Counseling “At-Risk” Mothers Helps Cut Delinquency


Counseling provided to “at-risk” mothers about better child-raising techniques has a proved, positive impact on their children’s later chances of delinquency, says an analyis of studies presented yesterday at the annual Jerry Lee Crime Prevention Symposium in Washington, D.C. Children in families that were not provided such help recorded a 50 percent recidivism rate, compared to rates in family counseling programs ranging from 28 to 39 percent, said criminologist Alex Piquero of John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Experts at the symposium also discussed the impact of “second responders” to domestic violence, in which social workers follow up with victims after police calls with information on legal rights, safety planning, and other issues. With victims who were visited by “second responders,” there was a modestly increased likelihood of new domestic violence offenses being reported to police, said criminologists David Weisburd of the University of Maryland and Robert Davis of the Rand Corp. Weisburd said the second responder idea may not “give a big bang for the buck,” but others said the increase in crime reports might be good if it meant that victims had more faith that the justice system would respond.


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