Early Intervention Reducing Recidivism Among Children and Adolescent Offenders

Topics: Cognitive behavioral therapy, Crime, Youth Pages: 6 (1977 words) Published: March 23, 2013
Early Intervention reducing recidivism among children and adolescent offenders

Student number: s2875363
Student name: Kate O’Reilly
Course name: CCJ10 Introduction to Forensic Psychology
Enrollment: External, Griffith University
Course convener: Dr. Myesa Knox Mahoney
Course tutor: Domanic De Andrade
Date due: Wed 23rd Jan 2013
Word count: 1430
It has been widely acknowledged that crime has consequences for individuals and society (Ou & Reynolds, 2010). So it has been widely accepted that children and adolescents with antisocial behaviour are a societal problem (Helmond, Overbeek & Brugman, 2012). Antisocial behavior is characterised by violent offences such as robbery and assault causing harm to not only its victims but to society as well (Helmond, Overbeek & Brugman, 2012). Society pays the price for crime not only in loss of personal effects and medical costs but also in the cost of incarceration to the tax payers (Ou & Reynolds, 2010). It is the antisocial behaviour, that is targeted in early interventions, in an attempt to diminish delinquency (Hollin & Palmer, 2009). Studies have been undertaken that provide evidence that intervention is effective and benefits the whole of society (Ou & Reynolds, 2010).

In this essay, focus will be drawn specifically to intervention and it’s part in curbing recidivism in juvenile offenders. The impact of early intervention for young offenders will be explored in detail, and some examples of early interventions, how and why they work, will be examined and this research will support the success of early interventions and their effectiveness in fighting recidivism. In exploring the rationale of young offenders we uncover reasons why early intervention can lessen the rate of recidivism and in some cases effectively quell re offending.

Research has been conducted showing that the brains growth does not stop before at least the early twenties (Buchen, 2012). This means that adolescents are far more likely to act before considering the consequences, they are impetuous, and easily influenced by their peers (Buchen, 2012). Now more than ever campaigners for youths are working towards less punishment and more importantly far more opportunity for intervention or rehabilitation (Buchen, 2012).

Research into crime has shown that criminal activities occurring in adulthood have been found to follow a youth’s career of criminal activity and antisocial behaviour, developing into an adult re-offender, (Ou & Reynolds, 2010). Youth offenders show predictors early in life that include the sex, race and ethnicity of the juvenile, as well as aggression, and antisocial behaviour in childhood (Ou & Reynolds, 2010). They can be coerced to offend simply because of stressors in their lives (Sealock & Manasse, 2012). In some cases studies have enabled prediction of delinquency that can then allow prevention of youth involvement in the juvenile justice system all together, (Sealock & Manasse, 2012). Where this is not the case and a young person is incarcerated, early intervention is required to curb re-offenders.

Mentally ill juveniles will offend three times as often as other juveniles, and for these offenders imprisonment can be fruitless causing significant increase in symptoms instead of reversing environmental damage and improving their skills as it is intended (Erickson, 2012). This puts them further at risk are mentally ill juveniles, for whom demanding life events, such as loss of job or family breakdown, will often lead to violence as a response (Markowitz, 2011). For these...
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