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What Works in Crime Prevention and Rehabilitation: Lessons From Systematic Reviews

NCJ Number
Date Published
331 pages

This book is a comprehensive review of systematic examinations of what works in crime prevention and rehabilitation. 


Based on this review, the authors argue that criminal justice programs and interventions can rehabilitate offenders. This volume stemmed from a symposium organized in Jerusalem and funded primarily by the Academic Study Group (ASG) of the United Kingdom. The ASG brings together British and Israeli scholars to advance scientific endeavors in a variety of fields. The main aim of the symposium was to review what has been learned about the effectiveness of criminological interventions from systematic reviews. Such reviews, pioneered in medicine by the Cochrane Collaboration and in social sciences by the Campbell Collaboration, are relatively recent. Unlike the more traditional narrative reviews, they have explicit objectives, give full details about all sources searched and all searches conducted, attempt to obtain all potentially relevant evaluation reports, have explicit criteria for including or excluding studies, and focus on studies with the highest methodological quality. Using this methodology, the chapters of this book examine the effectiveness of various domains of crime prevention and rehabilitation of criminal offenders. The effectiveness of interventions and programs are examined in the following areas: developmental and social prevention, community interventions, situational prevention, policing, sentencing and deterrence, correctional programs, and drug interventions. Methodological issues are examined in chapters that address qualitative data in systematic reviews, evidence mapping to advance justice practice, and economic analyses.

Date Published: January 1, 2016