Patrick Duffy, MST Services

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Michigan Judge Chose MST and MST-PSB to 'Rehabilitate' Juveniles

Posted by Patrick Duffy, MST Services

Dec 13, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Judge Dorene Allen researched her options and decided to try MST

"You want to have children rehabilitate to the point that if they move next to you, your grandchildren will be safe." This is the simple, yet powerful advice Judge Dorene Allen, presiding probate and juvenile court judge for Midland County, Mich., has for people selecting programs for juveniles in the justice system. 

At one point, the services offered in her county were not meeting that standard. Judge Allen was not "satisfied spending time, energy and money for no results. That’s depressing to the judge and community."

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Topics: MST testimonial

Tips on Building Steady Referrals for Your MST Program

Posted by Patrick Duffy, MST Services

Jan 8, 2016 9:30:00 AM

Steady referrals are key to successful evidence-based treatments

Even the best social program is nothing if it doesn’t have clients. Creating a steady stream of referrals can be a major challenge for an evidence-based program, but it is possible with thoughtful planning. The best strategy for overcoming a lack of referrals is developing strong, personal relationships with referral sources. Hands_Landing_Page.jpg

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Topics: MST referrals

For Adolescent Offenders, There's No Place Like Home

Posted by Patrick Duffy, MST Services

Feb 4, 2015 4:00:00 PM

The top 6 Reasons MST eschews out-of-home placement  

Juvenile crime is, unfortunately, a common topic in today’s news and leaves parents, police and communities struggling in their search for answers. Also unfortunate is the call by some people for “more of the same”—incarceration, residential facilities or other cocktails of the commonly used approaches that have failed to curb the problem.


Our juvenile justice system is like a bicycle stuck in one gear, and that gear is incarceration. But it just doesn't make good sense to keep building prisons and sticking youth in them for non-violent offenses. The body of evidence on successfully rehabilitating juvenile offenders emphasizes keeping adolescents with their families and in their schools. Worse still, locking kids up doesn’t make our communities safer.

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Topics: Juvenile Justice Reform,, Cost of youth incarceration, Out of home placement

Kentucky Moves to Evidence-Based Treatments to Combat Youth Crime

Posted by Patrick Duffy, MST Services

Sep 15, 2014 9:00:00 AM

In 2011, it was reported that Kentucky had one of the highest rates in the country for sending juveniles to jail for noncriminal offenses such as running away and truancy. The year before that meant 1,500 adolescents were incarcerated at the staggering cost of $2 million. Juvenile-Justice-583x390“There has to be a better alternative than locking a child behind a door to get their attention,” said Kentucky’s Deputy Director of Juvenile Justice Hasan Davis.

The state government decided there is—evidence-based treatment programs. 

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Topics: Kentucky, Juvenile Justice Reform,

First, Do No Harm: Cancel Scared Straight

Posted by Patrick Duffy, MST Services

Jul 8, 2014 11:54:50 AM

The cable network A&E has been running a popular series for six seasons called “Sacred Straight.” It purports to show a forceful way of handling juvenile offenders by taking them to a correctional facility and having inmates intimidate them with threats of what will happen if the kids end up in prison. And of course, the next episode features a sobbing or sobered delinquent declaring he or she will straighten up.beyond_scared_straight

It’s a feel-good for the audience. Such a simple way to straighten out these young miscreants. Only problem, it’s Hollywood nonsense, as Del Elliott, the director of the program on Problem Behavior and Positive Youth Development and the founding director of The Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence in the Institute of Behavioral Science (IBS) at the University of Colorado recently pointed out.

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Topics: Blueprints for healthy families, Blueprints, scared straight

A Great Day for Kentucky’s Youths and Taxpayers

Posted by Patrick Duffy, MST Services

Apr 16, 2014 8:00:00 AM

BlNa9LmCUAASyYHIn 2010, the state of Kentucky had 852 youths in confinement, a rate of 186 per 100,000. While this number may not seem very large, David Keene, a former president of the National Rifle Association, a former chairman of the American Conservative Union and a Right on Crime signatory, appropriately gasped at the cost of $87,000 a year per youth which, using these numbers, equates to $74,124,000 a year. Read Keene's OpEd here. More concerning than just the money is the mounds of data demonstrating that the result of this expense is likely to be increased recidivism and expanding costs.

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Topics: Kentucky, Juvenile Justice Reform,

A Blueprint for Juvenile Justice Reform

Posted by Patrick Duffy, MST Services

Feb 26, 2014 9:33:00 AM

In tight economic times, many states and agencies are forced to examine their budgets and prioritize funding in ways that maximize the effect of each dollar. Others seek reform after concluding that years of service and millions of dollars have not achieved the desired outcomes. Regardless of their path to reform, states and counties across the country are beginning to examine services offered through their juvenile justice systems, and those examinations are increasingly leading to the conclusion that incarceration of juveniles is not cost effective – or effective at all.

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Topics: Blueprints for healthy families

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