Chapter

What Doesn't Work

in Changing Lives

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print November 2005 | ISBN: 9780226307190
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226307237 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226307237.003.0005
What Doesn't Work

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This chapter focuses on the failed delinquency-prevention programs and strategies. Examination of such programs or strategies can inform about the motives and conflicting demands on those who control prevention programs and their purse strings. A number of these strategies are fairly close copies, reproductions, or adaptations of other programs. Four strategies frequently employed with adolescents and teenagers have been demonstrated ineffective in multiple settings: peer counseling, mediation, or leadership; alternative recreation; social competency instruction that does not use appropriate cognitive behavioral methods; and school-based drug testing. They are quite popular despite having been shown to be ineffective in reducing youth violence and related risk factors as early as 1987. A second popular delinquency-prevention strategy involves providing alternative recreation and leisure-time opportunities for disadvantaged youth. The third primary prevention strategy that is both ineffective yet widely implemented involves social-competency training without using the cognitive-behavioral approaches that have proven successful in other areas.

Keywords: delinquency-prevention programs; peer counseling; mediation; youth violence; alternative recreation

Chapter.  12760 words. 

Subjects: Criminal Law

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