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Saving Children from a Life of Crime: the Benefits Greatly Outweigh the Costs!

  • David P. Farrington (a1) and Brandon C. Welsh (a2)

Summary

This article reviews some of the most effective programmes for saving children from a life of crime, and also presents the results of cost-benefit analyses of some of these programmes. The best programmes include general parent education in home visiting programmes, parent management training, pre-school intellectual enrichment programmes, child skills training, Functional Family Therapy, Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care and Multisystemic Therapy. Communities That Care is a useful overarching programme. Most of these programmes have been shown to reduce crime and save money. The time is ripe to establish national agencies in all countries which will advance knowledge about early risk factors (from longitudinal studies) and about effective developmental interventions (from randomized experiments and cost-benefit analyses).

Résumé

Cet article passe en revue quelques-uns des programmes les plus performants visant à préserver les enfants d'une vie criminelle, et présente aussi les résultats d'une analyse coûts-bénéfices de certains de ces programmes. Les meilleurs programmes incluent une éducation générale des parents dans des programmes de visite à domicile, une formation à la gestion parentale, des programmes d'enrichissement intellectuel avant la scolarité, le développement des compétences des enfants, la thérapie familiale fonctionnelle, l'attachement à encourager le traitement multidimentionnel, et la thérapie multisystémique. “Communautés attentives” est un programme global qui est utile. La plupart de ces programmes se sont révélés productifs en termes de réduction du crime et d’économies. Les temps sont mûrs pour établir des agences nationales dans tous les pays qui veulent gagner en connaissance des facteurs de risques précoces (par des etudes longitudinales) et des interventions développementales effectives (par des expériences au hasard et des analyses coûts-bénéfices).

Resumen

Este artículo revisa algunos de los programas más efectivos para proteger a los menores de una vida criminal y presenta también los resultados de un análisis de costes-beneficios en algunos de estos programas. Los mejores programas incluyen una educación general de los padres en programas de visita a domicilio, una formación en la gestión parental, programas de enriquecimiento intelectual antes de la escolarización, el desarrollo de competencias de los menores, la terapia familiar funcional, el cuidado tutelar terapéutico multidimensional y la terapia multisistémica. Las “comunidades de atención” (« Communities That Care ») es un programa global que resulta útil. La mayor parte de estos programas han demostrado ser productivos en términos de reducción de la delincuencia y de ahorro económico. Ha llegado el momento de establecer organismos nacionales en todos los países que quieran adquirir conocimientos sobre los factores de riesgo precoces (a partir de estudios longitudinales) y sobre intervenciones de desarrollo eficaces (a partir de experimentos aleatorios y análisis de costes-beneficios).

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Saving Children from a Life of Crime: the Benefits Greatly Outweigh the Costs!

  • David P. Farrington (a1) and Brandon C. Welsh (a2)

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