MST works with the toughest offenders. They are adolescents, male and female, between the ages of 12 and 17 who typically have significant histories of committing crime.
These kids don’t just skip school to see the lastest blockbuster movie or get into an occasional brawl on the basketball court. They steal, do drugs, sell drugs, beat up their parents and siblings, break into houses, rarely show up at school and if they do, are disruptive. Their teachers and community are threatened and don’t want them around.
Incarceration is no long-term solution
Getting delinquents off the streets gives the illusion of safety. But more likely than not, they’ll be back doing drugs or committing crimes with the old gang. They’ll still be disrespecting their parents and failing in school. And it’s quite unlikely that they were discussing philosophy or literature with their fellow offenders while in the juvenile facility. They were sharing stories of their crimes and picking up new ways to get into trouble.
MST is a better way with proven results
Instead of removing kids from their home, MST treats them in the community. It goes to the root of the adolescent’s problems and finds solutions. These kids don’t live in a vacuum. Therefore, you can’t treat them in one.
MST clinicians are there for the family whenever needed. At the start of treatment, that can be every day. In addition, therapists are on call around the clock, seven days a week, to give advice and support should an emergency arise.
It’s intensive, and it works. MST has demonstrated decreased criminal activity and incarceration in studies with chronic and violent juvenile offenders.
MST saves money
According to the Justice Policy Institute, states facing budget shortfalls could save millions of dollars while improving public safety by investing in community-based alternatives to the incarceration of juveniles. Approximately 93,000 juveniles are incarcerated in U.S. facilities at any given time – 70 percent of them in state-funded, post-adjudication, residential facilities at an average cost of $241 per day. Multisystemic Therapy is a fraction of this cost.
MST saves money for years to come
The National Crime Prevention Centre of the Department of Justice of Canada reports that approximately 75 percent to 80 percent of incarcerated adults were persistent offenders in their youth. MST aims to break this cycle. Youth placed in MST are LESS LIKELY to commit future crimes.