Making A Group and Individual Commitment
MAGIC, a University of Nevada Cooperative Extension program, is an innovative, collaborative prevention program designed to help juvenile offenders leave the criminal justice system and become productive members of society. While participating in MAGIC, young people ages 12 to 18, learn: positive communication skills; problem solving; decision making; self-responsibility; conflict resolution; and, goal setting. Youth also select and conduct a service project designed to benefit their community. Parents and/or guardians of these young offenders also participate in the program. During three evening meetings, these adults learn to: positively communicate with their teen; manage anger during conflict situations; recognize symptoms of drug and/or alcohol abuse; and, positively discipline their children.
Each MAGIC group is made up of 10 to 12 teens who are referred into the program by juvenile justice collaborators. These youth are entry level, less serious offenders. Sexual or violent offenders are not admitted. MAGIC participants meet two or three times a week for approximately two months.
MAGIC is designed for, and has proven successful with, teens just entering the juvenile justice system or juveniles with low incident rates. Thousands of young people have participated in MAGIC.
Most teens report: increased self-esteem, better attitudes toward peers and school, and increased communication with parents and other adults. Parents of MAGIC teens consistently report improvement in their teen's behavior AND report an increase in their own knowledge of parenting techniques.
A study conducted one year after involvement in the program indicates that skills learned in MAGIC are helping youth stay out of trouble. The program also helps save taxpayer dollars because young offenders leave the juvenile justice system to become productive members of society.
MAGIC received the 1997 National Award for Excellence at the National Rural Institute on Alcohol and Drug Abuse from the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Project MAGIC was peer reviewed and accepted into the National Registry of Effective Prevention Programs (NREPP). More information about the evaluation of the program can be found at: http://nrepp.samhsa.gov/ViewIntervention.aspx?id=193