Crime, Delinquency, and Forensic Behavior Analysis

Photo by David von Diemar on Unsplash

By Timothy J. Templin

The mission of the Special Interest Group (SIG) of the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI; is to ensure that those in the criminal justice fields have access to appropriate, evidence-based behavior analytic therapy to reduce crime and delinquency.

Behavioral interventions can reduce prison misconduct (French & Gendreau, 2006). SIG members have testified on behavioral intervention to reduce crime. Behavioral interventions can reduce crime by approximately 13-20% (Redondo-Illescas, Sánchez-Meca,&Garrido-Genovés, 2001) and prison misconduct (French & Gendreau, 2006).

The SIG plans to remain active in this area over the coming year. Behavioral parent training is a well-established treatment for oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorder, which are often forerunners to adolescent delinquency (see O’Donohue &Ferguson, 2006).

Finally, behaviorally-oriented residential treatment programs are listed by the Surgeon General as promising for children and adolescents with conduct disorders. Recent evaluations of the literature suggest that the program is even more effective on post-release recidivism than first thought (Kingsley, 2006) so the results are promising.


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