1. Assess risk. Offender risk/need assessments drive effective programs. Use
objective, standardized, and validated assessment of youth risk and need
2. Target treatment to risk level of youth offenders. Use proven treatment
interventions that target known predictors of crime and recidivism to prepare
youth offenders for success in the community.
3. Develop and implement evidence-based programs. Programs that
scientifically designed research has demonstrated as effective in reducing
4. Use cognitive behavioral and social learning approaches in treatment
services. Systematic use of behavioral contingencies including rewards
and/or incentives is an integral component of all treatment services. Train
skills with guided practice (i.e., modeling, behavioral rehearsal, performance
5. Conduct interventions in an appropriate setting, matching youth and
interventions based on an assessment of risk, need, and responsivity.
6. Ensure fidelity of program to evidence-based model. Well-trained staff
implement programs. Staff deliver services as designed, beginning with
assessment and continuing through aftercare. Staff receive ongoing training
and clinical supervision.
7. Address youth responsivity. Treatment services and staff are matched to
the needs and abilities of the youth, including motivation, personality
characteristics, identity characteristics (age, gender, race, and ethnicity), and
8. Plan for reintegration. Support youth offenders toward completion of
treatment. Involve families, provide continuity in programming, and structured
support during transitions in treatment, placement, and/or supervision level.
Ensure youth receive specific aftercare services (e.g. relapse prevention,
safety plans, etc.) and ongoing support in home communities.
9. Evaluate programs and control quality. Measure relevant practices and
provide feedback to ensure quality. Conduct evaluations to establish
evidence of reduced recidivism and replicate programs that produce the
10. Make certain programs are supported by qualified and involved leadership
and staff, and community partners and stakeholders who understand program