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NCJ Number: 203812 Find in a Library
Title: Reentry of Young Offenders From the Justice System: A Developmental Perspective
Journal: Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice  Volume:2  Issue:1  Dated:January 2004  Pages:21-38
Author(s): Laurence Steinberg; He Len Chung; Michelle Little
Date Published: January 2004
Page Count: 18
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines three issues pertinent to the re-entry of young offenders (between the ages of 16 and 24) into the community from juvenile or adult correctional facilities: why they face great challenges in re-entry; why certain individuals achieve positive turning points in early adulthood and others do not; and how programming in the justice system might increase the number of adult success stories.
Abstract: Although the authors recognize that punishment and training in a secure correctional facility are important components of the justice system's response to juvenile offending, the widespread failure of punishment and training approaches in the rehabilitation of young offenders is apparent from the statistics on the adult outcomes for individuals who have been embedded in the juvenile justice system. The significant and complex problems faced by young offenders as they make a transition into adulthood suggest that they lack many of the basic psychosocial capacities required for assuming positive adult roles. Punitive and incapacitative measures in themselves do nothing to prepare youth for successful re-entry into the community; thus, youth released from confinement are at high risk for failure in the areas of education, employment, and the establishment of healthy interpersonal relationships. Even if vocational training and skill acquisition accompany incarceration, such programs do not address the psychosocial deficits that impede youth in obtaining and retaining gainful employment. Rehabilitative policies and programs must re-examine the goals and methods of the justice system from the perspective of the psychosocial development of youth, such that case-management strategies identify the specific psychosocial tasks of late adolescence and the contexts that best facilitate constructive development. The features of such contexts include the presence of supportive adults and opportunities to develop responsible autonomy, acquire important competencies, and establish positive relationships with mature peers. 82 references and appended lists of components of psychosocial maturity and contexts that affect the psychosocial maturity of young offenders
Main Term(s): Juvenile Aftercare
Index Term(s): Juvenile Corrections/Detention effectiveness; Juvenile inmates; Juvenile to adult criminal careers; Punishment; Youth development
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