Youth who reenter communities after forensic or residential care are overrepresented in prevalence rates for mental disorders, delinquency, incarceration, low academic achievement, and unemployment. Supportive interventions that aid youth in the reentry to their communities can be crucial for successful reintegration. In systematic reviews (SR) on this topic, only specific interventions or programs are described. Therefore, a summary of evidence about transitional interventions for various groups of reentry youth is needed.
This overview of SRs was preregistered in PROSPERO. We searched PsycINFO, Ovid MEDLINE, Cochrane Library, Campbell Library, Web of Science, Sociological Abstracts, Criminal Justice Abstracts, Social Care Online, and Epistemonikos. SRs that fit the search criteria were evaluated using the AMSTAR checklist for methodological quality and the GRADE tool for assessing confidence in effect estimates.
We screened 2,349 publications for eligibility. Eight SRs were included for analysis. The methodological quality of five SRs was critically low, two were of low quality, and one was of moderate quality. Recidivism was reported as the only outcome in five SRs. Detrimental outcomes were reported in five SRs. Confidence in effect estimates was low or very low for all outcomes. Ninety-five percent of primary study populations were from the United States.
We offer a rigorous appraisal of SRs on transitional interventions. The gaps of knowledge are vast regarding what works, how it works, and for whom. Development of a knowledge base should include defining the term 'recidivism', systematic reporting of demographics, and identifying effective common elements.
(PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved)
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