Family Therapy And Juvenile Recidivism

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A separate juvenile justice system was established in the United States with the goal of diverting youthful offenders from the destructive punishments of criminal courts and encouraging rehabilitation. More than 1 million American youth end up in juvenile court every year, and 160,000 of them are referred to residential placement (DeAngelis, 2011). Research shows that settings likes these (e.g. residential placement, detention centers, correctional institutions) produce higher rates of recidivism. However, an understanding of psychological explanation and perspectives have led to the growth of various training and counseling programs (Whitehead & Lab, 2013). Among treatment programs there exists two broad approaches–family and individual therapy. Research has shown that both family therapy and individual therapy have helped in reducing juvenile recidivism rates. So when asking the question–do juveniles who experience family based therapy display less recidivism rates than juveniles who experience individual therapy–we are left to conclude that both are equally significant in reducing recidivism. …show more content…
The family is potentially the most reliable source of information about their child’s strength, needs, and experiences. With this in mind, families should be included in the process. More often than not, juveniles, following treatment, will return to their family of origin. Due to this inevitable transition, strategic and inclusive planning will help to decrease the chance of juvenile recidivism. Programs such as Functional Family Therapy or Multisystemic Therapy, focus on working with families and youth with severe emotional disturbance and histories of involvement with the juvenile justice system. These programs are cost effective and successful when compared to other approaches; however, there are few examples of family–focused models integrated into the juvenile justice system today (Garfinkel,

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