Predicting adult criminal behavior from juvenile delinquency: Ex-ante vs. ex-post benefits of early intervention

Barry A.B. White, Judy Temple, Arthur J Reynolds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recent analyses of the long-term societal benefits from early intervention (prenatal care, home visitation, and high quality preschool) for at-risk children commonly include significant savings to society in the form of reduced juvenile delinquency and adult criminal behavior. However, a nontrivial proportion of the reported benefits of several early intervention programs are based on forecasts of criminal behavior throughout adulthood conditional on intervention effects on delinquency in adolescence. Data from the Chicago Longitudinal Study (CLS), an investigation of the life course of 1539 children from low-income families born in 1979-1980, are used to investigate the bias resulting from predicting the effect of early intervention on adult criminal behavior from the effect on delinquency in adolescence. The investigation concludes that the general method used to predict adult criminal behavior results in a conservative estimate of the reduction in the cost of adult criminal behavior attributed to early intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-170
Number of pages10
JournalAdvances in Life Course Research
Volume15
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010

Keywords

  • Cost-benefit analysis
  • Criminal behavior
  • Evaluation
  • Policy analysis
  • Projecting benefits

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