The Undesirable Effects of Juvenile Court Processing: Early Prevention is Better than Later Court Intervention

Forelæsning ved Professor emeritus David P. Farrington, Cambridge University

Københavns Universitet, Alexandersalen, Bispetorvet 1-3. st., kl. 16.15-18.00.

Labelling theory suggests that official court processing has undesirable effects on young people.  Because they are stigmatized and develop a delinquent self-concept, young people are likely to increase rather than decrease their offending after going to court.  There have been many empirical tests of this theory, and these are summarized in our recent book on Labelling Theory: Empirical Tests.  Most evaluations show that offending increases after juvenile court processing, compared with simple release, a diversion programme or provision of services.  It is clear that early prevention is more effective than later court processing in reducing later offending and other undesirable life outcomes. In our book on Saving Children from a Life of Crime, we review early prevention methods, including general parent education by home visitors, parent management training, pre-school intellectual enrichment programmes and child skills training.  We also review effective programmes for delinquents, including Functional Family Therapy, Treatment Foster Care and Multisystemic Therapy. All of these methods reduce later offending and save money, since their financial benefits greatly exceed their financial cost

Copyright 2016, Ulla V. Bondeson Stiftelsen.