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Am Psychol. 1995 Sep;50(9):777-81.

Violent juvenile delinquents. Treatment effectiveness and implications for future action.

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Department of Psychology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville 22903-2477, USA.


Traditionally, the juvenile justice system has emphasized the goals of treatment and rehabilitation of young offenders, while protecting them from punishment, retribution, and stigmatization. Violent juvenile offenders have posed a challenge to this rehabilitative ideal because of mounting public pressure to ensure societal protection. Juveniles who are perceived as dangerous or persistent in their criminal activity are increasingly transferred to the adult criminal justice system, where they may receive much harsher consequences. Whether violent delinquents can be successfully treated is a key point in the debate regarding the wisdom of this trend in juvenile justice. This article considers the available research to address the policy question of how society should reasonably invest in the treatment of violent juvenile offenders.

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