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Effects of the Measures Employed

Few evaluations are conducted in Sweden regarding the different types of measures employed to prevent offending among young people. Although this situation has improved somewhat over recent years, it remains difficult to find Swedish evaluations that have employed scientifically adequate methods (e.g. randomised control trials). The studies that have been conducted have produced results that largely correspond with the findings of international research. The methods employed, however, do not produce particularly powerful effects (Andreasson 2003; Socialstyrelsen 2015).

The most intrusive social measures, such as placements in special approved homes, have been the subject of considerable debate. A number of follow-up studies of youths admitted to these institutions have shown negative outcomes, such as continued substance abuse, persistent offending and other problems, and high levels of mortality (e.g. Levin 1997). The most recent longitudinal, quasiexperimental follow-up of youths admitted to these institutions during the 1990s (Axelsson and Sarnecki 2015) shows that institutional admissions produce shortterm positive effects on crime and mental health problems, but have no effect on drug abuse. Over the longer term, developmental outcomes among the study group do not appear to be any different from those of the control group.

 
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