Tag Archives: research

Youth Research Hub

New research hub on juvenile justice


Did you know?  The National Juvenile Justice Network has launched the Juvenile Justice Research Hub.  It pulls together resources on key issues and strategies for change, and includes research, toolkits, and links to national experts.

 Vicki Turetsky

Long Term Juvenile Incarceration

Have you seen OJJDP’s study on long term incarceration of juveniles?

Just a few key points:

Finding #1: Longer stays in juvenile facilities do not reduce reoffending; institutional placement raised offending levels in even those with the lowest level of offending.

Finding #2: Adolescents who have committed serious offenses are not necessarily on track for adult criminal careers.

Finding #3: Substance use is a major factor in continued criminal activity by serious adolescent offenders.

Impact of Chaplain Programs on Discipline

The state of Florida did a study on the impact of participation in chaplain’s programs on discipline for those who are incarcerated.  The news is AMAZING!!  (DRs are Disciplinary Reports).  For the complete report, go here.

July Chapel Attendance Total Inmates Received DR DR%
0 times 21,363 2,001 9.4%
1-3 times 4,437 324 7.3%
4-9 times 2,004 119 5.9%
10+ times 937 37 3.9%
Statewide Average 72,075 5,083 7.1%


Marshgate Prison Chapel
Marshgate Prison Chapel

Detention: No Place for Kids

Hey…a report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation reports:

  • Youth prisons do not reduce recidivism
  • Youth prisons waste taxpayer money
  • Youth prisons expose youth to dangerous and abusive conditions

But, the good news:

  • States have reduced their juvenile corrections populations
  • There has been no corresponding increase in juvenile crimes or violence


  • Limit eligibility for correctional placement
  • Invest in promising non-residential alternatives
  • Change the financial incentives for incarcerating youth
  • Adopt best practice reforms for managing youthful offenders
  • Replace large institutions with small, treatment-oriented centers for the dangerous few
  • Use data to hold youth correction systems accountable

View the complete report here:  No Place for Kids:  The Case for Reducing Juvenile Incarceration


Some good news for Washington state…

The good news is that across the time period that this report talks about, Washington state decreased its juvenile detention population by about 600 youth.  And that Washington state is decreasing its occurrence of “maltreatment” of youth.

Recurring Maltreatment of Youth in Detention
Recurring Maltreatment of Youth in Detention

Research: Transitioning Youth to the Public School Systems

Below is the summary section of results from a doctoral thesis, pages 86-88.  By Cheryl Graham Watkins.

“Youth incarcerated in detention centers will at some point transition back to their base schools and communities. For many, the detention education program is the last chance of having a formal education. As indicated in the research (Nelson, Rutherford, & Wolford, 1987; Wolford, 2000) many have had unsuccessful experiences in school and many complete their schooling in programs at the detention center. While others return to the base school and continue to experience unsuccessful attempts at transitioning. Thus, effective transition from the facility to the school and community is essential. The recommendations offered in this section are based on the findings of the study, current literature, and personal experiences. The recommendations are not in any order but are included for their relative importance for promoting successful transition of youth from the detention setting to educational mainstream and the community.”

  1. Employ and fund qualified transition personnel.
  2. A transition plan must be developed for all youth, and transition should begin at the point of entry.
  3. In order to address the academic needs of all youth, programs geared toward all academic levels, especially for youth coming into detention having been involved in advanced studies programs designed to obtain advanced studies diploma is essential.
  4. Policy makers may want to consider more closely the need to include in the education program vocational skills training, with an emphasis on extensive career exploration, and vocational aptitude testing.
  5. Both GED and High School Graduate are considered meaningful end products.
  6. In addition, to the above recommendations, given the era of accountability there should be much better record keeping and understanding of what happens to youth following release from detention facilities.