The Relationships between Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment and Juvenile Crime

28 Pages Posted: 9 Sep 2003 Last revised: 12 Sep 2021

See all articles by Alison Cuellar

Alison Cuellar

Columbia University - Department of Health Policy and Management

Sara Markowitz

Emory University; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Anne M. Libby

University of Colorado at Denver - Health Sciences Center

Date Written: September 2003

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to examine the effectiveness of mental health and substance abuse treatment in reducing crimes committed by juveniles. The observed high correlations between crime, substance abuse and poor mental health suggests that factors which reduce substance abuse and improve mental health may also be effective in reducing criminal activities. This paper uses detention data in conjunction with substance abuse and mental health treatment data for youth enrolled in the Colorado state foster care program. We analyze the impact of treatment in delaying or preventing this group of at-risk youth from engaging in criminal behavior. Results show a negative effect, i.e., longer duration before detention, for youth who receive treatment and for youth in areas with high treatment rates.

Suggested Citation

Evans Cuellar, Alison and Markowitz, Sara and Libby, Anne M., The Relationships between Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment and Juvenile Crime (September 2003). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=441585

Alison Evans Cuellar

Columbia University - Department of Health Policy and Management ( email )

600 West 168th Street, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10032
United States

Sara Markowitz (Contact Author)

Emory University ( email )

Atlanta, GA 30322
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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New York, NY 10016-4309
United States
(212) 817-7968 (Phone)

Anne M. Libby

University of Colorado at Denver - Health Sciences Center ( email )

4200 E. Ninth Avenue
Denver, CO 80262
United States
303-315-3595 (Phone)
303-315-5641 (Fax)

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