U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Aftercare Programs for Reducing Recidivism Among Juvenile and Young Adult Offenders: A Meta-Analytic Review

NCJ Number
Clinical Psychology Review Volume: 33 Issue: 2 Dated: 2013 Pages: 263-274
Date Published
12 pages

The authors’ purpose for the meta-analysis presented in this document was to gain insight into the effectiveness of re-entry and aftercare programs aimed at reducing recidivism among juvenile and young adult offenders; through the meta-analysis, the authors established the overall effectiveness of the programs and examined which factors moderated the reduction of recidivism.


The aim of this meta-analytic study, including 22 studies and 5764 participants, was to examine the effects of aftercare programs on recidivism in juvenile and young adult offenders released from correctional institutions. The studies had to be (quasi-)experimental, with the control group receiving ‘care as usual’ or no treatment. Recidivism was measured by re-arrests and/or reconvictions and was based on official reports. Although the overall effect size for aftercare programs was generally small (d = .12), moderator analyses indicated more substantial effects and showed that aftercare is most effective if it is well-implemented and consists of individual instead of group treatment, and if it is aimed at older and high-risk youth. Whereas the treatment duration and moment of starting the aftercare program were not related to the program's effectiveness, more intensive aftercare programs were associated with lower recidivism rates. Publisher Abstract Provided

Date Published: January 1, 2013