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Give Adolescents the Time and Skills to Mature, Most will Stop

Models for Change Resource Center Partnership

This brief shows that dolescents, including serious juvenile offenders, naturally mature—psychologically, socially, and cognitively—over time; that the trend among serious adolescent offenders is toward reduced offending; relatively few consistently engage in serious adult crime; that even among serious offenders, there is a lot of variation in how, when, and at what rate individuals mature; that some people have wondered whether we can predict future offending based on the severity or frequency of offending during adolescence, and tha the answer is no. However, patterns of maturing do mirror patterns of future offending.