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What are the characteristics of effective youth offender programs?

Program evaluation Recidivism Behavioural insights Juvenile offenders Youth justice Australia


A large body of literature has attempted to answer the question: what works in reducing youth reoffending? However, this literature often fails to provide specific guidance on program implementation. This review consolidates research on the practical implementation of tertiary youth offender programs to identify the design, delivery and implementation factors associated with positive changes in youth offending behaviours.

A systematic review of 44 studies revealed nine common components of effective programs. These components have been empirically associated with program effectiveness in methodologically diverse studies conducted in various contexts, suggesting they may contribute to reduced reoffending among young people who come into contact with the criminal justice system.

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Trends and issues in crime and criminal justice, no.604