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

39 Pages Posted: 2 Jul 2008 Last revised: 18 Nov 2015

See all articles by Mark A. Cohen

Mark A. Cohen

Vanderbilt University - Strategy and Business Economics; Vanderbilt University - Law School; Resources for the Future

Alex R. Piquero

University of Texas at Dallas - School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences; Griffith University

Date Written: November 2015

Abstract

This paper reports 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, we find: (1) evidence of reduced recidivism and improved educational outcomes that exceed our expectations based on similar cohorts, and (2) 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.

Keywords: cost-benefit analysis, high risk youth, delinquency, recidivism, high school graduation

JEL Classification: D61, K42, I21

Suggested Citation

Cohen, Mark A. and Piquero, Alex R., Benefits and Costs of a Targeted Intervention Program for Youthful Offenders: The Youthbuild USA Offender Project (November 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1154055 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1154055

Mark A. Cohen (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University - Strategy and Business Economics ( email )

Nashville, TN 37203
United States
615-322-0533 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://business.vanderbilt.edu/bio/mark-cohen/

Vanderbilt University - Law School

131 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203-1181
United States

Resources for the Future ( email )

1616 P Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
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202-328-5000 (Phone)

Alex R. Piquero

University of Texas at Dallas - School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences ( email )

800 W. Campbell Road, GR31
Richardson, TX 75080
United States
972-883-2482 (Phone)
972-883-6572 (Fax)

Griffith University

170 Kessels Road
Nathan, Queensland QLD 4111
Australia

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