High recidivism rates among young offenders that leave a detention facility are considered to be a major problem for society.
Hence, during the past decades various reentry and aftercare programs have been developed to increase the chances of juvenile
and young adult offenders for successful reintegration. Yet, up to now, much about the effectiveness and working mechanisms
of these interventions remained unclear. Therefore, for this dissertation, a meta-analytic review was conducted to provide
an overview and analysis of the effectiveness of aftercare programs for juvenile and young adult offenders. The results indicated
that aftercare is most effective if it is well-implemented and intensive in nature, consists of individual treatment, and
is aimed at older and high-risk youth. Furthermore, a Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) was conducted to evaluate a promising
aftercare intervention in the Netherlands. New Perspectives Aftercare Program (NPAP) is an intensive reentry program for serious
juvenile and young adult offenders, aged 16 to 24, starting in the last phase of their detention and lasting for 9 months.
NPAP was compared to offenders receiving ‘treatment as usual’(TAU). Results indicated that no direct intervention effects
were found on any of the outcome measures included in the dissertation: recidivism, aggressive behavior, cognitive distortions,
pro-criminal attitude, coping and prosocial skills. Moderator analyses, however, showed several interaction effects of ethnicity
and coping skills for both NPAP and TAU youths.
Overall, the most precise inference that we can make is that in the studies
included in this dissertation no compelling evidence was found that receiving NPAP aftercare services provides any additional
effect above and beyond what juvenile and young adult offenders released from detention received elsewhere in one form or