Treatment Response of Adolescent Offenders with Psychopathy Features: A 2-Year Follow-Up

This study examines the treatment response of 141 juvenile offenders with high scores on the Psychopathy Checklist:Youth Version (M total > 27). Two groups of potentially psychopathic offenders are compared: one that participates in the Mendota Juvenile Treatment Center (MJTC), an intensive treatment program (MJTC, n = 56), and another that receives “treatment as usual” in conventional juvenile correctional institution (JCI) settings (JCI, n = 85). Offenders in the JCI group are more than twice as likely to violently recidivate in the community during a 2-year follow-up than those who participate in MJTC treatment. Treatment is associated
with relatively slower and lower rates of serious recidivism, even after controlling for the effects of nonrandom assignment to treatment groups and release status. Implications for further research, treatment development, and juvenile justice issues are discussed.