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

Author

Listed:
  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Alison Evans Cuellar & Sara Markowitz & Anne M. Libby, 2003. "The Relationships between Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment and Juvenile Crime," NBER Working Papers 9952, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • 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 Chapters,in: The Problems of Disadvantaged Youth: An Economic Perspective, pages 115-148 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Currie, Janet & Stabile, Mark, 2006. "Child mental health and human capital accumulation: The case of ADHD," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 1094-1118, November.
    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., vol. 15(7), pages 719-733.
    4. Luallen, Jeremy, 2006. "School's out... forever: A study of juvenile crime, at-risk youths and teacher strikes," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 75-103, January.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I0 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - General
    • K4 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior

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