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The aim of this paper is to describe the predictors and correlates of previous incarceration and re-incarceration among a sample of 319 young offenders in New South Wales, Australia. At baseline, most ( 78% ) participants had been previously incarcerated and after 18 months follow-up, 50% of participants were re-incarcerated in either adult or juvenile custody. Significant correlates of any previous incarceration included heavy alcohol consumption, cannabis dependence, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and possible borderline intellectual disability. Significant correlates of re-incarceration within 18 months included heavy drinking and using any cannabis. Heavy alcohol consumption and cannabis use are important risk factors for recidivism among young offenders. More research is needed to determine the nature of this association. Evidence-based interventions that address alcohol and cannabis use among this high risk population are needed.

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Journal Article

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