DMC of Juvenile Offenders

When communities are presented with such a significant problem as DMC of juvenile offenders, one of the most acceptable methods of addressing the problem is to engage research and data collection. This satisfies the need to identify the problem and to document legitimately the issue that is to be addressed. The community examples used in this chapter initially engaged in data collection to obtain a better perspective of the level of the overrepresentation of African American youth in their juvenile justice systems.

Overall, most of the empirically based interventions focus on reducing risk factors for initial entry into the juvenile justice system or early interventions. Given that it may be difficult to distinguish first-time offenders from repeat offenders by administrative records alone, a robust strategy would include interventions that are effective as both prevention and early intervention. Functional family therapy and multisystemic therapy both meet this criteria, but additional research should be developed to see to what extent prevention efforts can be extended into early intervention programs.

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