Crime Prevention and What Works

The 104th Congress directed the Attorney General to provide a "comprehensive evaluation of the effectiveness" of the money given in grants from the U.S. Department of Justice to State and local communities. In 1997, a research team at the University of Maryland prepared the above-cited report. The research team investigated the effectiveness of crime prevention programs in seven different institutional settings: communities, families, schools, labor markets, places (specific premises), police, and criminal justice. The report, referred to as "The Maryland Report," assessed effectiveness by weighing the strength of the scientific evidence.

While traditional crime prevention efforts are directed toward people who are not yet involved in crime, the broader definition adopted in The Maryland Report includes any setting that reduces crime in the community. By definition, therefore, programs in the courts and corrections that focus on reducing the criminal activities of adult and juvenile offenders were considered crime prevention efforts. The chapter on criminal justice settings examined interventions that focus on six different potential methods for reducing crime in the community: incapacitation; deterrence; rehabilitation; community control; structure, discipline, or challenge programs; and combinations of rehabilitation and control. The assessment of the model of aftercare proposed by Altschuler and Armstrong that follows draws on the findings of The Maryland Report on the effectiveness of juvenile programs in reducing the recidivism of delinquents.

Reintegration, Supervised Release, and Intensive Aftercare Juvenile Justice Bulletin   ·  July 1999