The problem with most of the social-service-based “crime prevention” programs – the main alternative offered by progressives to the cruel and futile current policy of mass incarceration – is that that they don’t actually prevent much crime. But Sara Heller, Harold Pollack, Roseanna Ander, and Jens Ludwig at the University of Chicago seem to have found an exception to that rule.
The intervention is nothing fancy: just group conselling and mentoring, focused on social-cognitive skill development. But they seem to have made it work, and they have a large-N RCT to back up the claims of substantially reduced criminal activity and improved academic performance.
At $1100 per participant, there’s no apparent barrier to taking this to scale.