Research Review Coauthored by Petrosino Makes Top 5 Downloads

Anthoy Petrosino

A 2002 review (revised in 2013) of Scared Straight programs, coauthored by WestEd’s Anthony Petrosino, is ranked #5 of all downloads in the international Campbell Collaboration online library, receiving well over 20,000 unique downloads. Visit the 15 most frequently downloaded systematic reviews page from the Campbell online library.

Petrosino and coauthors assessed the effects of programs comprising organized visits to prisons by juvenile delinquents (officially adjudicated or convicted by a juvenile court) or pre-delinquents (children in trouble but not officially adjudicated as delinquents), aimed at deterring them from criminal activity. As the authors state:

“We conclude that programs like ‘Scared Straight’ are likely to have a harmful effect and increase delinquency relative to doing nothing at all to the same youths. Given these results, we cannot recommend this program as a crime prevention strategy. Agencies that permit such programs, however, must rigorously evaluate them not only to ensure that they are doing what they purport to do (prevent crime) — but at the very least they do not cause more harm than good to the very citizens they pledge to protect.”

Visit “The ‘Scared Straight’ and Other Juvenile Awareness Programs for Preventing Juvenile Delinquency” web page for more information and to download the review.

In addition, for the 24 international development reviews that Campbell Collaboration has published, WestEd’s review on school enrollment in developing nations is 3rd with 6,322 downloads since November 2012 when the review was published. Petrosino, along with WestEd colleagues Claire Morgan and Trevor Fronius, were among the authors.

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