Young offenders and alcohol-related crime: What interventions will address the issues?
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Although most young offenders will grow out of both drinking and crime, interventions aimed at reducing crime through reducing drinking or reducing drinking so as to reduce health and social problems are important for some offenders. Where the aim is to reduce crime by reducing drinking, it is essential to assess carefully the relationship between the two in each person to ensure that this is logical. Since most adolescents drink and since controlled drinking is achievable by younger people with fewer alcohol-related problems, moderation rather than abstinence is a realistic goal for most young offenders. Behavioural self-control training is one type of intervention which can effectively encourage moderate drinking, but this has to be conducted in ways that will engage young offenders' interest, for example through self-help manuals, developing peer interventions and using simulated bar settings. In addressing the questions of which types of people commit which types of crime and what part alcohol plays in setting the conditions for crime to occur, studying the effects that young offenders expect alcohol to have under various conditions may contribute to the development of cognition modification components of interventions and enable better matching of clients with programmes. [References: 28]