Source: (1999) Forum on Corrections Research 11 (May): 25-29.

Canada has one of the highest rates of youth incarceration in Western industrialized countries. Yet, reliance on imprisonment is costly and largely ineffective in providing public safety. A literature review by the authors indicates that the best outcomes for dealing with young offenders are associated with community-based alternatives. The authors then describe a particular community-based approach for treating high-risk young offenders called multisystemic therapy (MST). It is systemic in that it works with a youth’s family, friends, and school. It is also intensive, short-term, strength-based, and solution-focused. Experimental studies point to its effectiveness in reducing offending.