The Dutch Research Council (NWO) awarded Lucres Nauta-Jansen, associate professor in child and adolescent psychiatry at Amsterdam UMC, with 1.9 million euros to integrate neurobiological with standard psychosocial assessments in the forensic youth settings. These assessments should help to better predict which interventions are most effective for whom. The funding is part of the Dutch Research Agenda along Routes by Consortia (NWA-ORC).

Screen & Intervene (SCIN)

Juvenile delinquency is a significant problem in our society. In forensic practice, we focus on the diagnosis and treatment of juvenile delinquents, in order to reduce the risk of recidivism. Unfortunately, this treatment is not yet effective for everyone. The approach to juvenile crime can be improved by taking more account of the neurobiological development of individual youth. Nauta-Jansen will integrate neurobiological with standard psychosocial assessments within forensic youth settings. The resulting data will form the basis for the development of a comprehensive biopsychosocial model for predicting treatment outcome. Based on the new model, a clinical decision tool will be developed to better adjust intervention programs in juvenile forensic practice and adolescent law to individual needs and developmental perspectives. With this approach, we can improve mental health and decrease reoffending rates in youth.

Research projects on urgent issues with a wide range of cooperation partners

The integration of neurobiological assessments in the forensic youth settings is one of the 28 projects that was awarded within the Dutch Research Agenda program (NWA-ORC). This program focuses on the formation of interdisciplinary teams that will bring both scientific and societal breakthroughs within reach. The entire knowledge chain and societal organizations, including public and private parties, will work closely together in these projects.

Consortium partners

The partners, in addition to Amsterdam UMC, are University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, Radboud University Nijmegen, VU Amsterdam, Leiden University, Research and Documentation Centre (WODC), Leiden University, University of Applied Sciences Windesheim, Trimbos-instituut, RJJI RijksJustitiƫle JeugdInrichtingen, Pluryn, Nederlands Instituut voor Forensische Psychiatrie en Psychologie (NIFP), De Borg, Ministry of Justice and Security, Young in prison, Prosecution office (OM), Dutch probation offices (ReclasseringNederland).

Source: NWO