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He took a close look at an 80-year-old study that led to a shocking result
Forty years ago, a researcher made a shocking discovery about a Massachusetts program designed to prevent crime among young people who lived in urban areas. It had achieved the opposite result.
Those who received counseling, mentoring, and other services intended to steer them away from a life of crime were found, years later, to have committed more crimes, led less healthy lives, and died younger than people who received none of these services.
The findings, in 1978, of a study started in 1939, sent shockwaves through the burgeoning field of criminology, and disturbed advocates of social welfare programs, according to Brandon Welsh, professor of criminology and criminal justice at Northeastern.