Multisystemic Therapy (MST) is an evidence-based therapeutic approach designed to address at-risk young people's behavioral challenges. For young people who meet MST Program criteria, MST is a treatment that can be more effective than incarceration and juvenile detention. MST treatment has been shown to reduce recidivism, whereas incarcerated young people will often re-offend by committing further crimes or acts of violence.
MST isn't just renowned for its efficacy — it's also an economically sensible choice. Not only is it more cost-effective than incarceration, but it also reduces costs to the community and state by preventing recidivism.
A study published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology found that the net benefit of MST is up to $200,000 per youth. The study found that every dollar spent on MST saved taxpayers and crime victims $5.04 in the 25 years after treatment.
But why is MST so cost-effective? Let’s discuss how MST prevents recidivism, reduces crime, and uses pre-existing resources to treat at-risk young people.