On this page we present detailed results for our Cognitive Behavioral Therapy model in Los Angeles. You can find information about the following topics:
A Closer Look: Compton and Southwest Health Districts
Comparison with Functional Family Therapy
There are approximately 13,000 juveniles aged 10-16 in Los Angeles County who, in the past 12 months, were released to parole, put on probation, or given supervisory caution after encountering the juvenile justice system.
Los Angeles County can be divided into 26 different Health Districts (see corresponding map). We model this program for the whole county, in addition to over 250 ZIP codes, which can then be aggregated into these Health Districts.
This intervention would prevent 368 fewer juvenile arrests in the three years following the program. Also, the intervention would prevent 58 juvenile incarcerations in the three years following the program. These incarcerations on average last a year and a half.
As the populations ages into adulthood, we estimate the intervention would prevent 360 fewer arrests, 63 fewer jailings, and 18 fewer incarcerations for the cohort between ages 17-30.
We estimate an additional 74 high school graduates because of the program.
We estimate participants of the program reduce substance abuse by about 6.5 days per year due to the program. This comes out to about 84,000 total days annually for the population. Further, we estimate 271 fewer youths will be chemically dependent.
Sexual abuse is a health concern for the incarcerated population. Due to the reduction in incarcerations, we estimate 18 fewer instances of sexual abuse in the incarceration system. 86% of these instances would have occurred during juvenile incarceration.
Compton and Southwest are Health Districts that benefit particularly well from this intervention. The percentage of 10-16 year olds in all of Los Angeles who would end up receiving the intervention is 1.4%. The number for Compton and Southwest is about a percentage point higher (2.5% and 2.2%, respectively), which helps explain why the intervention is so successful there.
Three years after the program, Southwest experiences 34 avoided arrests and 5 avoided incarcerations. Compton experiences 31 avoided arrests and 5 avoided incarcerations.
Southwest is also the Health District with the most averted incidences between ages 17-30, with 33 avoided arrests, 6 avoided jailings, and 2 avoided incarcerations. Compton has the second most, with 30 avoided arrests, 5 avoided jailings, and 2 avoided incarcerations.
Southwest is also the beneficiary of 7 additional high school graduates due to the intervention, as well as 25 fewer chemically dependent youths and 2 fewer instances of sexual abuse during incarceration. For Compton, these measures are 6 additional high school graduates due to the intervention, 23 fewer chemically dependent youths and 2 fewer instances of sexual abuse during incarceration.
The program begins to bring in steady positive returns in year 2. In year 50, the savings to county, state, and federal governments are approximately $16,000. Returns become positive in Year 10. By year 50, discounted returns approach $3.3 million. For an initial cost of $6.4 million thousand this comes out to $1.52 returns for every dollar initially invested. For savings to the county only, the return is still positive, at $1.02 for every dollar initially invested.
Maintaining the program in perpetuity leads to even greater yearly savings. By year 50, returns are $164.2 million. For a cost of $312.5 million, this comes out to $1.53 returns for every dollar initially invested. For savings to the county only, the return is still positive, at $1.02 for every dollar initially invested.
The largest percentage of savings from the program, 43% in total, comes from reduced juvenile crime, which is broken down into arrests (33%) and incarceration (10%). Roughly 23% of savings come from increased earnings through incomes and sales taxes. Adulthood crime makes up 28% of the savings through arrests (13%), jailing (8%), and incarceration (7%). The remaining sources are displayed as the "Other" category here (Substance Use and School Attendance).
Functional Family Therapy is an alternative program suggested for reducing recidivism among juvenile offenders. For more detailed results on the Functional Family Therapy program, click here. For an identical population, we find that Functional Family Therapy is more effective at reducing future juvenile criminal incidents.
Because of it's greater effectiveness in reducing juvenile recidivism, Functional Family Therapy is estimated to have a stronger effect on adult criminal incidents as well.
Furthermore, Functional Family Therapy is more effective at preventing substance abuse among the eligible population.
However, due to its lower costs, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has a better return on investment, from county sources as well as the total county/state/federal sources.