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Benefits and Costs of a Targeted Intervention Program for Youthful Offenders: The YouthBuild USA Offender Project

NCJ Number
Mark A. Cohen; Alex R. Piquero
Date Published
39 pages

The authors discuss a cost-benefit analysis that examines the YouthBuild Offender Project, a targeted intervention program for high-risk youth and delinquency, specifically aimed at low-income adolescents aged 16 to 24 years old.


The authors of this paper report on a benefit-cost analysis of a targeted intervention program aimed at low-income, 16–24-year-old criminal offenders, the YouthBuild Offender Project. Using data on 388 participants, the authors find two things: evidence of reduced recidivism and improved educational outcomes that exceed their expectations based on similar cohorts; and evidence consistent with a positive benefit-cost ratio, indicating that every dollar spent on the YouthBuild Offender Project is estimated to produce a return on investment between $7.20 and $21.60, with benefits to society ranging between $174,000 and $281,000 per participant at a cost to society between $13,000 and $24,000. Publisher Abstract Provided