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Archive for the ‘Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’ Category

Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors Among Detained Youth

August 29, 2014 Comments off

Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors Among Detained Youth (PDF)
Source: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

Incarcerated youth die by suicide at a rate two to three times higher than that of youth in the general population. In this bulletin, the authors examine suicidal thoughts and behaviors among 1,829 youth ages 10 to 18 in the Northwestern Juvenile Project—a longitudinal study of youth detained at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center in Chicago, IL.

Key findings include the following:
• Approximately 1 in 10 juvenile detainees (10.3 percent) thought about suicide in the past 6 months, and 11 percent had attempted suicide.
• More than one-third of male juvenile detainees and nearly half of female juvenile detainees felt hopeless or thought a lot about death or dying in the 6 months prior to detention.
• Recent suicide attempts were most prevalent in female detainees and youth with anxiety disorders.
• Fewer than half of detainees with recent thoughts of suicide had told anyone about their suicidal thoughts.

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Juvenile Arrests 2011

March 25, 2014 Comments off

Juvenile Arrests 2011
Source: office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

As has been the case in general for the past decade, juvenile arrest data for 2011 provide reasons for encouragement. Overall, arrests in 2011 were down 11 percent from 2010 and down 31 percent since 2002.

Although juvenile arrest rates for many crimes are at their lowest levels in more than 30 years, many states and communities are instituting legislative, policy, and practice changes to reduce juvenile arrests even further. As a growing body of evidence underscores the corrosive effects that system involvement and confinement can have on healthy adolescent emotional, mental, behavioral, and social development, many jurisdictions are examining and developing ways to divert nonserious offenders from entering the system. With time, the cumulative effects of these and other reform efforts, such as trauma, mental health, and substance abuse screening and assessment for youth upon intake, should result in a system where arrests are rare, all youth are treated fairly, and when a youth enters the system, he or she receives much-needed treatment and services. Such changes would undoubtedly provide positive and healthy outcomes for youth, families, and communities.

Mentoring Children of Incarcerated Parents: A Synthesis of Research and Input From the Listening Session Held by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and the White House Domestic Policy Council and Office of Public Engagement

March 21, 2014 Comments off

Mentoring Children of Incarcerated Parents: A Synthesis of Research and Input From the Listening Session Held by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and the White House Domestic Policy Council and Office of Public Engagement (PDF)
Source: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

Parents may be incarcerated in correctional facilities at either the local or state level and the length of incarceration varies by type of facility. Jails are locally-operated correctional facilities and sentences to jail (typically for misdemeanors) are usually one year or shorter, whereas prisons (state or federal) are typically further away and generally involve sentences (typically for felonies) that are longer than one year. The number of youth who have an incarcerated parent has grown considerably over the past two decades. It is estimated that 1.7 million youth in the United States have at least one parent currently in prison and that millions more have a parent in jail. As a group, these youth fare worse than other youth on a range of immediate and longer-term outcomes that relate to mental and physical health as well as educational achievement. Evidence suggests that, in combination with other sources of risk and adversity, the incarceration of a parent can increase the likelihood that youth become involved in antisocial and delinquent behavior. Yet, it is clear that parental incarceration affects families in different ways and that experiences before, during, and after incarceration contribute to youths’outcomes. Furthermore, as many youth faced with the incarceration of a parent do well, a parent’s incarceration is clearly not an insurmountable barrier to a young person realizing his or her full potential.

The broader research literature supports mentoring programs as a promising form of support for youth with incarcerated parents. Findings indicate that participation in a mentoring program can benefit a young person in several different areas, including emotional well-being, social relationships, avoiding problem behavior, and academic achievement.

Mentoring Children of Incarcerated Parents

February 4, 2014 Comments off

Mentoring Children of Incarcerated Parents (PDF)
Source: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

Parents may be incarcerated in correctional facilities at either the local or state level and the length of incarceration varies by type of facility. Jails are locally-operated correctional facilities and sentences to jail (typically for misdemeanors) are usually one year or shorter, whereas prisons (state or federal) are typically further away and generally involve sentences (typically for felonies) that are longer than one year. The number of youth who have an incarcerated parent has grown considerably over the past two decades. It is estimated that 1.7 million youth in the United States have at least one parent currently in prison and that millions more have a parent in jail. As a group, these youth fare worse than other youth on a range of immediate and longer-term outcomes that relate to mental and physical health as well as educational achievement. Evidence suggests that, in combination with other sources of risk and adversity, the incarceration of a parent can increase the likelihood that youth become involved in antisocial and delinquent behavior. Yet, it is clear that parental incarceration affects families in different ways and that experiences before, during, and after incarceration contribute to youths’ outcomes. Furthermore, as many youth faced with the incarceration of a parent do well, a parent’s incarceration is clearly not an insurmountable barrier to a young person realizing his or her full potential.

The broader research literature supports mentoring programs as a promising form of support for youth with incarcerated parents. Findings indicate that participation in a mentoring program can benefit a young person in several different areas, including emotional well-being, social relationships, avoiding problem behavior, and academic achievement.

Functional Impairment in Delinquent Youth

January 13, 2014 Comments off

Functional Impairment in Delinquent Youth (PDF)
Source: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

This bulletin is one in a series that presents the results of the Northwestern Juvenile Project—a longitudinal study of youth detained at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center in Chicago, IL. The authors present the results of their examination of youth’s functional impairment as assessed 3 years after their release from detention. Key findings include the following:

  • Only 7.5 percent of youth had no notable impairment in functioning.
  • Approximately one of every five youth had markedly impaired functioning.
  • Markedly impaired functioning was much more common in males than in females; however, females were more likely to be severely impaired in the moods/emotions and self-harm domains than males.
  • Among males living in the community, African Americans and Hispanics were more likely to be severely impaired in school and work than non-Hispanic whites.

New OJJDP Bulletin Examines Youth Delinquency and Victimization

October 30, 2013 Comments off

New OJJDP Bulletin Examines Youth Delinquency and Victimization
Source: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

OJJDP has released Children’s Exposure to Violence and the Intersection Between Delinquency and Victimization. The latest in OJJDP’s National Survey of Children’s Exposure to Violence (NatSCEV) publication series, the bulletin presents survey results regarding the co-occurrence of victimization and delinquency among children who are exposed to violence.

The survey categorized adolescents ages 10 to 17 into one of four groups: those youth who were primarily delinquents and not victims (primarily delinquents), those who were primarily victims and not delinquents (primarily victims), those who were both delinquents and victims (delinquent-victims), and those who were neither victims nor delinquents. Youth identified as delinquent-victims had higher levels of both delinquency and victimization than either the primarily victim or primarily delinquent youth. These youth also suffered more adversities, and had lower levels of social support and higher rates of mental health symptoms. The study points to the importance of early intervention.

The relative sizes of these various groups appear to change as children age; they also differ by gender. The delinquent-victim group among boys is larger overall and increases substantially between ages 13 and 14. This may reflect an increase in delinquent activities around the time they enter high school among boys who had previously been primarily victims. The high school environment may expose them to older delinquent role models and present them with conditions of more independence and less supervision than middle school.

For girls, the pattern change appears to occur earlier (between ages 11 and 12) and is associated with an increase in both victimization and delinquency, but particularly victimization. This is likely related to the onset of puberty in girls and shows up in the data as a particularly marked increase in sexual harassment.

These findings strongly suggest that delinquency- and victimization-prevention efforts need to be marshaled around or before the fifth grade, and they need to include components that minimize sexual aggression and harassment.

Nature and Risk of Victimization: Findings From the Survey of Youth in Residential Placement

August 19, 2013 Comments off

Nature and Risk of Victimization: Findings From the Survey of Youth in Residential Placement (PDF)
Source: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (DOJ)

This bulletin covers key findings from the Survey of Youth in Residential Placement on youth’s victimization in placement, including their experiences of theft, robbery, physical assault, and sexual assault. It presents the details of youth’s reports about these victimization experiences, indicating the prevalence and frequency of victimization, the perpetrators involved, the use of weapons, and any injuries resulting from the victimization. Because SYRP provides substantial information about youth’s characteristics, needs, and conditions of confinement (Sedlak and Bruce, 2010; Sedlak and McPherson, 2010a, 2010b), it also provides a rich basis for un- derstanding the context of victimization.

The bulletin describes a variety of youth characteristics and facility conditions that correlate with victimization rates and identifies a core set of risk factors that predict the probability of a youth experi- encing violence in custody.

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