Highlights of GAO-10-125, a report to the Chairman, Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security, Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives
Accountability Integrity Reliability
DOJ Is Enhancing Information on Effective Programs, but Could Better Assess the Utility of This Information
Why GAO Did This Study
State juvenile justice systems face critical problems when it comes to juvenile delinquency issues such as reentry—when offenders return home from incarceration—and substance abuse. GAO was asked to review juvenile reentry and substance abuse program research and efforts by the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) to provide information on effective programs (i.e., whether a program achieves its intended goal) and costbeneficial programs (i.e., whether the benefits of programs exceeded their costs). This report addresses (1) expert opinion and available research on these types of reentry and substance abuse programs, (2) the extent to which OJJDP assesses its efforts to disseminate information on effective programs, and (3) OJJDP’s plans to accomplish its research and evaluation goals. GAO, among other things, reviewed academic literature, and OJJDP’s dissemination efforts and research goals. GAO also interviewed OJJDP officials and a nonprobability sample of 26 juvenile justice experts selected based on their experience with juvenile reentry and substance abuse issues.
What GAO Found
The majority of the juvenile justice reentry and substance abuse experts GAO interviewed cited evidence that shows cognitive behavioral therapy— programs that help individuals change their beliefs in order to change their behavior—and family therapy—programs that treat juveniles by focusing on improving communication with family members—are effective and cost beneficial when addressing reentry and substance abuse issues. For example, two... [continues]
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"Juvenile Justice." StudyMode.com. 08, 2011. Accessed 08, 2011. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Juvenile-Justice-759792.html.