclusions

Overall, most findings agreed with North American meta-analyses. However, two-thirds of the studies were British, and in most European countries there was no sound evaluation of young offender treatment at all. This limits the generalization of results and underlines the policy need for systematic evaluation of programs and outcome moderators across different countries.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1007/s11292-012-9159-7
Uncontrolled keywords: Meta-analysis;Systematic review;Offender rehabilitation;Young offenders;Crime prevention;Recidivism
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: Lucie Patch
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2016 14:52 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 10:23 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/55979 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Akoensi, Thomas D: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5072-2576
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