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The Relationships between Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment and Juvenile Crime

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  • Alison Evans Cuellar
  • Sara Markowitz
  • Anne M. Libby

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to examine the effectiveness of mental health and substance abuse treatment in reducing crimes committed by juveniles. The observed high correlations between crime, substance abuse and poor mental health suggests that factors which reduce substance abuse and improve mental health may also be effective in reducing criminal activities. This paper uses detention data in conjunction with substance abuse and mental health treatment data for youth enrolled in the Colorado state foster care program. We analyze the impact of treatment in delaying or preventing this group of at-risk youth from engaging in criminal behavior. Results show a negative effect, i.e., longer duration before detention, for youth who receive treatment and for youth in areas with high treatment rates.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9952.

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Date of creation: Sep 2003
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9952

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Cited by:
  1. Janet Currie & Mark Stabile, 2007. "Mental Health in Childhood and Human Capital," NBER Working Papers 13217, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Janet Currie & Mark Stabile, 2004. "Child Mental Health and Human Capital Accumulation: The Case of ADHD," NBER Working Papers 10435, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Edward C. Norton & Jangho Yoon & Marisa Elena Domino & Joseph P. Morrissey, 2006. "Transitions between the public mental health system and jail for persons with severe mental illness: a Markov analysis," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(7), pages 719-733.

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