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Applying the Principles of Effective Intervention: The Results of a Process Evaluation of a Juvenile Correctional Center

NCJ Number
Journal for Juvenile Justice and Detention Services Volume: 17 Issue: 1 Dated: Spring 2002 Pages: 37-46
Date Published
10 pages

This article presents the results of a qualitative and quantitative assessment of the principles of effective intervention as they are employed at a juvenile correctional institution.


After arguing that examining the implementation, quality, and other aspects of program operations is as important as evaluating program outcomes, the authors discuss the need to assess the extent to which various programs utilize and adhere to principles of effective intervention. Focusing on Barrett Juvenile Correctional Center, a single-purpose residential substance abuse treatment facility for committed male juvenile offenders, the authors conducted a process evaluation using both qualitative and quantitative methods. In order to evaluate the implementation of the principles of effective intervention on Barrett Juvenile Correctional Center, the authors assessed the basic tenets of effective intervention including the principles that successful programs tend to be theoretically based focusing on criminogenic needs, that behaviorally based programs use rewards to help modify behavior, that rewards and punishment must be used consistently and should outnumber punishments, that intensive programs should target high-risk clients, that clients should be matched to treatments according to responsivity, that staff qualifications are important in maintaining the quality of the program, and that training for release is essential to maintaining the benefits of treatment in an institution. The authors found that Barrett Juvenile Correctional Center was able to integrate some but not all of the principles of effective intervention. The authors conclude that additional tools and support are needed in order to ensure that all of the principles of effective intervention are met at the Barrett Juvenile Correctional Center as well as in all other juvenile corrections institutions. References

Date Published: January 1, 2002