CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Monday, March 14, 2011

Fagan & Kupchik on Juvenile Incarceration

Jeffrey Fagan Fagan jeffrey (pictured) and Aaron Kupchik (Columbia Law School and University of Delaware, Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice) have posted Juvenile Incarceration and the Pains of Imprisonment on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

As a result of the movement to criminalize youth crime in the 1980s and 1990s, large numbers of incarcerated youth serve their sentences in adult correctional facilities. In an effort to understand the ramifications of this practice, prior research studies have compared the correctional experiences of youth in juvenile and adult facilities. Yet this research tends to minimize the pains of imprisonment for youth in juvenile facilities, based on the contrast to adult facilities and the toxic conditions of confinement within them. In the following article, we contribute to this literature by analyzing data from interviews with 188 young men incarcerated in juvenile and adult facilities across two states. Our results show that although inmates in adult facilities (surprisingly) give better reports than youth in juvenile facilities on several measures (including criminal activity and victimization), they also fare much worse on other measures. Importantly, the inmates in adult facilities report substantially and significantly greater rates of PTSD and mental illness symptoms, and are much more likely to be afraid for their safety, compared to those in juvenile facilities. Based on these results, we argue that incarceration should be used only as a last resort for juveniles, regardless of institutional auspice, but that when it is deemed necessary, juvenile correctional facilities represent the lesser of two evils.

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ADVOCATES FOR ABANDONED ADOLESCENTS Mission Statement The Juvenile Justice in the United States is certainly in dire need of America's undivided focus and attention, for far too many children are being led into the adult court system and discarded into the adult prison system unnecessarily. So I commend and applaud your efforts to bring a degree of responsibility to the juvenile justice Laws. Though I think it's important that America's focus and attention also include the teenagers that were waived and sentenced to long terms of imprisonment in the adult prison system 15/16/17/years ago. I think Justice for these Juvenile offenders would include Liz Ryan, the Director for the campaign for youth justice called the 2nd look Legislation. '2nd Look' means youth serving long sentences get their sentences reviewed at some point in their incarceration. Would you consider 2nd look Legislation?

Posted by: Advocates for Abandoned Adolescents | May 19, 2011 1:37:54 AM

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