Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal

, Volume 35, Issue 5, pp 459–476 | Cite as

Desistance-Focused Treatment and Asset-Based Programming for Juvenile Offender Reintegration: A Review of Research Evidence

  • Sujeeta Elizabeth Menon
  • Monit Cheung


Research indicates that juvenile delinquency, if not intervened earlier, could potentially lead to the youth’s future involvement with the criminal justice system as an adult. This study identifies research evidence to support the building of a desistance-focused pathway for juvenile offenders positively reentering society. It examines the “desistance” components of treatment programs and assets that help ex-offending adolescents achieve success in reintegrating back to the community. A review of research evidence summarized the empirical data from twelve studies published between 2007 and 2017. Diverse service components were found in addressing the treatment needs of young offenders, indicating that multiple services are needed to lower their recidivism rate. These diverse components were benchmarked with the 40-asset model developed by the Search Institute, providing additional support that these service components are resilience-based and desistance-focused. Both internal and external assets were emphasized in these reviewed studies. Highlighted are the holistic nature of asset-based programs and service components for helping juveniles gain internal awareness and access external resources. A balanced treatment model is recommended with an emphasis on building assets for designing a holistic plan of reintegration to help juveniles reenter society and stay crime-free.


Protective factors Reentry programs Juvenile delinquency Recidivism 40 Developmental assets Holistic reintegration 


Selected articles for this review are listed with an asterisk

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate College of Social WorkUniversity of HoustonHoustonUSA

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