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Cognitive Behavioral Intervention with Serious and Violent Juvenile Offenders: Some Historical Perspective

NCJ Number
Federal Probation Volume: 72 Issue: 3 Dated: December 2008 Pages: 30-36
David W. Roush Ph.D.
Date Published
December 2008
7 pages
This study examined the Cognitive Behavioral Intervention (CBI) with serious and violent Juvenile offenders using a historical perspective.
Findings suggest that the CBI is useful and meaningful to detainees because it provides staff with an understandable and more effective way of building relationships, managing behavior, and increasing resident and staff safety. The utility of the CBI is that positive behavior changes can be made with troubled youth in very short periods of time, even 2 weeks in temporary detention can be effective. However, the applicability of CBI to juvenile detention depends more on its utility to staff whose job tenure is sufficient to learn the CBI, to build skills to use with juvenile offenders, and more importantly to internationalize the teachings so that they result in better and more effective job performance. A detailed history supplies ideas for programs and operations along with the meanings of concepts and principles that can aid in problem solving across time and situations. More importantly, as the juvenile justice community redefines itself, the historical perspective provides some continuity between today’s practitioners and the values and beliefs of the prior generations. It is difficult to know where a program or institution or system is headed if no one knows where it has been. The historical perspective also explains how a CBI intended for the most difficult offenders in a juvenile corrections facility could gain popularity among short-term detention facilities. While critics maintain that the average length of stay in detention is far too short to use a cognitive behavior strategy effectively, the historical perspective points to its utility. References