Prosecutor’s Early Intervention Program Cuts Kids’ Problem Behaviors


Researchers found significant reductions in problem behaviors of young children who participated in an early intervention program. The effort, based in District Attorney J. Phil Haney’s office in New Iberia, La., was aimed at addressing the immediate behavior problems of young children whose antisocial behavior was not serious enough to warrant official action but was in need of attention. The research showed that successful early intervention efforts can be made part of the juvenile justice system and that in some situations prosecutorial involvement can help.

The research by Prof. John Paul Wright, of the University of Cincinnati, Pamela McMahon of Our Lady of the Lake Hospital, Claire Daly of the Louisiana 16th Judicial District, and District Attorney Haney was reported in the new issue of the journal Criminology & Public Policy, published by the American Society of Criminology. The authors suggested that partnerships between schools and the juvenile justice system can effectively address, mitigate, and perhaps prevent an early onset of anti-social behavior. Peter Greenwood of the organization Advancing Evidence Based Practice wrote that the program “provides an excellent example of how local stakeholders can respond, in an evidence-based manner, to the perceived need for early prevention efforts in juvenile justice, and the standards they must meet to have their program recognized as one ‘that works’ on various clearinghouse lists.” The journal is available to members of the criminology society. Journalists interested in examining it should message Ted Gest of Criminal Justice Journalists,

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