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Diverting Children From A Life Of Crime: Measuring Costs And Benefits

by Peter W. Greenwood

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Book Description
Examines four approaches to intervening early in the lives of children at risk of eventual trouble with the law.

From the Publisher
This report assesses the cost-effectiveness of several crime-preventionstrategies that involve early intervention in the lives of people atrisk of pursuing a criminal career. Because this assessment is basedon limited data, the results are subject to large uncertainties. However,in comparing the alternatives with each other and with arepeat-offender minimum-sentence incarceration approach, we finddifferences large enough to identify some promising alternatives forfurther demonstration and analysis.This research originated in an invitation by the University ofCalifornia's Crime Policy Project 1 to make a presentation at a seminaron the future of criminal-justice policy in California. The seminar,which included two other presentations, was held on May 19,1995, in Oakland and was attended by several dozen policy analysts,legislative staff members, and criminal-justice practitioners and activists.After the seminar, RAND and the James Irvine Foundation sponsoredadditional work to refine the analysis. The resulting report, a productof RAND's Criminal Justice Program, is intended for an audiencesimilar in character to that at the seminar. Although the report focuseson California, the lessons are drawn from experience in variousparts of the United States and have national implications.This report supersedes the first edition of Diverting Children from a Life of Crime,MR-699-UCB/RC/IF, published in 1996. It corrects errors and updates some information in the previous edition. Over the past two years, RAND has extended this line of research to examine a broader range of costs and benefits of early childhood interventions. See Investing in OurChildren: What We Know and Don't Know About the Costs and Benefits of Early Childhood Interventions, MR-898-TCWF, 1998. Related research in the criminal justice arena is now in progress with funding from the CulpeperFoundation and the W. T. Grant Foundation.

About the Author
Peter Greenwood (Ph.D., Policy Analysis, RAND Graduate School) is a researcher at RAND. His research interests include quality and appropriateness of medical and mental health care; and managed care policy issues.

Karyn Model (Ph.D. Economics, Harvard University) is an associate economist at RAND. Research interests include drug policy, health policy, criminal justice, and military manpower.

Peter Rydell (U. Pennsylvania PhD Regional Science) is a Senior Social Scientist at RAND whose research interests include Military Personnel, Criminal Justice, Civil Justice, Rent Control, Housing Policy, and Welfare Caseloads.

James Chiesa (M.S., Environmental Science , Indiana University; M.A., Zoology , Indiana University) is a Communications Analyst at RAND.



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