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NCJ Number: 179352 Find in a Library
Title: Regarding Incarceration of Youthful Offender in Adult Facilities: Staff Survey Analysis
Author(s): Lani Vento
Corporate Author: Washington State Dept of Corrections
United States of America
Date Published: February 1999
Page Count: 22
Sponsoring Agency: Washington State Dept of Corrections
Olympia, WA 98504-1100
Sale Source: Washington State Dept of Corrections
P.O. Box 41100
Mail Stop 41100
Olympia, WA 98504-1100
United States of America
Type: Survey
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Washington State's Department of Corrections (DOC) has recently experienced an increase in the population of offenders under 18 years of age, mainly as a result of changes in sentencing laws.
Abstract: In 1994, the Violence Reduction Act automatically transferred the jurisdiction of 16- and 17-year- olds charged with certain violent crimes to be tried in adult court. Prior to 1994, youth admissions had been gradually rising, but they increased dramatically after the new law was enacted. Youth admissions increased by 233 percent from 1993 to 1995, while adult admissions increased by only 14 percent during the same period. Subsequent legislation mandated that juvenile offenders must be kept separate from adult offenders under their 18th birthday. The DOC responded to the unique needs of juvenile offenders by implementing the Youthful Offender Program in 1997. A survey was conducted in the fall and winter of 1997-1998 at three facilities under the Youthful Offender Program to assess staff reactions to the presence of youth. Questionnaires were randomly distributed to a cross-section of 60 staff at each facility. Respondents included administrative, classification, program, security, and other staff. About 76 percent of staff overall said the presence of youth in their facilities presented special problems. About 69 percent of staff at male facilities reported that the potential for staff assault increased due to the presence of juvenile offenders under 18 years of age. Staff also indicated that the presence of young people increased the potential for suicides, attempted suicides, and serious infractions. Other common problems reported by staff included overcrowding, vulnerability of young people to predatory adult offenders, and differential treatment of young people. Statistics are also tabulated on staff perceptions of youth inmate behavior and management, program and housing assignments, physical confrontations, prison safety, job satisfaction, and job stress. Implications of the findings are discussed, and the survey form is attached. 6 tables and 1 figure
Main Term(s): Juvenile Corrections/Detention statistics
Index Term(s): Correctional personnel attitudes; Juvenile correctional facilities; Juvenile court waiver; Juvenile inmates; Juvenile offenders; Juvenile suicide; Male juvenile delinquents; Male offenders; State laws; Violent juvenile offenders; Washington
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