Missouri Delinquency Project

Director: Charles M. Borduin

The Missouri Delinquency Project (MDP) was developed in 1983 through the cooperation of the Missouri Department of Social Services (Division of Youth Services), the Missouri Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Juvenile Court, and the University of Missouri-Columbia (MU) to deliver treatments to juvenile offenders and their families in the natural environment (home, school, peer group, neighborhood) and to train mental health professionals to provide such treatments. Housed in the Family Assessment Laboratory at MU, the Missouri Delinquency Project has played a major role in the ongoing development, validation, and dissemination of Multisystemic Therapy (MST), a treatment model developed in collaboration with the Family Services Research Center at the Medical University of South Carolina.

To date, MST is one of the few treatments for serious delinquent behavior that have demonstrated both short-term and long-term success in randomized, controlled clinical trials with violent and chronic juvenile offenders and their families from various cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Recent MST clinical trials have also demonstrated success with youths presenting psychiatric emergencies (seriously emotionally disturbed youths) and with juvenile offenders presenting substance use disorders.