How New Mexico saved $135 Million Using Multisystemic Therapy

Posted by David Bernstein

New Mexico finds MST cost effective, saves the state $135 million

In December 2014, a report was published showing very positive results for troubled youth receiving Multisystemic Therapy (MST) treatment over a nine-year period in New Mexico. The state decided to take a closer look at the data from its Juvenile Justice Services System (JJS) focusing on whether using MST for delinquent youths at risk of out-of-home placements was paying off.

The study analyzed information gathered on 4,016 delinquent young people receiving MST from July 2005 to June 30, 2014, covering admission to six and 12 months after discharge. These were youths with very high rates of severity at admission to MST and showed great improvement in all areas examined, including improved functioning, decreased mental health and substance-abuse problems and cost savings to the state through reductions in using Medicaid-funded behavioral health services.


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Topics: cost effectiveness, MST outcomes

The Real Cost of Treating Juvenile Offenders

Posted by Marshall Swenson

For juvenile offenders, it pays to think long-term

Communities invest in a portfolio of services. Each service has a cost and is used to meet a certain need. Think of it as any financial investment. Communities must make sure that the current service portfolio continues to meet the ever-changing requirements in their fluctuating financial environment. In recent years, with tax revenues declining, many places have had to make hard choices about where to invest money. When looking at the need to help juvenile offenders and their families, the short-term costs of prevention must be weighed against the long-term expenditure for foster care, juvenile and adult incarceration.cost_of_MST

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Topics: Cost of youth incarceration, cost effectiveness

How Early Intervention Programs Like MST Can Save UK $2 Billion

Posted by Lori Cohen, MST Services

The cost of not using evidence based programs for troubled youths is high

Proponents of Multisystemic Therapy (MST) and other evidence-based programs say it over and over. Give young people experiencing difficulties the right intervention and you save society enormous amounts of money by keeping them home, out of jail and turning them into productive citizens.

Fifty British charities have weighed in on the subject. They estimate that a failure to intervene early leads to crises more costly to fix later. More costly? How about $2 billion more costly.v2-18-Drunk-woman-getty

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Topics: cost effectiveness, UK, evidence-based programs

Multisystemic Therapy (MST) Shown to Reduce the High Cost of Crime

Posted by Lori Cohen, MST Services

There is no debate that juvenile crime is of great concern in the United States. According to the FBI, youths younger than 18 commit almost 20 percent of all serious crimes, 13 percent of violent offenses and 20 percent of crimes involving property. It’s also been found that a single lifetime of crime amounts to a $1.3 to $1.5 million burden on society. Knowing that makes it even more imperative to keep adolescents from becoming habitual criminals.

Where there is debate is how to deal with this problem and where to allocate funds earmarked for it. There are many who lean toward paying as little as possible upfront. Policymakers and those who sign the checks are under pressure to come up with programs that reduce crime without draining the budget. Often, they choose individual therapy instead of a program like Multisystemic Therapy (MST). What they overlook is the long-term savings when a treatment such as MST is implemented. It has been shown that youths commit fewer crimes following MST. That means lower future expenses for taxpayers and crime victims relative to the expenses associated with individual therapy.

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Topics: Multisystemic Therapy, cost effectiveness, MST

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