Juvenile Justice: Advancing Research, Policy, and Practice

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Juvenile Justice: Advancing Research, Policy, and Practice

Juvenile Justice Juvenile Justice Advancing Research, Policy, and Practice Edited by FRANCINE T. SHERMAN and FRANCIN

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Juvenile Justice

Juvenile Justice Advancing Research, Policy, and Practice

Edited by

FRANCINE T. SHERMAN and FRANCINE H. JACOBS

John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

1 This book is printed on acid-free paper. 

Copyright # 2011 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey. Published simultaneously in Canada. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning, or otherwise, except as permitted under Section 107 or 108 of the 1976 United States Copyright Act, without either the prior written permission of the Publisher, or authorization through payment of the appropriate per-copy fee to the Copyright Clearance Center, Inc., 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923, (978) 750-8400, fax (978) 646-8600, or on the Web at www.copyright.com. Requests to the Publisher for permission should be addressed to the Permissions Department, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030, (201) 748-6011, fax (201) 748-6008. Limit of Liability/Disclaimer of Warranty: While the publisher and author have used their best efforts in preparing this book, they make no representations or warranties with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the contents of this book and specifically disclaim any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. No warranty may be created or extended by sales representatives or written sales materials. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation. You should consult with a professional where appropriate. Neither the publisher nor author shall be liable for any loss of profit or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages. This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering professional services. If legal, accounting, medical, psychological, or any other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. Designations used by companies to distinguish their products are often claimed as trademarks. In all instances where John Wiley & Sons, Inc., is aware of a claim, the product names appear in initial capital or all capital letters. Readers, however, should contact the appropriate companies for more complete information regarding trademarks and registration. For general information on our other products and services please contact our Customer Care Department within the U.S. at (800) 762-2974, outside the United States at (317) 572-3993 or fax (317) 572-4002. Wiley also publishes its books in a variety of electronic formats. Some content that appears in print may not be available in electronic books. For more information about Wiley products, visit our Web site at www.wiley.com. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data: Juvenile justice: advancing research, policy, and practice/edited by Francine T. Sherman and Francine H. Jacobs. p. cm. Includes index. ISBNs 978-0-470-49704-3; 978-1-118-10586-3; 978-1-118-10585-6; 978-1-118-10587-0; 978-1-118-09337-5 1. Juvenile justice, Administration of—United States. 2. Juvenile corrections—United States. 3. Juvenile delinquents—United States. I. Sherman, Francine T., 1955- II. Jacobs, Francine H. HV9104.J864 2011 364.630973—dc22 2011014932 Printed in the United States of America 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

To all the children, families, advocates, practitioners, and policy makers involved with juvenile justice, acknowledging the critical roles you play in creating a more humane and effective system

Contents

Foreword

Justice for America’s Children

xi

Marian Wright Edelman Preface

xv

Francine T. Sherman and Francine H. Jacobs Introduction

xvii

Francine T. Sherman and Francine H. Jacobs Contributors

xxvii

SECTION I Framing the Issues

1

Chapter 1 A Developmental View of Youth in the Juvenile Justice System

3

Marty Beyer Chapter 2 Youth in the Juvenile Justice System: Characteristics and Patterns of Involvement

24

Kristi Holsinger Chapter 3 The Health of Youth in the Juvenile Justice System

44

Paula Braverman and Robert Morris Chapter 4 Children’s Rights and Relationships: A Legal Framework

68

Francine T. Sherman and Hon. Jay Blitzman Chapter 5 A Vision for the American Juvenile Justice System: The Positive Youth Development Perspective

Richard M. Lerner, Michael D. Wiatrowski, Megan Kiely Mueller, Christopher M. Napolitano, Kristina L. Schmid, and Anita Pritchard vii

92

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CONTENTS

SECTION II Understanding Individual Youth Chapter 6 Race, Ethnicity, and Ancestry in Juvenile Justice

109 111

James Bell and Raquel Mariscal Chapter 7 The Role of Gender in Youth Systems: Grace’s Story

131

Francine T. Sherman and Jessica H. Greenstone Chapter 8 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Youth and the Juvenile Justice System

156

Laura Garnette, Angela Irvine, Carolyn Reyes, and Shannan Wilber Chapter 9 Adolescent Parents and the Juvenile Justice System: Toward Developmentally and Socioculturally Based Provision of Services

174

Ellen E. Pinderhughes, Karen T. Craddock, and LaTasha L. Fermin

SECTION III Understanding Youth in Context Chapter 10 Parents, Families, and the Juvenile Justice System

197 199

Francine H. Jacobs, Claudia Miranda-Julian, and Rachael Kaplan Chapter 11 Violence Within Families and Intimate Relationships

223

Linda L. Baker, Alison J. Cunningham, and Kimberly E. Harris Chapter 12 Making a Place for Youth: Social Capital, Resilience, and Communities

245

Robert L. Hawkins, Maryna Vashchenko, and Courtney Davis Chapter 13 The Developmental Impact of Community Violence

Edmund Bruyere and James Garbarino

267

Contents

Chapter 14 The Right to a Quality Education for Children and Youth in the Juvenile Justice System

ix

286

Kathleen B. Boundy and Joanne Karger Chapter 15 Juvenile Prison Schooling and Reentry: Disciplining Young Men of Color

310

Sabina E. Vaught Chapter 16 The System Response to the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Girls

331

Francine T. Sherman and Lisa Goldblatt Grace Chapter 17 How American Government Frames Youth Problems

352

Timothy Ross and Joel Miller Chapter 18 Youth Perspectives on Health Care

369

Rachel Oliveri, Ila Deshmukh Towery, Leah Jacobs, and Francine H. Jacobs

SECTION IV Working for Change Chapter 19 Youth-Led Change

389 391

Barry Dym, Ken Tangvik, Jesus Gerena, and Jessica Dym Bartlett Chapter 20 The End of the Reform School?

409

Vincent Schiraldi, Marc Schindler, and Sean J. Goliday Chapter 21 Collaboration in the Service of Better Systems for Youth

433

Anne F. Farrell and Diane M. Myers Chapter 22 Getting on Board With Juvenile Justice Information Technologies

Stan Schneider and Lola Simpson

456

x

CONTENTS

Chapter 23 Establishing Effective Community-Based Care in Juvenile Justice

477

Peter W. Greenwood and Susan Turner Chapter 24 Better Research for Better Policies

505

Jeffrey A. Butts and John K. Roman Afterword

527

Congressman Robert (Bobby) Scott About the Editors

531

Author Index

533

Subject Index

551

Foreword: Justice for America’s Children MARIAN WRIGHT EDELMAN President, Children’s Defense Fund, Washington, DC

The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children. —Dietrich Bonhoeffer (c. 1940)

too often, early death. Others become trapped in the pipeline to prison later in life. At crucial points in a poor child’s development, more risks pile on—the loss of a parent, sibling, or friend; low teacher expectations; family or neighborhood violence; gang involvement—making a successful transition to productive adulthood significantly less likely and involvement in the criminal justice system significantly more likely. For children of color, who are disproportionately poor, the odds of youth detention and eventual incarceration as adults greatly exceed those for White children. Black children are 3 times as likely as White children to be poor. A Black boy born in 2001 is more than 5 times as likely as a White boy born that same year to be incarcerated at some point during his lifetime. And, in the past 20 years, sentencing for juveniles in our nation has become increasingly harsh and punitive and there has been an increase of 72% in the number of children held in America’s juvenile detention centers;2 thousands of children are held in adult prisons. As a number of the chapters in this important volume illustrate, the experiences of detained and incarcerated children in America are rarely rehabilitative. Children and teens who go through our nation’s juvenile justice

Has America turned her back on her most vulnerable children? America is the richest nation in the world. We rank #1 in gross domestic product (GDP), and we have more billionaires than any other country. Surely, a nation so blessed will take care of its children, who are its greatest treasure, its future, and its most vulnerable population. Yet the gap between rich and poor in America is greater than in any other major industrialized nation1 and is growing wider, dooming millions of children to the fate of growing up poor—if they survive infancy. Today, tens of thousands of poor babies in rich America enter the world with multiple strikes against them: born without prenatal care, at low birth weight, and to a teen, poor, and poorly educated single mother and absent father. Many are funneled from birth into what the Children’s Defense Fund calls ‘‘the cradleto-prison pipeline,’’ which traps children into life paths marked by abuse, illness, school failure and suspension, detention, incarceration, and,

1

OECD Report (2009), Growing Unequal? Income Distribution and Poverty in OECD Countries, notes that ‘‘the United States is the country with the highest inequality level and poverty rate across the OECD, Mexico and Turkey excepted.’’

2

Myers, D. M., & Farrell, Anne F. (2008). Reclaiming Lost Opportunities: Applying Public Health Models in Juvenile Justice. Children and Youth Services Review 30, 1159–1177.

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FOR

system are condemned to long terms at large youth detention centers and adult prisons only to languish in cells surrounded by thick walls and razor wire. Too often, they are locked down for long periods of the day with no real opportunities for rehabilitation, treatment, or education. Many youth become hardened criminals while incarcerated, and at the end of their sentences they are released into communities that don’t have adequate resources to reintegrate them. Tragically, instead of helping disadvantaged youth become responsible adults, the juvenile justice system today has become a major feeder into the cradle-to-prison pipeline, leading young people into the adult criminal system. That pipeline runs through economically depressed neighborhoods and failing schools; across vacant lots where playgrounds and health facilities should be; and in and out of broken, understaffed child welfare agencies. By the time many children get arrested and are brought before a juvenile court, they have been provided far too little loving and thoughtful adult support—only to face purported child-serving systems that treat them unjustly. The high number of cases that juvenile courts administer—an estimated 1.6 million cases each year nationwide—is attributable to the fact that we, the adults, have let our most vulnerable children down. We don’t pay attention to early warning signs, such as a drop in grades or a reluctance to go to school, that indicate poor children need help; we don’t provide them with adequate mental health services or other counsel; and we have permitted the increasing criminalization of children at younger and younger ages for behaviors that used to be handled by families, churches, teachers, and community organizations. We seem to have forgotten that children are children, and that our job as adults is to guarantee their safe passage to successful,

AMERICA’S CHILDREN

productive adulthood by guiding them, nurturing them, protecting them, and teaching them. It was not always so. America’s juvenile justice system was once regarded as one of the most enlightened in the world. It was founded over 100 years ago on the principle that children, unlike adults, are still developing and that many of their perceptions, actions, and reactions are immature responses to an increasingly complex world. The early American juvenile justice philosophy taught that, with the proper guidance, children can learn new behaviors and attitudes as they mature. The emphasis was on rehabilitation, not punishment and retribution. In order to grow into responsible and caring adults, it was believed, youthful offenders need support, treatment, and care. The editors of this volume and authors of individual chapters urge us to remember that the children involved in our juvenile justice system are, first and foremost, children. Like all children, they need the love and guidance of adults—in their families, in their neighborhoods, in their communities—to develop their considerable potential and to thrive. And like all children, they need a nurturing school environment, the attention of caring and talented teachers who know their students can learn, and a rigorous curriculum that gives all students the skills to succeed in college and the workplace. The fact that risk factors such as poverty, discrimination, and personal tragedy add stress to their young lives and increase their chances of becoming trapped in the cradle-toprison pipeline should not cause us, the adults in their lives, to lower our expectations for their success or, worse, write them off or abandon them. Indeed, their increased vulnerability should make us redouble our efforts to give them the support and care they sorely need. Repeatedly, in the chapters of this volume, we are reminded that deficit- and

Foreword: Justice for America’s Children

punishment-based approaches to juvenile justice only feed the pipeline to prison and that when we identify children’s strengths and build on those strengths intentionally and consistently, we can help children in the juvenile justice system grow and thrive. In the pages that follow, you will meet children involved in the juvenile justice system who would have benefited from a coordinated, caring, and developmentally appropriate system of support. There is Marco, a young boy who initially did well in school and loved science but whose grades dropped when he became sad and fearful in middle school because he was terrorized by gang violence in his neighborhood and witnessed the murder of a friend; no adults picked up on signs of his stress or bothered to check in with him to see what was going on. As his fears grew, Marco succumbed to pressure to join a gang ‘‘for protection’’ and, before long, he was charged with being an accessory to a crime in a drive-by shooting. You also will hear from Grace, an intelligent and outspoken young girl of color who, shortly after her placement in a foster home (a placement she perceived as punishment), was charged with assault on a public employee and ‘‘disturbing school assembly.’’ After Grace’s expulsion from school, she was shuttled among foster homes, residential placements, and secure detention, as the Department of Family Services and the Department of Juvenile Justice struggled over control of her case. And you will visit a juvenile justice detention center school where children 13–20 years old are regarded as ‘‘predators’’ by the adults in charge of their care and whose ‘‘sentences’’ are extended when they fall asleep in class. The authors place such stories in the context of the latest research and recommend best practices on child development that emphasize the importance of an environmental, developmental approach that builds on a

xiii

child’s strengths. The chapter on youth-led change introduces us to youth who have discovered, within themselves, immense resources not only to change themselves but to transform their communities, creating ‘‘virtuous cycles’’ (instead of ‘‘vicious cycles’’) that serve as positive feedback loops building on increasing strengths. The lessons in this book remind us that we can—and that we must—do better, for the sake of our children, their futures, and the sake of our nation. Incarceration should not be our society’s first or primary response to youth in trouble. Judges need to look for opportunities to offer poor, young, and minority defendants the same second chances most privileged youth can count on. These include alternatives to incarceration such as restitution, community service, electronic monitoring, drug rehabilitation treatment, or placement in a ‘‘staff secure’’ (but not locked) community corrections facility. These youth in trouble must get the education, special education, mental health treatment, and other services they need. We must ensure that systems intended to support children actually help them, instead of serving as entryways into the cradle-to-prison pipeline. And as the final chapter in this volume makes abundantly clear, child welfare, juvenile justice, and education systems all need to collaborate to design individualized systems of support that build on each child’s strengths. There is already good work under way in a number of states and communities, and you will read about that work throughout this volume. Committed leaders and staff are working to rid the system of the abusive and punitive treatment of youth in custody that now too often pushes them into the adult criminal justice system. Reforms in Missouri’s juvenile justice system, often now referred to as the Missouri Model, have replaced large training schools and detention facilities with

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FOREWORD: JUSTICE

FOR

small group programs located as close to youth’s homes as possible. These small programs offer a broad range of therapeutic interventions and are staffed by highly trained and educated staff who understand that constructive reform is best accomplished through positive behavioral supports and that the use of force must be kept to a minimum. The Missouri Model is being used to promote juvenile justice reforms in Louisiana; New Mexico; San Jose, California; and Washington, DC, and other jurisdictions are waiting in line. States such as California, Texas, and New York are also making progress in establishing alternatives to secure confinement. The Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative, begun by the Annie E. Casey Foundation 15 years ago, has reduced the number of youth in detention and in some places also reduced the number of juvenile arrests. The goal of these and other reforms is to create throughout our nation a juvenile justice system that will give children the support they need to grow into thoughtful, confident, caring, and productive adults as they transition to the community. We must bring to scale the reforms already under way that build on the strengths of children, youth, and families;

AMERICA’S CHILDREN

provide children and youth with individualized and comprehensive services in the least restrictive setting appropriate to their needs; promote evidence-based approaches; and assist and support the successful return of youth to their communities. These new approaches recognize the usefulness and importance of tracking outcomes for youth and responses to the new reforms over both the short and long term. At the same time, we must take action to address the root causes of a child’s involvement with the juvenile justice system so that we might keep children and youth from ever entering the system. We must eliminate child poverty, assure every child comprehensive health and mental health coverage and the early childhood experiences and education required to meet their individual needs, and offer families the supports needed to keep their children safe and in nurturing communities. This volume is a call to action, and I encourage everyone who reads it to take steps to ensure that all America’s children are given an equal chance to succeed. We must all work together to replace the cradle-to-prison pipeline with a pipeline to responsible, productive adulthood.

Preface F R A N C I N E T. S H E R M A N

AND

F R A N C I N E H. J A C O B S

The idea for this book grew out of our 5-year collaboration on the Massachusetts Health Passport Project (MHPP; first the Girls’ Health Passport Project), which was an effort to develop a system of continuous health-care access for girls, and then boys and girls, committed to the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services. Fran Sherman was the principal investigator of the core project to develop and implement MHPP, and Fran Jacobs and her team at Tufts University, of its evaluation. Through many hours of discussion, debate, and mutual education explicating MHPP goals and teasing out ways to evaluate them, we each discovered new, more critical ways of thinking about our own fields, along with new connections among the worlds of law, policy, and the social sciences. The experience was both refreshing and challenging. For us, that concrete, almost daily collaboration reinforced our belief in interdisciplinary conversations and understandings of juvenile justice and broader youth policy. It also reinforced the importance of looking behind practice (however successful you think you are being) to understand how, and the extent to which, it reflects current theory and research on the one hand, and is approaching attainment of its goals, on the other. That iterative process of doing and analyzing and then redoing and reanalyzing, is key to the development of sound and innovative juvenile justice policy and

practice moving forward, and was practiced, as well, in the development of this volume. In that spirit, we hope this book will stimulate both interdisciplinary conversations among students, academics, policy makers and practitioners, and links among practice, research, and theory to develop programs and policies promoting positive development for youth and their communities. We have both benefited from the support and dedication of talented students and colleagues. I (Fran Sherman) am grateful to the Juvenile Rights Advocacy Project clinic and seminar, which gives me the invaluable, daily opportunity to see juvenile law and policy through the fresh eyes and quick minds of second- and third-year law students; to Rebecca Vose and Tony DeMarco, my JRAP colleagues, who have made my work life both stimulating and fun and have been so generous with their time, giving me time to work on this volume, and Judy McMorrow, who has provided thoughtful and consistent counsel and friendship through all of my 26 years at Boston College Law School. I also want to thank my national juvenile justice colleagues, many of whom have contributed to this volume, who demonstrate the power of vision, leadership, devotion, and intentionality in implementing smart and effective juvenile justice practices and policies. The many youth and, particularly young women, whom I have represented xv

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PREFACE

over 30 years, are an ongoing inspiration and education, and are, of course at the core of this volume. Likewise, I (Fran Jacobs) have much appreciated the support and encouragement of colleagues in both of my departments at Tufts—the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development, and the Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning—many of whom, from distinct and distantly flung perches in the worlds of child development and public policy, have had encouraging words to share about the worthiness of this book. Rachel Oliveri, Ila Deshmukh Towery, Jessica Greenstone, and Claudia Miranda-Julian expertly helped us convert what was learned in the course of the MHPP evaluation into broader lessons for juvenile justice policy. And Maryna Vashchenko and Jessica Dym Bartlett provided expert substantive consultation and patient editorial intervention. At Boston College Law School, Classie Davis, Celeste Laramie, Kori Burnham, Lauren Whillhoite, Hilary Jaffe, Coleman Peng, Dan Maltzman, Mary Ann Neary, and Chester Kozikowski all provided important research and administrative support. A number of foundations supported the Girls’ Health Passport Project and the Massachusetts Health Passport Project in some way, and through that support helped stimulate the thinking behind this volume. They are: The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation, The Jacob and Valeria Langeloth Foundation, The Boston Foundation, the Florence V. Burden Foundation, The Jessie B. Cox Charitable Trust, and the Gardiner Howland Shaw Foundation. We are grateful for their support and for the encouragement and insight provided by our grant administrators in each and every case. I

(Fran Sherman) have greatly appreciated the support and fellowship I have received over the years from my colleagues at the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative. The many lessons I have learned from them are woven through this volume. We both thank our universities, Boston College Law School and Tufts University, respectively, for providing us with essential research leave and support to work on this volume. We are also grateful to Marian Wright Edelman for her foreword to this volume; her career as an advocate for children is unparalleled and stands as an inspiration. My (Fran Sherman) boundless love, gratitude, and respect go to my three children, Leah, Sarah, and Jake Tucker for their warmth, kindness, intelligence, and senses of humor. This book and so much of my work, which is centrally about ways to support youth, is dedicated to my children for the way they honor their many gifts and opportunities. They are my inspiration, and I look forward to continuing to watch their adult lives unfold. And most of all, my gratitude and love go to my husband, Scott Tucker—my best friend, most solid support, and biggest booster. My (Fran Jacobs) deep gratitude goes to my family—first and foremost to my husband Barry Dym—and then to my children (Jessica and JJ Bartlett, and Gabriel Dym and Rachael Kaplan) and grandchildren (Molly and Jake Bartlett, and Eli Aaron Dym) for having the patience to see me through this process, and the good sense to avoid me on those crunch writing days. My 91-year-old mother, Miriam Jacobs, kept up on the progress of this project, celebrating with me the completion of each phase. This book, about children and families and the help that every one of them needs and deserves, pays tribute to them all.

Introduction F R A N C I N E T. S H E R M A N

AND

F R A N C I N E H. J A C O B S

Arthur Schlesinger Jr. (1986) observed that the history of social policy in the United States reflects fairly predictable cycles, completed in 30 years or so, between liberalism and conservatism—‘‘public purpose and private interest’’ (p. 31). These cycles of national involvement with issues of social concern invigorate our politics with new energy and ideas; their seeds are sown, during previous cycles, as forays of innovation that eventually coalesce. And although it can appear at the ‘‘end’’ of a cycle, that policy has not advanced much, if at all, in fact the process is recursive. For better or worse, we never do return precisely to where we were, and every so often, the change in policy direction is bold, significant, and permanent. Those of us who came of age in the 1960s and 1970s witnessed this transformational progress in civil rights, women’s rights, and the rights of persons with disabilities. And then there is juvenile justice policy. It is often noted that our national disposition toward delinquent youth and our approach to addressing their deeds and needs vacillate, unsurprisingly, and in the regular cycles that Schlesinger described, between punishment and rehabilitation. Modest changes are often consolidated before the pendulum swings once again in the opposite direction; reformers at either end tool up, readying themselves to undo or modify what has been codified in the ‘‘down’’ cycle. The prediction of the ‘‘coming of the superpredators’’ by John Dilulio (1995, November

27), then a professor at Princeton University, in the mid-1990s, may represent the apogee of the pendular swing of that time, the midpoint of that cycle. Broadly speaking, with the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act and the procedural due process revolution of the late 1960s and 1970s, juvenile justice policy had become more rehabilitative in orientation. Rates of juvenile crime arrests increased over the 1980s, however, and the population of juvenile offenders became increasingly racialized. The rise in juvenile violent crime arrests during the 1980s was a complex, multidetermined phenomenon (Zimring, 1998), however, and by 1994 juvenile violent crime arrests had already begun their long decline (Puzzanchera, 2009). Nonetheless, Dilulio capitalized on, and catalyzed, the growing sentiment among Americans that these youth were too dangerous to have in our midst. They were depraved, thoroughly incorrigible, and therefore needing to be removed from society to protect the rest of us. We know the end of this story: That onslaught never materialized—and indeed, juvenile crime statistics have evidenced steady improvement over the ensuing years (Puzzanchera, 2009). Nonetheless, the late 1990s witnessed a flurry of state legislation that expanded punitive approaches for juveniles, including making it easier to transfer youth to the adult correctional system. Meanwhile, reformers were preparing for the next cycle to emerge, and that cycle is, xvii

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INTRODUCTION

indeed, upon us. There are many recent signs of progress toward a more rehabilitative posture in juvenile justice. The Supreme Court’s decisions in Roper v. Simmons (2005) and Graham v. Florida (2010) struck down the juvenile death penalty entirely and juvenile life without parole in nonhomicide cases based, in part, on grounds of child development and neuroscience. On the front end of the system, detention reform has significant national momentum, helping jurisdictions to be more accountable to youth and communities and reduce the use of secure detention to cases of greatest community and flight risk. On the back end of the system, led by the Missouri Model, states are reducing their reliance on secure youth institutions and building networks of community-based youth programs on principles of positive youth development. Around the country there is increasing use of evaluation—and evidence-based practices in juvenile justice systems—reflecting a more thoughtful and hopeful approach to meeting the goals these systems set for themselves. With greater interdisciplinary engagement, new ways to understand and support youth in the system have emerged. Positive youth development, ecological developmental theory, family systems theory, and new research on adolescent brain development, for example, are infiltrating programming and policy discussions in juvenile justice as well as the law. This is a moment of hope and possibilities; and perhaps these new possibilities will even direct us toward transformational changes in juvenile justice.

juvenile justice system within the context of their families, communities, and the multiple public systems that influence them, and are influenced by them as well. Although most of its chapters are scholarly in tone and content, other authors approach their topics with an activist orientation—a mix of perspectives we sought out from the volume’s inception. Chapter authors represent a broad range of disciplines and perspectives, also necessary, in our view, to engage meaningful juvenile justice policy. Following this ecological road map, Juvenile Justice: Advancing Research, Policy, and Practice is divided into four sections: The first, ‘‘Framing the Issues,’’ offers an introduction to the core elements of the juvenile justice system—the youth, the proposed developmental lens (positive youth development) through which to consider their behaviors and the system’s responses to them, and the law that undergirds and directs the system operations. Next, in ‘‘Understanding Individual Youth,’’ we provide more in-depth portraits of subgroups of these youth, according to characteristics that appear to influence their experiences in the systems— race and ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and family circumstances. Next, in ‘‘Understanding Youth in Context,’’ we open the lens and examine aspects of family, community, and formal and informal systems particularly relevant to youth’s system involvement. Finally, in ‘‘Working for Change,’’ we highlight some of the most promising innovations in juvenile justice; combined they offer a vision for the future of juvenile justice system policy.

THE ARCHITECTURE OF THE VOLUME

BASIC PREMISES

The organization of this volume, reflecting the forward-facing trends previously noted, is ecological in structure, considering youth in the

Although the chapters in this volume present a range of opinions and approaches to collecting and validating evidence, certain underlying premises are represented in the book—obvious

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Introduction

to us, but worth mentioning—that contribute to the volume’s overall point of view. &

&

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Youth have a set of legal rights that are central to the structure and operation of effective and successful public systems and of society as a whole. The juvenile justice system is first a legal system, with youth involvement triggered by an alleged law violation. Youth do not lose their rights when they enter this system; rather, in significant ways, their rights are appropriately enhanced in counterpoint to the risk the system poses to them. The rights of system-involved youth, and of children generally, have a long history in the United States and can be understood to advance youth’s needs and autonomy. Youth law can also be understood ecologically, with children’s rights in relationship with those of their parents and the state. When the legal system works properly, it both respects and protects youth. The course of development is malleable, at least into early adulthood. While early experiences are core to a child’s development, a substantial, accumulating body of theory and research— reflected in recent Supreme Court and other court decisions—concludes that this developmental trajectory is not set by adolescence. Youth in the juvenile justice system, therefore, are still maturing, making them amenable to rehabilitation and, using value language, redeemable. This course of development is also multidetermined, involving millions of transactions and ‘‘inputs.’’ Urie Bronfenbrenner, the developmental

&

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psychologist who coined the term ecological development for use in his field, imagined the child as the core piece in a collection of nested, Russian dolls—at the center of a set of concentric circles of influence, including families; communities; informal and formal, governmental and nongovernmental institutions and organizations; and societal values and beliefs. Youth are both shaped by and shape their environments, and interventions to affect individual development need to factor these contexts, centrally, into the equation. The juvenile justice system is in the position both to improve and to degrade the functioning and future prospects of youth in its custody. Even assuming a benign or helping orientation, the juvenile justice system as presently structured (a back-end, after-thefact,residualsystem)isnotwell-situated to achieve its rehabilitation goals; there is a poor match between what youth need and what the system can provide. Given the awesome legal power it holds, systemreformersare increasingly proposing adoption of the ‘‘First, do no harm’’ dictum—involvement only or primarily with those youth whose actions clearly demonstrate imminent risk to public safety. Juvenile justice system reformers understand that much of the essential work for youth occurs at local levels. It follows, then, that efforts should be directed at families and communities as the primary vehicles for positive change for youth. The juvenile justice process should be used to intentionally engage these levels of youth ecology with, for example, positive youth

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INTRODUCTION

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development models of juvenile defense, expanded diversion, probation as brokers of community services, reduced use of secure detention and treatment, and expansion of community- and family-focused treatment at the back end of the system. The most promising juvenile justice policy includes respectful, authentic engagement of the full range of its participants. Although theory and research, and the wisdom of practitioners, are important cornerstones of juvenile justice policy, so are the beliefs, opinions, strategic recommendations, and visions for the future of system-involved youth, their parents and family members, their neighbors, and other members of the community. This input is critical to developing services that youth and families actually use, and to redressing the longstanding sense of disregard that these individuals have experienced. Interdisciplinarity in research, practice, and policy is critical to the development of a well-functioning system. Juvenile justice (like most of youth policy) is a naturally interdisciplinary field and should be intentionally approached as such. Practitioners, scholars, and advocates in law, developmental psychology, and sociology must make their work comprehensible across disciplines. Demystifying these disciplines for use by one another contributes to essential cross-system collaboration. Policy is also normative, informed by values. Research can get us only so far; at a certain point the decision is about the kind of society in which we want to live—inclusive or exclusive; more or less equitable, with more or

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less of a generous civic impulse. Effective juvenile justice systems are selfreflective in this way, asking themselves what they stand for, how they want to be viewed, and the result is as much values-based as evidence-based. We argue that this is as it should be. Confronting issues of race and poverty is critical to any real progress— the beachhead to claim during this cycle. The juvenile justice system cannot be fixed until it deals with the issues of race and poverty that undergird it and give it its present shape. The disproportionate minority contact (DMC) mandate, and federal and state policy behind it, acknowledge the racial impact of much of juvenile justice policy, a fact that we are only beginning to address.

SECTION I: FRAMING THE ISSUES We begin this volume, and this section, with an introduction to five system-involved youth whose developmental trajectories Beyer analyzes in Chapter 1 using a strengths/needsbased developmental framework. Based on years of clinical practice, she argues that adolescent delinquent behavior results, in part, from immature thinking and the effects of trauma and learning disabilities, all common in this population. These factors, in addition to the youth’s strengths, seen within the context of their families, peers, schools, neighborhoods, and cultural communities, must be considered at all points of the juvenile justice decisionmaking process. In Chapter 2, Holsinger, as a criminologist, bases her portrait of youth in the juvenile justice system on nationally available data that detail their demographic characteristics, and

Introduction

the characteristics of the offenses that trigger and sustain their system involvement. The chapter includes an overview of the history, development, and current operations of the juvenile justice system, providing a shapshot of the youth involved at each of its phases. In Chapter 3, Braverman and Morris, both physicians, introduce these youth as health-care providers might encounter them: often highrisk, underserved young people with a host of unaddressed health, dental, and mental health needs. After presenting the youth’s profile from this vantage point, the authors conclude that the factors that predispose these youth to poor health outcomes are not a unique combination of risks, but rather are shared by other disadvantaged young people in the United States. The final two chapters in this section provide theoretical and empirical scaffolding for the remainder of the book. In Chapter 4, Sherman and Blitzman, lawyer and judge, respectively, provide an overview of U.S. children’s law, framed both in terms of autonomy-based and needs-based rights, and by the legal dynamic among child, parent, and state. They highlight the law of juvenile justice and child welfare systems, and also examine law relevant to education and health care, two central institutions for children. The chapter proceeds ecologically, acknowledging that children’s lives, including their legal lives, are related to their families, communities, and the social institutions surrounding them. Finally, in Chapter 5, applied developmental scientist Lerner and his colleagues argue that the contemporary juvenile justice system is predicated on a deficit view of the youth in its custody, and as such demonstrates a counterfactual and counterproductive understanding of the nature of adolescent development. The authors provide an alternative lens—the positive youth development (PYD) perspective—that capitalizes on contemporary

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theory and research on adolescent development and has profound implications for the transformation of juvenile justice policy and programs.

SECTION II: UNDERSTANDING INDIVIDUAL YOUTH In Chapter 6, Bell and Mariscal, both lawyers and advocates, begin with an overview of the history, causes, and current status of racial and ethnic disparities in the juvenile justice system, placing contemporary federal policies purporting ‘‘race neutrality,’’ but actually disadvantaging Black and Latino youth, in the context of a deep historical legacy of systemic racism. They then examine promising policies and practices for reducing these disparities, arguing that despite its history, the juvenile justice system should strive to, and might achieve, fairness and equity for all young people. In Chapter 7, Sherman and Greenstone— from a legal and developmental perspective, respectively—describe the experiences of ‘‘Grace,’’ a teenage girl involved with multiple public systems, including juvenile justice. Through detailed analysis of primary interview data with Grace and others responsible for her care and supervision, and of court case material, they shed light on how Grace’s actions were interpreted and the responses they evoked. Their case study includes recommendations for implementing gender-responsive principles across these systems. In Chapter 8, Garnette, Irvine, Reyes, and Wilber (as lawyers, researcher, and system administrator) follow with a discussion of the experiences and needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth in the juvenile justice system. The authors offer a framework for understanding healthy

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INTRODUCTION

adolescent development within this population, and particular ways it can go awry, and present data on the often harmful effects of arrest and detention for LGBT youth. The chapter concludes with policy and program recommendations for addressing their needs. Finally, in Chapter 9, Pinderhughes and colleagues, from a cultural/developmental perspective, present the challenges to development— particularly identity development—and thus to parenting, encountered by the diverse population of incarcerated teen parents who are involved with the juvenile justice system. The authors recommend that the system adopt a more strengths-based orientation to these young parents, including facilitating contact with their own children during their confinement; this approach would increase the likelihood for continued engagement with their children after their confinement ends.

SECTION III: UNDERSTANDING THE CONTEXTS OF YOUTH The first two chapters in this section focus on families. In Chapter 10, Jacobs, Miranda-Julian, and Kaplan—representing a combination of policy, developmental, and clinical expertise— detail the current state of family involvement in juvenile justice, proposing explanations for why there is evidence of so little. They argue that more and broader participation is a critical feature of any juvenile justice system that seeks or claims to be ‘‘reformed,’’ and review some promising approaches to engaging families in the positive development and rehabilitation of their children. Chapter 11 focuses on the significant percentage of system-involved youth who have experienced and/or perpetrated, violence in their families. Baker, Cunningham, and Harris—clinical and developmental

psychologists—usefully identify ‘‘signposts’’ of the effects of family violence, for example, compromised school success or mental health, substance abuse, and early home leaving. They argue for greater attention to the role that family violence plays in the lives of delinquent youth, in the service of designing more effective prevention and intervention programs. Chapters 12 and 13 focus on communities as a context for the development of systeminvolved youth. In Chapter 12, Hawkins, Vashchenko, and Davis combine their expertise in urban policy, social work, and developmental psychology to offer a framework, rooted in resilience and social capital theory, with which to generate support for youth reentering their communities after incarceration. The authors suggest that juvenile justice reentry programs and policies, and those designed to prevent criminal activity in the first place, would do well to assess a youth’s access to positive as opposed to negative social capital, and then optimize opportunities to build on the former. In Chapter 13, Bruyere and Garbarino— from a developmental perspective—discuss the effect of risk accumulation, community violence, and other trauma on youth, some of whom go on to become involved with the juvenile justice system. The chapter then argues for ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, seeing it as providing critically needed guidance for community development to support this population and reduce the need for future juvenile incarceration. Moving to the systems that interact with delinquent youth, and with other public youth-serving systems, the next two chapters examine the role of education before, during, and after incarceration. In Chapter 14, Boundy and Karger (lawyers who focus on educational policy) provide a detailed

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Introduction

discussion of the two most relevant federal laws—Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act/No Child Left Behind Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act—which together require states to provide a quality public education to school-age youth, with and without disabilities, including those in delinquent facilities. Despite these guarantees, they find the education of these youth is seriously compromised throughout. The chapter concludes with research-based practices, targeted at implementing effective teaching, learning, and planning for transition, meant to thwart this school-to-prison pipeline. In Chapter 15, Vaught, a scholar of urban education, brings an ethnographic lens to the issue of race, education, and juvenile justice, using a Critical Race framework to examine how institutional schooling practice and policy function—in one school within a juvenile prison—to hinder, complicate, and even likely scuttle altogether, community reentry for incarcerated young men. The dynamics explored here serve as a local window onto national education policy, raising issues of fairness about, for example, zero-tolerance policy, and policies that assure the quality of the schooling offered to system-involved youth. Sherman and Goldblatt Grace, from the perspectives of law, public health, and social work, examine the system’s response to the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) in Chapter 16, focusing here on girls. They describe the issue and then examine the range of international, federal, state, and local laws and policies, aimed at aiding and enhancing prosecution of perpetrators of CSEC (i.e., pimps, johns), and at providing protection and services to its victims. They show that, as state and local authorities implement practice and policy for this population, those two goals— law enforcement and victim protection—may

conflict, creating practices that serve neither goal fully and yielding results contrary to sound public policy and research. The chapter concludes with a recommended comprehensive response to CSEC. In Chapter 17, Ross and Miller bring youth policy and criminal justice together, and shift to providing a view of the landscape of government systems involved with youth issues. They argue that the structure of American government, combined with bureaucratic service delivery systems, lead to fragmented and, at times, inconsistent policies concerning youth, including youth caught up in the juvenile justice system. A number of solutions to these problems are offered, and the chapter concludes on a hopeful note: that efforts to address service fragmentation are improving the circumstances for some of these system-involved youth. This section concludes with Chapter 18, Oliveri and colleagues’ (developmental psychologists) qualitative study of the complex relationships among system-involved youth and the multiple systems meant to help them maintain good health. Beginning with a detailed review of the literature on healthcare access and utilization among this population, the chapter then analyzes primary data collected from youth regarding their health behaviors and preferences, and their use of health care. Its findings are useful to those working across public sectors interested in improving the health status of these youth.

SECTION IV: WORKING FOR CHANGE With Chapter 19, Dym and colleagues (psychologists and community activists) launch this section devoted to promising efforts to reform the juvenile justice system, with a case study of a

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INTRODUCTION

youth-led community development program— the Hyde Square Task Force (HSTF) in Boston, Massachusetts. Youth at HSTF, with the support and encouragement of staff, initiate, design, and implement advocacy projects to improve their own circumstances and transform their community. HSTF is nationally recognized as a model for community-based youth development, acting as an antidote to the forces that pull youth toward involvement in the juvenile justice system. We move from program-specific innovation to focus on systemwide reform in Chapter 20. Schiraldi, Schindler, and Goliday (experienced system administrators) thoughtfully advocate for systemwide reform to eliminate the training school and its mind-set, in favor of a graduated, primarily communitybased approach to juvenile justice premised on the tenets of positive youth development. After reviewing the troubled history of the reform school, and the promising alternatives now available, they argue that this route is the most likely to be able both to support youth and protect and enhance communities. In Chapter 21, Farrell and Myers (developmentalists interested in service systems’ operations) identify collaboration as the ‘‘new imperative’’ across youth-serving systems. They present the advantages of, and potential barriers to, collaboration, and offer suggestions for increasing service providers’ organizational capacities to engage in this way. After recommending the development of principles and guidelines for evaluating systems change efforts, Farrell and Myers conclude that systems providing services to at-risk and incarcerated youth must find ways to communicate, cooperate, and share accountability for outcomes. Chapters 22, 23, and 24 focus on the significant contributions that relevant, reliable, and accessible information can make to systems reform. In Chapter 22, Schneider and

Simpson, experienced data system consultants to child-serving public agencies, highlight how the quality, availability, and use of data can either promote or impede agencies’ abilities to plan, operate, and evaluate wisely. The authors review the role that data systems have played historically in these agencies, and the current status, overall, of their information systems; they then provide a detailed analysis of the technical, logistical, and resourcerelated challenges to be addressed before agencies can shift to data-driven decision making, using three JDAI (Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative) jurisdictions as successful case examples. In Chapter 23, Greenwood and Turner, experienced consultants on evidence-based practices for juvenile justice systems, review the current state of evidence-based practice, enumerating its demonstrable benefits, and noting the challenges it may pose for agencies adopting it. The chapter then provides the framework by which the Blueprints for Violence Prevention project validates program models as promising or efficacious, and includes an overview of successful programs. The authors conclude with examples of the implementation of such programs in selected jurisdictions. Finally, in Chapter 24, Butts and Roman draw on their extensive experience as program and systems evaluators to provide a clear-eyed review of the research approaches that inform evidence-based policy. Although they support the increasing intention, and practice, of using evidence to inform policy, they caution against overreliance on it, detailing the limitations of currently available methods and products of research and evaluation for the tasks juvenile justice systems have at hand. The authors conclude with recommendations for enhancing the applicability of research in this context.

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The volume concludes with an afterword from U.S. Representative Robert ‘‘Bobby’’ Scott of Virginia. Congressman Scott, a national spokesperson for youth and families in the juvenile justice system, notes prospective federal legislation that focuses increasing attention on less advantaged children, and exhorts the federal government to continue to demonstrate its leadership by enacting a number of pending federal bills and initiatives, such as the reauthorization of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act and the Youth PROMISE (Prison Reduction through Opportunities, Mentoring, Intervention, Support, and Education) Act. In reflecting both the exciting advances and the considerable challenges currently evident in the juvenile justice system, Juvenile

Justice: Advancing Research, Policy, and Practice aims to make a modest contribution to the movement toward a rehabilitative, youth and community-centered vision of juvenile justice.

REFERENCES Dilulio, J. (1995, November 27). The coming of the super-predators. Weekly Standard. Puzzanchera, C. (2009). Juvenile arrests 2009. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice: Office of Justice Programs: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Schlesinger, A., Jr., (1986). Cycles of American history. Boston, MA: Houghton-Mifflin. Zimring, F. (1998). American youth violence. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Contributors

Linda L. Baker, PhD Centre for Children and Families in the Justice System London, Ontario, Canada Jessica Dym Bartlett, MSW, LICSW Tufts University Medford, MA James Bell, JD W. Haywood Burns Institute San Francisco, CA

Jeffrey A. Butts, PhD City University of New York New York, NY Karen T. Craddock, PhD Education Development Center, Inc. Newton, MA Alison J. Cunningham, MA Centre for Children and Families in the Justice System London, Ontario, Canada

Marty Beyer, PhD Independent Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare Consultant Cottage Grove, OR

Courtney Davis, MPP New York University New York, NY

Honorable Jay Blitzman, JD Massachusetts Juvenile Court Lowell, MA

Barry Dym, PhD Boston University School of Management Boston, MA

Kathleen B. Boundy, JD Center for Law and Education Boston, MA

Marian Wright Edelman, LLB Children’s Defense Fund Washington, DC

Paula Braverman, MD Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center Cincinnati, OH

Anne F. Farrell, PhD University of Connecticut Stamford, CT

Edmund Bruyere, MS Loyola University Chicago, IL

LaTasha L. Fermin, MA Tufts University Medford, MA

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CONTRIBUTORS

James Garbarino, PhD Loyola University Chicago, IL

Angela Irvine, PhD National Council on Crime and Delinquency Oakland, CA

Laura Garnette, MPA County of Santa Clara Probation Department San Jose, CA

Francine H. Jacobs, EdD Tufts University Medford, MA

Jesus Gerena Family Independence Initiative/Hyde Square Task Force, Inc. Boston, MA

Leah Jacobs, MA, MSW University of California Berkeley, CA

Lisa Goldblatt Grace, LICSW, MPH My Life My Choice/Justice Resource Institute Boston, MA Sean J. Goliday, PhD CSR, Inc. Arlington, VA Jessica H. Greenstone, MS Tufts University Medford, MA Peter W. Greenwood, PhD Association for the Advancement of Evidence-Based Practice Agoura, CA

Rachael Kaplan, MSW, LICSW Clinical Social Worker Brookline, MA Joanne Karger, JD, EdD Center for Law and Education Boston, MA Richard M. Lerner, PhD Tufts University Medford, MA Raquel Mariscal, JD Senior Consultant/Annie E. Casey Foundation Watsonville, CA Joel Miller, PhD Rutgers University Newark, NJ

Kimberly E. Harris, PhD Centre for Children & Families in the Justice System London, Ontario, Canada

Claudia Miranda-Julian, MS, LICSW Tufts University Medford, MA

Robert L. Hawkins, PhD New York University New York, NY

Robert Morris, MD University of California Los Angeles, CA

Kristi Holsinger, PhD University of Missouri Kansas City, MO

Megan Kiely Mueller, MA Tufts University Medford, MA

Contributors

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Diane M. Myers, PhD Assumption College Worcester, MA

Stan Schneider, MA Metis Associates New York, NY

Christopher M. Napolitano, MA Tufts University Medford, MA

Congressman Robert (Bobby) Scott, JD U.S. House of Representatives Washington, DC

Rachel Oliveri, MA Tufts University Medford, MA

Francine T. Sherman, JD Boston College Law School Newton, MA

Ellen E. Pinderhughes, PhD Tufts University Medford, MA

Lola Simpson, MS Metis Associates New York, NY

Anita Pritchard, PhD Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton, FL

Ken Tangvik, EdD Hyde Square Task Force, Inc. Boston, MA

Carolyn Reyes, MSW, JD Legal Services for Children San Francisco, CA

Ila Deshmukh Towery, PhD The New Teacher Project Boston, MA

John K. Roman, PhD The Urban Institute Washington, DC

Susan Turner, PhD University of California Irvine, CA

Timothy Ross, PhD Action Research Partners Brooklyn, NY

Maryna Vashchenko, EdM Tufts University Medford, MA

Marc Schindler, JD Venture Philanthropy Partners Washington, DC

Sabina E. Vaught, PhD Tufts University Medford, MA

Commissioner Vincent Schiraldi, MSW Department of Probation New York, NY

Michael D. Wiatrowski, PhD Center for Democratic Policing Williamsburg, VA

Kristina L. Schmid, MA Tufts University Medford, MA

Shannan Wilber, JD Legal Services for Children San Francisco, CA

Juvenile Justice: Advancing Research, Policy, and Practice Edited by Francine T. Sherman and Francine H. Jacobs Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

S ECTION I

FRAMING THE ISSUES

Juvenile Justice: Advancing Research, Policy, and Practice Edited by Francine T. Sherman and Francine H. Jacobs Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

CHAPTER

1

A Developmental View of Youth in the Juvenile Justice System MARTY BEYER

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arco is a serious 14-year-old whose parents, born in Mexico, have been stably employed for many years. Although his family is close, Marco has faced numerous family problems, including the death of his grandmother who took care of him, and his parents’ preoccupation with the problems of his older siblings, leading to his feeling sad and unloved. Because his parents worked so hard, it felt ungrateful for him to disparage them. Marco’s parents had high aspirations for their children. When his older siblings dropped out of school and had children as teenagers, the pressure was on Marco to be the one to graduate high school. Marco did well in school and particularly loved science. But he found his teachers were overly critical of him—in his view, because they knew his siblings, who had been problem students in the same school, and because some had racist attitudes. When his grades started dropping in eighth grade, the school did not initiate any special supports. He started spending time with dropouts, was suspended, and then arrested for a fight in school; he was diverted from the juvenile justice system but received no services. His parents’ disapproval and his own feeling that he was a school failure were difficult for Marco to bear. For several years, Marco had been increasingly terrorized by gang violence in his neighborhood. He witnessed the murder of a friend and worried every time he walked down the street. Marco had been seriously threatened three times in the 2 weeks before

this arrest. “I tried never to walk alone. If I did, I’d run to a safe spot where there were people. You didn’t have to look like a gangbanger. If you ignored them, they would jump you. If you ran, they would chase you. This is not the movies. In life, violence is real. A lot of people have died in my neighborhood. Death is always there.” Marco did not talk to his family members or friends about his sadness or fears. He did not realize how intense the pressure was and how having to contend with it alone undermined good decision making. Marco is emotionally needy, like a younger teenager, but he does not admit his desire for comfort and protection. He started spending most of his time with his brother and his friends, all several years older and in a gang. As he got more scared, Marco reluctantly went along with pressure from them to join their gang. Marco did not realize the risks of gang protection: “I now know that when I joined a gang it was not a smart choice, but I thought I had to have protection.” Working long hours with many family responsibilities, his parents assumed Marco was safe with his brother, and did not know that he had joined a gang, used marijuana, and was becoming alienated from school. The day before ninth grade began, a gang leader gave Marco, his brother, and a friend a ride home. Unbeknownst to Marco, they were on their way to a drive-by shooting. “At first, I thought it wasn’t really going to happen. I realized it too late, but I could have gotten out of the car. But I was 3

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threatened. He pushed everyone around. These things went on every day in the neighborhood, shootings and beatings to get revenge. He was mad about something done to him and he made us take revenge. It made no sense. But it seemed the only way out was to do what he ordered.” Marco talked about how sad he felt for the victim and expressed sympathy for the family. Marco did not object to being blamed and took responsibility for having bad judgment and not getting out of the car. He knows it was wrong, and if he had seen any choice, he said he would have left, but felt trapped even though he never intended to hurt anyone. How should the juvenile justice system deal with Marco? What criteria should it use to assess his culpability and impose an appropriate disposition? How does the system currently act in cases such as his? Juvenile justice systems make most decisions about youth based on age and offense. Yet age tells us little about what is behind an offense—for example, what precipitated it and what its meaning is for that individual—since each youth’s developmental progression is unique, often indexed in only limited ways to chronological age. The delinquent act itself also tells us little about the youth, since the contexts in which many offenses are committed are so complex. The intricate weave of factors, individual and contextual, that contributed to Marco’s involvement in a drive-by shooting illustrates how much more than age and offense must be considered in designing an effective rehabilitative service combination for him. However, employing a developmental framework allows for more hopeful and effective responses from the system and the community agencies that should be poised to help. In this chapter, I propose a developmental framework for making decisions regarding court proceedings, detention, and services, based on my training as a psychologist and my years of experience working with youth in

THE

ISSUES

juvenile programs and evaluating them for court. Its foundation, and the organizing premise of the chapter, is that the delinquent behavior of adolescents must be understood as resulting from their immature thinking and the effects of trauma and learning disabilities, which are ubiquitous among these youth. These core components are first introduced briefly below, and then I elaborate on each. I also argue for including youth’s strengths, and assessing their capacity for resilience within the context of their families, peers, schools, neighborhoods, and cultural communities at all points of the decision-making process. The chapter concludes with a demonstration of the richness of a developmental framework in vignettes of four system-involved youth, ages 13–16, with a range of offenses; Marco’s story is also included in the analyses.

CORE CONCEPTS To the extent that juvenile justice decisions are based on developmental concepts, these appear to be the outmoded, rigidly linear stagebased, and noncontextual theories of many years ago (Lerner & Steinberg, 2004). This view of development does not consider strengths, the effects of traumatic experiences, and environmental influences on youth. As a result, both in understanding the young person’s behavior and in designing services to change it, system decisions have not been developmentally sound, in the complex ways that we now understand development. For example, even though there is considerable research on the effects of trauma on children (Osofsky, 2004), it has not penetrated the system, perhaps because addressing the effects of trauma on delinquent behavior is not compatible with the simplistic view that offending is a bad choice. Probation and

A Developmental View of Youth in the Juvenile Justice System

juvenile facilities assume that youth control their behavior to avoid consequences and get rewards. What this fails to take into account is that some behavior is reactive to past victimization, and that traumatized youth may be unable to use rational decision making when the memories and anxiety from traumatic events are triggered. The challenges of learning disabilities have been well researched across academic and applied fields. Unfortunately, the application of research on learning disabilities, including processing problems, executive function difficulties, and attention deficits, appears to have been confined to use in schools, not in the many other realms of children’s lives. The school—in either the juvenile facility or the community—is expected to manage disabilities as they pertain to education, rather than helping everyone involved with the young person understand that they affect the youth’s behavior generally, and use this understanding outside the educational setting. In juvenile justice, disabilities are seldom used as a lens to understand the offense or facilitate behavior change. Instead, it is assumed that youth comprehend what to do and are simply being oppositional and making bad decisions. The notion that maturity should be assessed as a distinct developmental process, apart from chronological age, has a fairly long theoretical history in developmental psychology, but has only recently gained traction in juvenile justice policy and practice (American Medical Association, 2005). Research has demonstrated that adolescents are different from adults (Owen-Kostelnik, Reppucci, & Meyer, 2006; Steinberg & Haskins, 2008), but justice systems treat teenagers as adults in many ways (Bishop, 2000; McGowan et al., 2007). For example, even intelligent teenagers cannot appreciate the consequences of waiving their Miranda rights. Most teenagers say that

5

although they were told they had a right to remain silent, they believed they could not refuse to answer police questions. Typically, when they are asked what would happen if the judge heard afterward that they would not talk to the police, they respond that the judge would believe they were guilty. These beliefs demonstrate that they do not comprehend the meaning of the right to remain silent and their decision making is influenced by emotions (Grisso et al., 2003). Teenagers are also more vulnerable to psychological manipulation than are adults. In the police station without a lawyer, young people may well give statements in response to questions that reduce their self-confidence and make them feel hopeless (Ofshe & Leo, 1997; Warden & Drizin, 2009). While research has found that adolescents 16 and older have similar competence-related abilities to adults regarding understanding facts about court proceedings (see Scott & Grisso, 1997, for a review), these findings have been widely misinterpreted to mean that youth over 16 should be considered adults. In fact, even 16- or 17-year-olds with normal intelligence are often incapable of weighing alternatives, seeing the risks of taking a plea or going to trial, and looking into the future in discussions with their lawyers; youth with learning disabilities are even further compromised. Developmentally sound juvenile justice decisions must be based on more than research on cognitive and psychosocial growth in adolescence. The developmental framework proposed here is comprehensive— including immaturity as well as a clinical perspective on trauma and learning disabilities and using an ecological approach regarding the contexts in which the teenager is gradually maturing. Let’s consider the several components of immaturity first.

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THE

ISSUES

THE EFFECTS OF IMMATURITY ON TEEN BEHAVIOR Adolescent development is not a smooth, uniform, linear progression—there are differences in maturity among youth of the same age and across domains within individuals. I have sketched out in this section a number of ways that immaturity affects behavior in these years. Immature Thinking In real life situations, particularly when influenced by peers and/or under the influence of substances, young people often have immature thought processes, including not anticipating, minimizing danger, reacting to stress, and seeing only one option. &

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Not anticipating. Adolescents often do not plan or do not follow their plans and get caught up in unanticipated events. They usually view as “accidental” the unintended poor consequences of actions that adults could have predicted. For example, a young person could go with a group to an event and, on the way, a friend could have a conflict with a young person outside the group; a fight might break out, and several youth might be arrested for an assault they never imagined would have happened. Carrying, and even using, a weapon does not mean that a teen intended harm or thought that he or she would use the weapon. Often, teens feel driven to self-protection and never picture an injured victim. Minimizing danger. Risk taking is typical of adolescents who seldom can consider the worst possible outcomes of their actions (Furby & Beyth-

&

Marom, 1992; Steinberg, 2008). Youth do not perceive or weigh risks accurately, and indeed, it has been asserted that “it is statistically aberrant to refrain from such [risk-taking] behavior during adolescence” (Spear, 2000, p. 421). In comparison to adults, teenagers attach different value to the rewards that risk taking provides (Fareri, Martin, & Delgado, 2008; Scott & Steinberg, 2008). Difficulty in managing impulses is a normal characteristic of teens, partly because they have more rapid and extreme mood swings than do adults (Scott & Steinberg, 2008). Impulsively defending a friend who is teased or pushed can quickly escalate into a situation a youth will regret but did not view as risky. Similarly, youth get in trouble with parents, school, and/ or the juvenile justice system for texting they think is benign, and do not realize can be interpreted as threatening. Drugs and alcohol, also often not seen as risky, lower inhibitions and reduce teens’ abilities to use mature judgment; being high frequently contributes to delinquent acts. Reacting to stress. Stress affects the ability to weigh risks and to override impulses with rational thought, and adolescents are more susceptible to stress and emotional fluctuations than are adults (Hampel & Petermann, 2006; Larson, Moneta, Richards, & Wilson, 2002; Seiffge-Krenke, 1995; Spear, 2000; Wills, Sandy, & Yaeger, 2001). Decision making can be even more immature when a teen is scared, particularly if he or she has been mistreated in the past. A common form of immature cognitive processes

A Developmental View of Youth in the Juvenile Justice System

&

in adolescents is reacting to threat that adults might consider exaggerated. For example, a young person with no prior arrests or problems in school who jumps a subway gate without paying could get into a physical confrontation that leads to the serious charge of assaulting a police officer. Afterwards, his parents may find it difficult to understand how he could have felt so threatened. Seeing only one option. Adolescents only gradually develop the advanced cognitive ability to weigh alternatives simultaneously (Wigfield, Byrnes, & Eccles, 2006). In situations where adults see several choices, adolescents may believe they have only one. It is not unusual even for intelligent adolescents to imagine only a single scenario. When things do not unfold as they imagined, because of their immaturity, they behave as if they are incapable of adapting with another reasonable choice. For example, a teenage girl who thinks she is going shopping with a friend may be surprised when her friend encourages her to shoplift but may feel unable to leave, go home, or shop on her own.

Immature Identity Identity development is among the central tasks of adolescence (Erikson, 1959; Kroger, 2003). Becoming good at something, for example, doing well in school, arts, sports, or religious or cultural practices, is a cornerstone in the development of a positive identity, and helps it to solidify. Many system-involved youth have not experienced success, particularly in school; often, they feel marginalized.

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Having an unformed identity makes them more vulnerable to involvement with delinquent peers. For most teenagers, belonging to a family provides the basic architecture for identity development. Family provides cultural, religious, and other values that are important to the teenager’s self-definition: sometimes the youth’s values remain consistent with his or her family, and sometimes he or she separates from the family’s values. Identifying with peers is another important aspect of self-definition; group membership is necessary for a young person to feel valued. The process of developing a stable identity takes time, during which young people need approval from family and peers. An ecological approach to understanding teenagers in the context of all their relationships—particularly family and peers—recognizes that development is influenced in complex ways by these interconnected contexts (Garcia Coll, Akerman, & Cicchetti, 2000; Lerner, 2002; Spencer et al., 2006). Conflicting identifications, between two groups of peers or between family and peer expectations, may cause unpredictable behavior in a teenager, especially under stress. Even protective families find it challenging to ensure positive friendships for their teens, and a teen may have positive peers and still get exposed, often in unplanned situations, to peer coercion and/or pressure from the desire for peer acceptance. Some families think teens cannot be supervised, and others, whose authoritarian tendencies increase out of a desire to protect, instead overlimit the teen’s autonomy, both with potentially disastrous consequences (Dodge et al., 2006; Putnick et al., 2008). It is difficult for adults to help youth develop self-confidence to resist peer pressure when the need to belong is so strong. Families can be unaware when a teen, who seems the same at home, becomes

8

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THE

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more influenced by peers and negative school and neighborhood environments. Furthermore, in some neighborhoods, resisting the pressure to commit crimes or to seek protection from a gang itself puts the young person in danger (Fagan, 2000). &

&

Racial and ethnic identity. As their social networks expand, youth see themselves in multiple roles requiring different self-presentations. Racial stereotypes and cultural dissonance make the process of achieving a stable identity more difficult for youth of color (Cross & Fhagen-Smith, 2001; Luthar, 2003). Youth are vulnerable to racial and ethnic marginalization. Violence poses a complex series of threats to resilience for Black males, including aggression as an adaptive response to deal with victimization, which may lead to arrest and reinforces negative stereotypes (Graham & Lowry, 2004; Spencer et al., 2006). Girl identity. Experts disagree about how much the increase in arrests of girls represents a change in behavior as opposed to a change in society’s responses to girls (Zahn, 2009). Developmental research has identified stressors on girls that make them more vulnerable, especially during physical maturation and school transitions. For example, many 11- and 12-year-old girls become less outspoken and more preoccupied with perfection and fear being disliked; and this may contribute to an enduring sense of unworthiness affecting their involvement in delinquent acts (Beyer, Blair, Katz, Simkins, & Steinberg, 2003; Brown & Gilligan,

&

1992; Chamberlain & Moore, 2002; Hennessey Ford, Mahoney, Ko, & Siegfried, 2004; Wood, Foy, Goguen, Pynoos, & James, 2002a). A connection to others is the central organizing feature of development in girls, and their relationship focus and the struggle to be loyal, including worries about abandonment and disconnection, dominate girls’ thinking. Girls in juvenile justice include first-time offenders who were coerced by their older boyfriends. Many teenage girls report violence in their dating relationships. Though some confide in a friend, almost none talk to adults in their family or at school about being victimized in this way and the difficulty of extricating themselves. Traumatic experiences predict delinquency and risky sexual behavior, and most girls who have experienced significant trauma need, but do not receive, trauma treatment—including many who do not have PTSD diagnoses (Smith, Leve, & Chamberlain, 2006; see also Sherman & Greenstone, Chapter 7, this volume). Sexual orientation and gender identity. Harassment for gender-nonconforming appearance or behavior, a nonheterosexual orientation or nontraditional gender identity can lead to a serious loss of self-esteem (Galliher, Rostosky, & Hughes, 2004). Homophobic discrimination at school and in the community is common and hurtful to teenagers and can lead to youth missing school or activities because they feel unsafe (Majd, Marksamer, & Reyes, 2009). Youth who experience

A Developmental View of Youth in the Juvenile Justice System

antigay victimization in middle or high school are more than twice as likely to be depressed and have substance abuse problems and three times as likely to report suicide attempts than lesbian, gay, or bisexual peers who have not been harassed (Wilber, Ryan, & Marksamer, 2006; see also Garnette, Irvine, Reyes, & Wilber, Chapter 8, this volume). Youth whose parents reject their sexual orientation and gender expression are more likely to be depressed and suicidal; they may end up living on the street, which may, in turn, bring them into the juvenile justice system (Ryan, Huebner, Diaz, & Sanchez, 2009). Immature Moral Reasoning Much has been written about moral development during adolescence, stressing youth’s increasing responsibilities in relationships and awareness of how others will judge one’s actions (Eisenberg, Morris, McDaniel, & Spinrad, 2009). The practical application of adolescent moral development research to real-life reasoning under stress is complicated. Committing a delinquent act can be misconstrued as an indication that the young person did not know right from wrong and/or lacked concern for others. But youth may express strong family and religious values and are frustrated that they cannot explain why they used poor moral reasoning during the offense. Adolescents are generally moralistic, insisting on what should be and intolerant of unfairness (Smetana & Turiel, 2003). They may become involved in an offense naively in order to right wrongs, often out of loyalty. As a result, they may not express an adult understanding of the

9

effect of their offense on victims, despite the fact that their capacity for empathy with others may not be impaired. Next let’s turn to considering the role of trauma in the lives of these youth.

THE EFFECTS OF TRAUMA ON TEEN BEHAVIOR The incidence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among youth in the juvenile justice system is up to 8 times higher than youth in the community in general (Abram et al., 2004; Kerig, Ward, Vanderzee, & Moeddel, 2009). Among nonincarcerated youth seen in juvenile court clinics, one in nine met criteria for PTSD (Brosky & Lally, 2004). In a study of 50 delinquents, all but two had experienced trauma, including repeated abuse and/or parent death and/or abandonment; at least a third were physically abused and a quarter were sexually abused; more than half the girls had been physically or sexually abused (Beyer, 2006). In my experience, trauma typically slows down development in children and can interfere with all aspects of a youth’s functioning. While other children are growing emotionally, the child coping with trauma is distracted from normal developmental tasks and is occupied with sadness and feeling powerless. Trauma causes disturbances of emotional regulation, social relationships, and attachment (Lieberman & Van Horn, 2004). Children who have been abused or were not protected from violence often blame themselves and have trouble trusting others (Cohen, Mannarino, & Deblinger, 2006). Many youth in juvenile justice have in the past been involved with child protective services and some are in foster care when they are

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arrested. Children who are exposed to disrupted caregiving (separation from their families and multiple foster homes) are at risk for continued difficulty in emotional regulation and deficits in social cognitive processing (Price & Landsverk, 1998). Depression Associated With Trauma Depression is common but often not diagnosed in traumatized teenagers (Ney, Colbert, Newman, & Young, 1986). Their behavior problems become the focus rather than their underlying sadness, isolation, and loss. Depressed children typically express selfdislike, show distorted thinking, and have a greater dependence on peers, but being depressed is correlated with teacher and peer ratings of unpopularity (Cicchetti & Toth, 1998). Often, young people come to juvenile justice without having received trauma treatment despite persistent depression, aggression, and school difficulties (Wolfe, Rawana, & Chiodo, 2006). Aggression Associated With Trauma Aggression can be a defense against the helplessness common among traumatized children. Traumatized youth may misinterpret and be offended by relatively benign things that others say and react with combative selfpreservation. These young people often have had difficulty since childhood modulating their reactions and putting their feelings into words. They react negatively to outside controls and are often labeled oppositional (Ford, Chapman, Hawke, & Albert, 2007; Wolfe et al., 2006). Traumatized teens may not be able to stop these reactions because they see controlling adults as mean and unfair, to which past abuse has made them acutely sensitive. When adults threaten them, they reflexively

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protect themselves; even if the adults believe they are controlling a situation, the teen automatically reacts as if back in the position of being victimized. When their feelings are hurt, they are flooded with anger from the past, which they are unaware is out of proportion to the present provocation, and they lack the ability to calm themselves. Unless adults arrange an environment to meet their needs, this predictable reflexive reaction will be provoked repeatedly. Multiple placements cause more loss and anxiety, provoking fear reactions and reinforcing sensitivity to hostility, rejection, and perceived unfairness. Externalizing behaviors—behavior problems in school, substance use, and truancy—are correlated with extreme parental permissiveness, and internalizing behaviors—depression, anxiety, and self-destructiveness—are associated with extreme parental psychological control (Steinberg, Lamborn, Darling, Mounts, & Dornbusch, 1994). Furthermore, the problem-solving strategies that boys bring to adolescent and adult social situations are directly traceable to the lessons learned from dads . . . young boys who are aggressive and are low in pro-social behaviors . . . have fathers who are more likely to engage in angry exchanges with them . . . the [boys] who are most prone to break down when the going gets tough are those who have been raised with the idea that to admit vulnerability, even to themselves, is weak. (Kindlon & Thompson, 1999, pp. 102–104) Reactions to Bullying Youth who have been chronically picked on have low self-esteem and academic and peer

A Developmental View of Youth in the Juvenile Justice System

difficulties in school, leading to more teasing and bullying (Horowitz et al., 2004). Bullying keeps children from perceiving school as a safe environment. Other students fear that by associating with victims they may become targets. Sometimes victimized children become bullies themselves, and they tend to have more emotional problems than those who are victims only (Arseneault et al., 2006; Olweus, 1993). Pathologizing Trauma-Related Behaviors It is unfortunate that the effects of trauma on youth are often overlooked or misunderstood (see Sedlak & McPherson, 2010; see also Baker, Cunningham, & Harris, Chapter 11, this volume). The effects of trauma may significantly interfere with the young person’s life and put him or her at risk of delinquency, even those whose symptoms do not meet the PTSD criteria (Widom, 1994; Wood, Foy, Layne, Pynoos, & James, 2002b) (see also Braverman & Morris, Chapter 3, this volume). Adolescents with a history of trauma have high rates of alcohol and substance abuse; these youth rely on substances to escape sad feelings and bad memories (Giaconia, Reinherz, Paradis, & Stashwick, 2003). Trauma is considered a significant risk factor, accounting for numerous items in checklists of factors connected to delinquency or dangerousness (e.g., the Structured Assessment of Violence Risk in Youth [SAVRY] and the Massachusetts Youth Screening Instrument [MAYSI-2]), but is seldom considered in designing rehabilitative services. Too often, symptoms from trauma are misinterpreted as part of the character of the young person, rather than a guide to what is behind behavior that can be changed. Finally, I briefly discuss the effects of learning disabilities on the behavior of youth in the juvenile justice system.

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THE EFFECTS OF LEARNING DISABILITIES ON TEEN BEHAVIOR About 17–53% of youth in juvenile justice systems have learning disabilities, in comparison to 2–10% in the overall child population (Kazdin, 2000; Sedlak & McPherson, 2010). Learning disabilities affect young people not only in school, but at home and in the community, particularly in comprehending, following directions, and establishing and maintaining relationships. Learning disabilities include a variety of problems in listening, remembering, prioritizing, and strategizing as well as reading and mathematics. Delinquents have higher rates of neuropsychological deficits as reflected in language, verbal intelligence, working memory, and reading. Of special interest are deficiencies in “executive” functions that are served primarily by the frontal lobes of the brain . . . [including] abstract reasoning, goal setting, anticipating and planning, self-monitoring and self-awareness, inhibiting of impulsive behavior, and interrupting an ongoing sequence of behavior in order to initiate a more adaptive behavior (Kazdin, p. 53). Attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are the most frequently diagnosed behavior disorders of childhood. It is estimated that at least 25% of adolescents (17% of males and 21% of females) in the juvenile justice system have ADHD, compared to 9% in the overall child population (12% of males and 5% of females; Eme, 2009). Distractibility and impulsiveness are prominent characteristics of attention deficit disorders, making these young people less able to stop

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behaviors, which may contribute to delinquency (especially when they have immature cognitive processes and are unable to see alternative choices at the time of an offense). Difficulties with social skills are also common among children with attention deficits and, in my experience, often lead to indiscriminately seeking acceptance (even from delinquent peers). Some youth’s problem-solving skills are compromised by not accurately perceiving cues from peers and adults, typically attributing hostility to others and believing that aggressive acts will result in peer approval (Dodge, 2003). By the time the learning disability is identified, many youth lack the basic skills necessary to comprehend schoolwork and to get along with others. Often, the youth who is embarrassed by poor performance gets into a negative cycle of attention seeking that interferes with school participation. Some youths’ problem-solving skills are compromised by not accurately perceiving cues from peers and adults, typically attributing hostility to others and believing that aggressive acts will result in peer approval (Dodge, 2003). Truancy from feeling picked on by teachers and/or students and frustration with poor academic progress can begin early in young people with learning disabilities, and not attending school can lead to delinquency.

STRENGTHS OF YOUNG PEOPLE AND THEIR ENVIRONMENTS Youth have strengths that must be built on in designing supports and services to meet the needs driving their delinquent behavior (Eccles & Gootman, 2002; see Lerner et al., Chapter 5, this volume). Often, youth can be engaged in change when their strengths

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are recognized. Their aspirations may be connected to something they are or were good at, and what may motivate them to change is to get back on track toward achieving dreams. Although families are typically blamed as the cause of delinquency, most families also have strengths, and youth often take it personally when their families are criticized (see Jacobs, Miranda-Julian & Kaplan, Chapter 10, this volume). Peers and neighborhoods also receive blame for youth getting involved in delinquency, but positive peers can encourage the youth’s aspirations and neighborhoods can offer significant support (such as pastors, relatives, and other adults and athletic and artistic opportunities) (see Hawkins, Vashchenko, & Davis, Chapter 12, this volume). Schools are seen as failing to address youth problems before they drop out or are suspended or expelled, but schools also can meet youth needs with services that offer youth the opportunity for success. Through a developmental framework, juvenile justice can avoid pathologizing and instead identify the strengths and needs behind each young person’s behavior. Rather than viewing the young person as a “bad seed” likely to become an adult offender, developmentally sound services support the youth’s resilience so he or she can outgrow unacceptable behaviors.

VIGNETTES OF YOUTH IN JUVENILE JUSTICE The stories of four youth are presented next, including brief descriptions of their strengths; family, peer, school, and neighborhood contexts; immaturity; trauma; and disabilities. These vignettes demonstrate how a developmental framework can guide our understanding and treatment of these youth,

A Developmental View of Youth in the Juvenile Justice System

as well as our efforts to prevent systeminvolvement for others. Marco’s story is included, as well, in the analysis presented in Table 1.1. Dustin Dustin is a quiet 13-year-old Native American youth born on a reservation. His mother was 16, his father was incarcerated before his birth, and he was raised by his grandmother. When he lived with his mother, he periodically ran away to his grandmother because of his mother’s physical abuse. His mother married, and they moved across the country to live with his new stepfather when Dustin was in seventh grade, shortly before the birth of his brother. It was traumatic for Dustin to lose his extended family and strong cultural roots. His stepfather was young, had not parented before, and favored his newborn; his mother’s life centered around her husband. Dustin adjusted surprisingly well to his new school. He had several friends who lived nearby and he spent most of his time in their homes. The girl next door was his best friend, and he felt “adopted” by her parents, who took him to the water park and skating rink; he resented his family for not caring enough about him to do activities together. He worried about his stepfather’s drinking, which caused work and marital problems. His stepfather was furious when Dustin protected his mother when he was about to slap her. Dustin said his stepfather hit him and constantly reprimanded him for not doing household chores properly. Dustin’s mother and stepfather criticized him for getting poor grades, although he complained that he worked on his homework longer every afternoon than his friends. Initially, his teachers attributed his academic struggles to their assumption that the small reservation school he had attended from first to sixth grades was

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inferior. Because he was so “shy,” his trouble concentrating and following directions was overlooked, and they were surprised that on his first standardized testing in late spring, Dustin scored more than three grades lower than his classmates. Although he was not referred for evaluation of attention deficit (without hyperactivity) and/or executive function deficits, Dustin was likely eligible for special education services to address disabilities, which would have improved his grades and self-esteem. During the summer, Dustin’s mother told him they had to move, but not back to his relatives. When he told his friend next door, she cried and Dustin said he held back tears. He was upset he would have to leave his friends and their caring families and adjust to a new school. The week of the offense, it came as a surprise to Dustin that his mother was sending him to live with a relative he did not know far from both his grandmother and where his mother was moving. He felt rejected, especially since his stepfather said it was his disobedience and poor grades that were making them send him to relatives who could discipline him. Early physical abuse, being separated from family members, chronic disapproval, worrying about his mother’s marriage, and the impending move was a significant amount of trauma. Dustin did not have anyone to confide in and internalized his feelings. Leading up to his explosion, Dustin was under extreme stress that compromised his typical immature thinking. When he walked in the door that night, Dustin said his mother immediately started yelling at him. He heated up some food and was watching television. His stepfather yelled at him to get off the couch and turn off the TV. He was real mean about it. I was still eating. He told me to hurry up. I got up and moved so he could lie down on the couch. I went into the kitchen

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and put my dishes in the dishwasher. Then he yelled at me because I had turned the kitchen light on. It made me mad. I was sick of being yelled at and not allowed to watch TV in my own house. I can’t explain what happened next. I grabbed a knife from the dishwasher. Without thinking, Dustin lunged at his stepfather, cutting him seriously before he ran out of the house. Later, he understood that he had “bottled up all that anger at my stepfather and my mother and it all came out at once, but I didn’t expect it.” Behind Dustin’s aggression were complicated unmet needs to: &

&

&

& &

&

Understand that the loss and rejection he experienced are not his fault; Learn how to respond when criticized and not overreact to rejection; Learn how to express himself without holding his feelings in until he erupts; Feel successful in school; Recognize the effects of his learning disabilities on his concentration and decision making; and Not be separated from family.

These needs could be met by trauma treatment, services to learn how to compensate for his learning disabilities, coaching on expressing his feelings and not overreacting, and returning to live with his grandmother. Peter Peter is a childish, White 14-year-old who was traumatized by abuse by his mentally ill mother, and then by abuse in his foster home. Later, he was moved to his father and stepmother’s home. When he was in elementary school, Peter ran away repeatedly because of

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his father’s abuse. Child Protective Services again placed him in a foster home for more than a year. When he was returned, the school complained that his father was not cooperative in dealing with Peter’s academic and behavior problems. Peter remembers being picked on since second grade for being behind academically. As he got older, Peter was upset that he was teased for being gay. He said he always liked girls, but kids thought he was gay because “I’m small and soft.” He felt unfairly treated by the PE teacher and got Fs in PE because he was being harassed in the locker room and refused to change. Peter’s arms are lined with scars. “I was always cutting my wrists. My teacher saw it. My dad saw it. No one did anything about it.” Peter talked about being isolated and alone, tolerating physical punishment by his father and conflict with his stepmother. “I didn’t care about anybody. I just wanted to be dead.” Asked what made him get to that point in eighth grade, he responded, “Thinking no one cares, people making fun of me all the time. My whole class made fun of me for being gay and not being able to do math.” Because of past trauma, Peter was unusually sensitive to criticism. He could not articulate that he felt hurt when he was teased and embarrassed about being unable to do his schoolwork. After years of abuse, Peter experienced any “no” as another victimization and he reflexively reacted to protect himself. He had not learned how to prevent escalation or how to calm himself down when he was teased, cornered, pushed, or touched. Peter’s IEP (Individualized Education Plan) was blaming, focused on behavior control, and reflected no understanding of trauma-driven behavior. Peter got angry when he read his behavior intervention plan (BIP): “Peter’s motivation for inappropriate behavior and language toward peers and teachers is

A Developmental View of Youth in the Juvenile Justice System

avoidance of work and attention seeking.” He thought his IEP was wrong: “Why do they think I avoid work? I go to school. I try to do my work. I need help on a lot of things. I am frustrated when I can’t get more help.” After his arrest, a neuropsychological evaluation found “a severe attentional disorder, a slow rate of information processing, and memory and executive dysfunctions which constitute a significant functional disability” that interfered with Peter’s school performance as well as with interactions with family and friends. For years he had IEPs without the required evaluations, which could have identified his disabilities in order to design the proper combination of services to ensure that his social skills, attentiveness, reading, and math improved. Had instruction in the give-and-take of communication, how to avoid talking too much, how to read others’ nonverbal cues, and how not to misinterpret rules as mistreatment been initiated in the early elementary years when his social skills deficits were first documented, Peter’s behavior improvement might have prevented being picked on. His early depression and anxiety might have been reduced with improved peer relationships, although these were also symptoms of trauma that went untreated. The kids were picking on me, calling me gay every day. The teacher heard them and didn’t do anything. The PE teacher yelled at me. The counselor wouldn’t do anything. No one would help. Nobody cared. A kid called me a name, another kid tripped me as I was walking to my seat. I got angry. My teacher yelled at me to calm down. I got more out of hand. She came toward me, trying to corner me. When I get angry, I don’t think. I was telling her to

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leave me alone. She was yelling just like my father. She pushed me. I told her, “You better not touch me again.” She pushed me against the cabinet. I went ballistic. I pushed her down, ran out of the school. Behind Peter’s aggression were numerous unmet needs to: &

& &

&

&

Learn to separate his past victimization from provocation in the present; Learn to calm himself before reacting; Understand his pool of anger and hurt and learn to be less sensitive to rejection and to express his anger without hurting himself or others; Understand his attention, processing, and executive function difficulties; and Be successful at something.

These needs could be met by trauma treatment, services to learn how to compensate for his learning disabilities, a home and school where he is not maltreated, and guidance for the adults to understand that their actions might prevent most of his behavior problems by avoiding power struggles and deescalating before he gets out of control.

Brandon Brandon is a bright, engaging African American 15-year-old from a loving family. His mother is proud of her two older children in community college and she is raising her young great nephew who had been neglected. Brandon’s father’s murder when Brandon was young led to his family’s move out of a high-crime area. Brandon’s arrest for selling marijuana shocked all of them. His siblings and mother

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insisted that their family’s love, religious values, emphasis on school achievement, and strong work ethic made it inconceivable that any of the children could be a delinquent. Family members expressed regret for not realizing that his doing poorly in school and hanging around with kids who were not successful in school or athletics put him at risk. Brandon kept secrets from his mother for more than a year. His family said Brandon remained the same loving, childish, entertaining son and sibling at home, helping with his cousin and doing chores. But when he was out, he was using marijuana daily and paying for it by selling marijuana. Brandon’s life had changed significantly in the past 2 years, in a negative direction in several dimensions simultaneously. &

&

&

The loss of basketball. Brandon experienced a major, painful rejection when he was not invited to continue with the elite team he had been on for years. He felt humiliated, and lost a sense of belonging and identity that was critical to him. He stopped playing basketball altogether, believing his future as an athlete was over. Less attention from his mother. When he was in seventh grade, his mother lost her job and they had to move again. Her great nephew required a lot of her assistance when he was removed from his mother and had to adjust to a new family and school. Because Brandon was not playing sports, he spent less time with his mother, who had been at all his games. His brother’s leaving. When Brandon’s brother left home, he lost the daily friendship and guidance of the person to whom he was closest in his family.

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&

This marked the end of Brandon’s life at home playing video games, since his brother was his game partner from second to seventh grade. The loss of school as a place of success. For Brandon, like many students, seventh grade was a difficult adjustment—the work was more challenging and he felt the teachers expected too much. Although in elementary school he had met state standards, getting As and Bs, in seventh grade Brandon was below standard in math and reading, did not like his teacher, and failed a class. In eighth grade, he was absent 40 days (in contrast to nearly perfect attendance in elementary school), got Ds, and was suspended for getting into an argument. Not wanting to burden his mother, he kept his problems from her. His brother told Brandon “to turn it around. You are just being lazy.” A friend’s parent was monitoring her MySpace and complained to the school that Brandon wrote threatening statements about the assistant principal; he was arrested, put on probation, and suspended (even though he said he was just joking). His probation officer detained him for a week when he was suspended in the first month of ninth grade for having marijuana in his pocket at school.

Unaware of the seriousness of Brandon’s problems, his family viewed these as minor “incidents” due to his being unfairly treated at school and by probation. His mother was angry at the school for singling Brandon out: If he had been a White kid, the school would have given him help a long

A Developmental View of Youth in the Juvenile Justice System

time ago. If he had been White, his probation officer would have sent him to a drug program, rather than locking him up in detention. Brandon’s immature thinking included not being able to anticipate the long-term consequences of poor grades. He did not imagine that each day his choices about his schoolwork were taking him off the path of high school graduation and going to college on a sports scholarship. Brandon also minimized the risks of his secret life. He was smoking marijuana every day in ninth grade and believed that marijuana was benign. Brandon said marijuana gave him a “mellow mind,” and he liked being relaxed. The only problem he saw with marijuana was cost. Brandon also had an immature identity. Prior to seventh grade, Brandon was a successful athlete and student, staying close to his family and home. But he lost some of his family-centeredness and he lost his sportsfocused identity. Brandon did not want to turn his back on his close friends, with whom he had played basketball since elementary school. They smoked marijuana together, were barely passing in school, and none were playing high school sports. He was their supplier, believing he would never get arrested selling drugs just to people he knew. Behind Brandon’s illegal behavior were significant unmet needs to: & &

&

&

Be successful at school; Develop a stable, positive identity supported by successful peers at school; Talk about how much he has missed his father and brother; Learn how to get a “mellow mind” without using marijuana; and

&

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Learn how to anticipate consequences, see risks, and make choices that will allow him to achieve his goals.

These needs could be met by coaching on getting involved with college-bound peers, decision-making skills, returning to sports, improving study habits, tutorial assistance, college-preparatory summer programs, and guidance for his mother in providing supervision and recognizing Brandon’s successes. Kristi Kristi is a 16-year-old biracial girl whose grandmother said she was “the perfect child until middle school: good grades, happy, nice friends, loved sports. She loved her mother; they had survived hard times together.” Her parents’ arguments and bitter divorce and her mother’s remarriage were hard on Kristi. She missed having her father at home, and by the time she was in fourth grade, the fighting between her mother and stepfather was frightening. “I was scared of him. He wasn’t working and was living off my Mom and me. I couldn’t understand why she took him back over and over.” Kristi developed an eating disorder in sixth grade after her stepfather was arrested for attacking her mother and Kristi when she tried to get help. Kristi’s soccer team was the center of her life for years, and her mother, grandmother, and father cheered for her at tournaments: “It was hard work to be on a travel team. It was an honor. We went to the state championship and met girls from all over. We did so well. We had so much fun.” After the game, Kristi and her friends got caught drinking and their coach kicked them off the team. “I was going to try out for the high school team, but I gave up. . . . It was a big mistake that I regretted.”

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Her father talked about the vacuum that not playing soccer caused in Kristi’s life, observing that without the discipline of sports she “became less motivated to do well in school, had more worries about her weight, and did not have her good group of friends.” The combination of reactions to her parents’ divorce and her mother’s involvement in an abusive second marriage made Kristi susceptible to an exploitive relationship with an older male. With her worries about her appearance, the loss of soccer, and feeling less motivated academically, Kristi was flattered by his attention, and minimized keeping him a secret from her parents, who would not have approved. He was extremely moody, arguing with people for no reason. He hit me with his fists. He said the meanest stuff to me. And then sweet talk me, saying beautiful things. I told my best friend I didn’t want to stay with him, but I didn’t know how to break it off. I was so depressed. Kristi continued,

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Lacking experience, Kristi did not correctly assess many danger signals: “He would not let me go anywhere without him. His mood swings were extreme and unpredictable. He smashed things when he was angry.” His obsession that afternoon with wanting to run away with her was annoying, but she thought it was “just talk” when he kept coming back to the same subject for hours and was not satisfied with her telling him she was not leaving home. What Kristi did not know was that he had been using meth that day. She was shocked when he attacked her mother, stabbing her to death with a kitchen knife when she got home from work: “It was so quick; I was in shock, shivering and not understanding what was happening.” Threatening Kristi with the knife, he ordered her to get her mother’s car keys and wallet and made her drive to an ATM to withdraw the limit in cash from her mother’s account. When they were apprehended in her mother’s car, it did not occur to Kristi that the police would arrest her. She gave a simple statement about what had happened: I thought the police wanted information about what he did. I didn’t try to explain it to them. I didn’t understand what happened myself. I thought they knew I didn’t have any part in it and were going to take me home.

I was ashamed that I still loved him and his sweet-talking and hoped our good times would return. I didn’t ask for help because I didn’t realize I was over my head. I knew getting high with him and skipping school to be with him were wrong. But I thought I could quit him anytime.

Asked whether she told the police she had been kidnapped, Kristi responded that she thought kidnapping referred to a small child or someone being tied up. She added,

Kristi said she hid “how bad I felt about myself ” and did not know how to get counseling without burdening her mother. She told herself that her substance use was not a problem. She believed that she would get serious about school again and achieve her goal of college.

I was forced the whole time. I wasn’t dragged by my hair. But if I had refused, he would have made me. The look in his eyes was so threatening. In the car he was holding the knife. I didn’t have control, of course, I never did with him.

A Developmental View of Youth in the Juvenile Justice System

Her boyfriend told the police it was Kristi’s idea to kill her mother because she wanted to run away from home. In her state, 16-yearolds charged with murder did not have a hearing where a judge would decide whether they could be rehabilitated in juvenile court. Kristi was held for many months in an adult jail, fortunately supported by maternal and paternal extended family, before she was acquitted by a jury in an adult trial. Behind Kristi’s involvement in an abusive relationship were complex unmet needs to: &

& &

&

Recover from her parents’ divorce and her exposure to domestic violence, and understand the connection between her worries about loss of relationships and her eating problems and use of substances; Be proud of her academic performance; Learn how to have a good dating relationship without violence or being controlled; and Improve her ability to assess the riskiness of her choices.

These needs could be met by trauma treatment, support from teachers and family for good grades in school, and guidance in deciding about whether to return to sports. Commonalities Among These Young People Of the five youths ages 13–16 arrested for a range of offenses described previously, all had strengths. Three had loving families and one had been raised in the past by a loving grandmother. All five needed, and had not received, trauma treatment. The behavior for which they came to the attention of the juvenile justice system (and one of them to the child welfare system) was linked to abuse, loss, harassment, and exposure to

19

violence. None of them understood the connection between past trauma and their present problems, even the two whose aggression was directly related to prior victimization. For two of the youth, their delinquent behavior was associated with their untreated learning disabilities. The other three did not have disabilities, but had become alienated from school and were not achieving as well as they had in the past. Immaturity affected all of their offenses. All had immature thinking, minimized risk, and were unable to anticipate the worst possible outcomes of their behaviors. None of them had the experience to realize that they needed help and could not solve their problems themselves. One was helped by friends, one was loyal to friends, two were pressured by older youth, and one had poor peer relationships. All expressed moral values and knew right from wrong, but they were not rational and could not use mature moral reasoning when caught up in an offense they did not realize was going to happen. The range of developmental characteristics behind the behavior of these five youth is presented in Table 1.1. These portraits are quite different than the standard files of system-involved youth might suggest. Without minimizing the seriousness of the acts these young people have committed, each portrait attempts to explain how the youth came to be in the situations that led them to these actions, and based on that information, what services would likely be successful in building on their strengths and meeting their needs so they can achieve adult lives of purpose. They argue, in my view, for keeping youth out of adult probation, jails, and prisons—allowing them the opportunity to mature and to heal within a juvenile justice system that can provide developmentally sound support. The vignettes also identify lost opportunities for intervening before delinquent acts were ever committed.

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Marco (Age 14)

Attached to extended family Strong positive family values Felt criticized by stepfather, betrayed by mother

Nondelinquent friends

Well liked by teachers Behind academically No testing for services

Loss of reservation culture Safe neighborhood

Impulsive reaction to criticism Did not realize anger and sadness could explode Did not realize he needed help Not excelling at anything

Physical abuse Separation from family Constant criticism Stress of moving

Undiagnosed ADD and/or executive function deficit

PEER CONTEXT

SCHOOL CONTEXT

NEIGHBORHOOD CONTEXT

IMMATURITY

TRAUMA

DISABILITIES

Separation from mother, abuse in foster home, abuse by father and stepmother Years of feeling unwanted

Wants friends, nonabusive home No prior arrests or substance use

Peter (Age 14)

Minimized risks of boyfriend Minimized risks of alcohol and marijuana Did not realize she needed help Dependent Divorce Domestic violence at home Loss of sports Depressed

Minimized risks of selling marijuana Did not realize drift away from path of school and sports Did not realize he needed help Did not want to be disloyal Father’s murder Loss of sports Mother’s job loss and move Brother leaving

Can’t anticipate consequences Didn’t want to be perceived as gay Not successful at anything Self-destructive behavior Tormented by teasing Repeated abuse caused reflexive reaction to threat Depressed

Minimized risks of joining gang Felt he had no choice but to do what was ordered Did not realize he needed help Not excelling at anything Deaths in family Parents preoccupied Constant fear from violence Pressure to achieve

Untreated processing, attention and executive function difficulties

Low-crime neighborhood

Was an excellent student Decreased confidence in school Working-class neighborhood with increasing crime

Was an excellent student

Isolated rural area

IEP for behavior control, not for disabilities Feels no one stopped mistreatment

Strong, caring family Did not realize she needed more supervision and help

Strong, caring family Did not realize he needed more supervision and help

Nondelinquent friends except her boyfriend Unable to leave abusive boyfriend

Wants to go to college No prior arrests Athletic talent

Wants to go to college Athletic talent

Friends no longer athletes and likely to drop out of school Daily marijuana use requires $

Kristi (Age 16)

Brandon (Age 15)

Terrified by gang violence

Capable of grade-level work, but alienated Feels teachers are unsupportive

Brother and friends in gang Picked on every day in school for 6 years

Strong, caring family Did not know how to provide supervision or encouragement

Wants to complete high school Wants to complete high school No prior arrests or substance use Remorseful Knows hurting someone is wrong

FAMILY CONTEXT

STRENGTHS

Dustin (Age 13)

Table 1.1. A Developmental Framework for Understanding Five System-Involved Youth

A Developmental View of Youth in the Juvenile Justice System

Taking an ecologically oriented, traumainformed developmental view of who these young people are, what they need, and what they might yet become is a step toward providing them with the effective juvenile services described in subsequent chapters.

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A Developmental View of Youth in the Juvenile Justice System

Putnick, D. L., Bornstein, M. H., Hendricks, C., Painter, K. M., Suwalsky, J. T., & Collins, W. A. (2008). Parenting stress, perceived parenting behaviors, and adolescent self-concept in European American families. Journal of Family Psychology, 22(5), 752–762. Ryan, C., Huebner, D., Diaz, R. M. & Sanchez, J. (2009) Family rejection as a predictor of negative health outcomes in white and Latino lesbian, gay and bisexual young adults. Pediatrics, 1, 346–352. Scott, E. S., & Grisso, T. (1997). The evolution of adolescence: A developmental perspective on juvenile justice reform. The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 88, 137–189. Scott, E. S., & Steinberg, L. (2008). Adolescent development and the regulation of youth crime. The Future of Children, 18(2), 15–33. Sedlak, A., & McPherson, K. (2010). Conditions of confinement: Findings from the Survey of Youth in Residential Placement (May). Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, U. S. Department of Justice. Seiffge-Krenke, I. (1995). Stress, coping, and relationships in adolescence. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. Smetana, J. G., & Turiel, E. (2003). Moral development during adolescence. In G. R. Adams & M. D. Berzonsky (Eds.), Blackwell handbook of adolescence (pp. 247–268). Malden, MA: Blackwell. Smith, D., Leve, L., & Chamberlain, P. (2006). Adolescent girls’ offending and health-risking sexual behavior: The predictive role of trauma. Child Maltreatment, 11(4), 346–353. Spear, L. P. (2000) The adolescent brain and age-related behavioral manifestations. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 417–463. Spencer, M. B., Harpalani, V., Cassidy, E., Jacobs, C. Y., Donde, S., Goss, T. N., . . . Wilson, S. (2006). Understanding vulnerability and resilience from a normative developmental perspective: Implications for racially and ethnically diverse youth. In D. Chicchetti (Ed.), Handbook of development and psychopathology (pp. 627–673). New York, NY: Wiley. Steinberg, L. (2008). A social neuroscience perspective on adolescent risk-taking. Developmental Review, 28, 78–106.

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Steinberg, L., & Haskins, R. (2008). Keeping adolescents out of prison. Princeton University-Brookings Institution Policy Brief. Retrieved from www.future ofchildren.org Steinberg, L., Lamborn, S. D., Darling, N., Mounts, N. S., & Dornbusch, S. M. (1994). Over-time changes in adjustment and competence among adolescents from authoritative, authoritarian, indulgent and neglectful families. Child Development, 65, 754–770. Warden, R., & Drizin, S. (Eds.). (2009). True stories of false confessions. Chicago, IL: Northwestern University. Widom, C. S. (1994). Child victimization and adolescent problem behavior. In R. D. Ketterlinus & M. E. Lamb (Eds.), Adolescent problem behavior: Issues and research. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. Wigfield, A., Byrnes, J. B., & Eccles, J. S. (2006). Adolescent development. In P. A. Alexander & P. Winne (Eds.), Handbook of educational psychology (2nd ed., pp. 87–113). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. Wilber, S., Ryan, C., & Marksamer, J. (2006). Serving LGBT youth in out-of-home care. Washington, DC: Child Welfare League of America. Wills, T. A., Sandy, J. M., & Yaeger, A. M. (2001). Coping dimensions, life stress, and adolescent substance use: A latent growth analysis. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 110, 309–323. Wolfe, D., Rawana, J., & Chiodo, D. (2006). Abuse and trauma. In D. Wolfe & E. Mash (Eds.), Behavioral and emotional disorders in adolescents. New York, NY: Guilford Press. Wood, J., Foy, D., Goguen, C., Pynoos, R., & James, C. B. (2002a). Violence exposure and PTSD among delinquent girls. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma, 6(1), 109–126. Wood, J., Foy, D., Layne, C., Pynoos, R., & James, C. B. (2002b). An examination of the relationships between violence exposure, posttraumatic stress symptomatology, and delinquent activity: An “ecopathological” model of delinquent behavior among incarcerated adolescents. In R. Greenwald (Ed.), Trauma and juvenile delinquency (pp. 109–126). New York, NY: Hayworth. Zahn, M. (2009). The delinquent girl. Philadelphia, PA: Temple.

Juvenile Justice: Advancing Research, Policy, and Practice Edited by Francine T. Sherman and Francine H. Jacobs Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

CHAPTER

2

Youth in the Juvenile Justice System: Characteristics and Patterns of Involvement KRISTI HOLSINGER

C

onventional wisdom about juveniles and delinquency control measures in this country has evolved substantially over time, yielding fragmented, contradictory, and at times even chaotic, approaches to managing juvenile delinquency—hardly a “system” in any conventional sense and certainly “young” in its development. In turn, shifting perspectives on who these youth are and how they should be treated have bedeviled attempts to standardize how they and their offenses are described and documented. Based on nationally available data, this chapter presents as full and accurate a portrait as possible of these young people, at each stage of their involvement with the juvenile justice system. A brief review of the history of the development and current operations of the system will proceed to provide necessary context for the data that follow.

1972). An important counterdevelopment occurred in 1841 with the advent of probation for children; similar “child-helping” initiatives soon followed with the creation of reform schools. However, it was during the Progressive Era when reforms that credited the ageminority status of children, including the establishment of the first juvenile court in 1899, became widespread. The reformers of this period saw the main goal of the juvenile justice court as treatment and rehabilitation, not punishment. Delinquency was a condition that could be identified, treated, and cured, they argued, through an individual analysis of the youth’s special needs and circumstances. In response, the court eliminated the punitive, adversarial, and formalized procedures of the adult criminal process and adopted more informal proceedings characterized by greatly increasing judicial discretion; as an unintended consequence, many due process protections afforded adults were eliminated. Eventually, common belief held that the juveniles were getting “the worst of both worlds” (Kent v. United States, 1966, p. 556), receiving neither the necessary help or treatment promised by the juvenile court, nor the procedural protection adults in the criminal justice system enjoyed. Landmark cases heard by the Supreme Court (e.g., In re Gault, 1967;

THE HISTORICAL LEGACY OF THE JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM Some mark the beginning of the juvenile justice system in the early 1800s, when states began to supersede parental authority and rights by institutionalizing “deviant” children, often for cheap labor, however, still treating them similarly to adult criminals (Mennel, 24

Youth in the Juvenile Justice System: Characteristics and Patterns of Involvement

In re Winship, 1970) supported this contention, and the rights of juveniles were greatly expanded, institutionalizing some of the formality of the adult system in the juvenile court. Juveniles began to be treated more like adults in other ways as well; for example, the 1980s marked efforts by virtually every state to allow easier transfer of youth to adult court (Feld, 1998; Torbet et al., 1996; see Sherman & Blitzman, Chapter 4, this volume). Research in the 1960s and 1970s also identified serious flaws in the system. Correctional “treatment,” especially in institutions, was punitive, harsh, and sometimes even sadistic (Holland & Mlyniec, 1995; President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice, 2008; also see Beck, Harrison, & Guerino, 2010, for a current review and analysis of sexual victimization in juvenile facilities), and minor offenders were incarcerated alongside seriously delinquent youth. In the 1970s, deinstitutionalization (providing programs in community-based settings rather than in institutions) and diversion (keeping youth out of the system to begin with) were promoted. The decriminalization and deinstitutionalization of status offenses were also encouraged, largely due to provisions in the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974. By the 1980s, a score of social and demographic factors precipitated a shift away from the long-standing posture of rehabilitation to one reflecting a “get tough” mentality (Butts & Mears, 2001). Crime control policies instituted for juveniles included lowering the age limit for juvenile court jurisdiction, the increased use of preventative detention, the increased transfer of juveniles to the adult system, a move toward determinate sentencing for violent offenders, and even the use of the death penalty for certain crimes. Data linking these get-tough measures with reductions in youth

25

crime have not been forthcoming; in fact, an in-depth analysis in Florida found such punitive measures to have a negligible impact on juvenile crime rates (Frazier, Bishop, & LanzaKaduce, 1999). Recent developmental research on adolescent brain functioning also suggests that youth do not have the same skills as adults in weighing costs and benefits and acting rationally (Scott & Steinberg, 2000). These developments have called into question the wisdom of the policy shifts of the 1980s and 1990s. Interestingly, both of these contradictory approaches remain part of the current juvenile justice system. States and counties vary greatly in their ideological viewpoints on, and their legislation concerning, juvenile crime; juvenile court practices are also determined by the demographics and geography of states and by the resources available for youth in a given community (see Schiraldi, Schindler & Goliday, Chapter 20, this volume). All this leads to wide variation across the country in the youth who are involved in the juvenile justice system, which in turn produces broad variation in selection and maintenance of both person- and crime-specific data.

HOW JUVENILE CASES ARE PROCESSED There are almost 3,000 juvenile courts in operation in the United States (Krisberg, 2005). The number of delinquency cases handled by them remained largely stable between 2000 and 2007, with approximately 1.7 million cases handled nationwide in 2007 (Knoll & Sickmund, 2010). As can be seen from Figure 2.1, the juvenile court caseload climbed steadily from 1960, when 400,000 cases were processed, to the peak year in 1997 with over 1.8 million cases (Puzzanchera &

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Figure 2.1 Number of Delinquency Cases, 1960–2005

Source: Adapted from Puzzanchera and Sickmund, 2008.

Sickmund, 2009). Between 1997 and 2007, there was an 11% decline in delinquency cases (Puzzanchera, Adams, & Sickmund, 2011). This decrease has been attributed to reductions in juvenile violent crime and expanded laws allowing for juvenile cases to be directly transferred to adult courts (Adams & Addie, 2010). The juvenile justice process typically begins with a referral, which can be handled informally or formally, or diverted. Most juveniles (83% in 2007; Puzzanchera et al., 2011) are referred into the system by law enforcement, although many cases drop out of the system through informal processing or diversion. Other referrals come from schools, parents, victims, probation officers, and social service agencies, largely dependent on the offense. For example, in 2002 non-law enforcement referrals accounted for a small percentage of property (9%), drug (10%) and person offenses (13%), and a larger percentage of truancy (86%), ungovernability (70%), runaway (45%), and public order offenses (39%) (Snyder & Sickmund, 2004). Beginning in the 1990s, there has been a trend of increased school referrals to juvenile court as the result of zero-tolerance state laws mandating referral of children to law

enforcement for certain school violations (see Bell & Mariscal, Chapter 6, this volume; Boundy & Karger, Chapter 14, this volume; Vaught, Chapter 15, this volume). An analysis of school referrals in five states found that four of the states experienced a greater proportion of referrals from schools to juvenile court in 2004 compared to 1995 (Krezmien, Leone, Zablocki, & Wells, 2009). Initially concerned with drugs, gangs, and weapons, zero-tolerance laws have expanded to include behaviors considered disruptive (Skiba, 2001). This practice has led to a phenomenon referred to as the “school-to-prison pipeline” where certain groups of students, particularly African American students, are put on a pathway by schools into the justice system (Wald & Losen, 1995; see Boundy & Karger, Chapter 14, this volume). The decision to detain a juvenile must involve parental notification and a review by an intake officer or a prosecutor to ensure sufficient evidence to proceed. At this point in processing, 44% of the cases are dismissed or handled informally, while slightly more than half (56%) result in formal intervention by the court (Sickmund, 1988). Holding a youth for an extended period of time (over 24 hours in

Youth in the Juvenile Justice System: Characteristics and Patterns of Involvement

most states) requires a judicial decision and typically is determined by whether the youth is believed to be a harm to self or others; the youth lacks a parent or guardian, which can include homelessness or runaway status; or it is believed the youth is unlikely to appear for future court proceedings (Chesney-Lind & Shelden, 2004). In 2005, detention hearings resulted in 21% of youth being detained (Snyder & Sickmund, 2004). A delinquency case is handled in either juvenile or criminal (adult) court. Between 1992 and 1997, 44 states and the District of Columbia passed laws increasing the likelihood a juvenile would be waived to adult criminal court, either through changes in the law or by giving judges and/or prosecutors increased discretion (Allard & Young, 2002). The criteria and process for waiver to adult court are determined by state statute, but largely reflect an individual or policy decision about whether a youth or groups of youth are likely to be rehabilitated by the services provided in the juvenile court (see Sherman & Blitzman, Chapter 4, this volume). Less than 1% of all delinquency cases result in judicial waiver, and about half are for personrelated offenses (48%), with the other half being transferred to the adult system for property (27%), drug-related (13%), or public order offenses (11%) (Adams & Addie, 2010). This offense distribution has changed considerably when compared to transfers 20 years ago. In 1985, most cases involved property offenses (53%), followed by person (33%), public order (9%), and drug offenses (5%) (Adams & Addie, 2010). In 2007, approximately 8,500 cases were waived to criminal court. Most waived cases involved males (90%) over the age of 15 (88%) (Adams & Addie, 2010). To date, research on the use of waivers for juveniles is not supportive of the practice, as there is no evidence that it achieves reductions in recidivism or youth

27

crime, and in fact the practice may lead to increased recidivism (Bishop, 2000; Bishop & Frazier, 2000). Because of waivers, youth are eligible to receive life sentences. In 2008, the number of juveniles serving life terms was 6,807, and, depending on the source, between 26% and 37% of these youth have no chance of parole (Human Rights Watch, 2008; Nellis & King, 2009). While virtually every state doles out life terms (exceptions are Indiana, Maine, Vermont, and West Virginia), more than 50% of these juveniles are from five states: California, Texas, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Nevada. Juveniles sentenced to life without parole are most likely to come from the states of Pennsylvania, California, Michigan, and Louisiana. In 2010 the U.S. Supreme Court held that a sentence of life without parole for juveniles in nonhomicide cases was unconstitutional (Graham v. Florida, 2010; see Sherman & Blitzman, Chapter 4, this volume). If a case proceeds in juvenile court, an adjudicatory hearing is scheduled, and the case is typically decided by a judge (see Figure 2.2 for the typical case flow in the juvenile justice system). In juvenile court, a separate hearing is held to determine the disposition of the case. This separate hearing allows time for a presentence investigative report to be filed based on a probation officer’s assessment of the unique needs and circumstances of the juvenile and exists as evidence of the court’s enduring goal of individualized treatment and rehabilitation. A judge then determines the disposition of the case, although input from the prosecution, youth, and probation officers can be presented (Snyder & Sickmund, 2006). Two categories of offenses that come to the attention of juvenile courts are criminal offenses and status offenses, the latter of which are behaviors deemed illegal based solely on the minor status of the offender (i.e., running away,

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Figure 2.2 Juvenile Justice System Case Flow Diagram

Source: Adapted from Snyder and Sickmund, 2006.

truancy, consuming alcohol). Processing for these two types of offenses is similar; however, the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) of 1974 (P.L. 93-415, 88 Stat. 1109) and subsequent reauthorizations (1977, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 2002) prohibit the use of secure detention for status offenses. In the JJDPA, states were required to use services outside of the juvenile justice system, such as group homes or shelter facilities run by family or social services in lieu of juvenile court residential placements. However, many status offenders still find their way into detention and placements through the valid court order (VCO) exception, passed in 1980 and included in subsequent reauthorizations. Under the VCO exception, status offenders can be detained if they violate a valid court order in the form, for example, of a probation condition. In

2007, about 11% of all adjudicated status offenders were in court ordered out of home placement (Puzzanchera et al., 2010). Due to the less serious nature of most juvenile crime, the most common disposition has always been, and remains, probation. Probation or regularly scheduled meetings between a probation officer and juvenile offender results in 56% of cases adjudicated delinquent and typically include other mandates such as drug testing, counseling, or restitution (Sickmund, 2010). After reaching a peak in 1997, the number of cases adjudicated delinquent and sanctioned to probation declined 17% by 2007 (Puzzanchera et al., 2010). Probation, either for a fixed amount or an open-ended amount of time, is terminated once the specified conditions have been met (Snyder & Sickmund, 2006). Regardless

Youth in the Juvenile Justice System: Characteristics and Patterns of Involvement

of the effectiveness of probation, its use successfully allows a youth to avoid the many negative consequences now associated with incarceration (Bernburg & Krohn, 2003). Twenty-five percent of offenders adjudicated delinquent are placed in a residential facility for a specified or indeterminate time, which is the most severe outcome available for juveniles within the juvenile justice system (Sickmund, 2010). Approximately 95,000 youth are held in juvenile justice facilities and publicly operated facilities house 69% of juvenile offenders (Livsey, Sickmund, & Sladky, 2009). In 2007, state-funded, postadjudicatory, residential facilities cost an average of $241 per day (American Correctional Association, 2008). The use of out-of-home residential placements peaked in 1997 and decreased 16% through 2007, with the largest decreases taking place for property offenses (34% reduction between 1997 and 2007) and drug offenses (16% reduction) (Puzzanchera et al., 2010). Rehabilitative ideals typically coincide with an indeterminate sentence, in which the juvenile is held until juvenile justice professionals feel he or she is adequately reformed, whereas a determinate sentence, which is based on the offense and specific sentencing guidelines determined by states, is more consistent with “get-tough” practices (Forst, Fisher, & Coates, 1985). Upon release from residential facilities, jails, and adult prisons, some form of juvenile aftercare (referred to as parole in the adult system) is typically available, but jurisdictions vary greatly on the extent to which aftercare is treatment oriented. From an accountability perspective, there are usually conditions during this time period, which, if violated, can result in recommitment. In spite of very high recidivism rates for system-involved youth, aftercare is underdeveloped in most juvenile justice systems (Mears & Travis, 2004).

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Relying on institutions to “fix” juveniles in the system is problematic, as abusive and harsh conditions remain a reality (Beck et al., 2010). A survey conducted by the Associated Press found 13,000 claims of abuse from 2004 through 2007, but only a fraction of these is confirmed, likely related to the positions of authority held by adults in these environments (Mohr, 2008). A 2010 report by the Bureau of Justice Statistics based on the National Survey of Youth in Custody (26,550 youth) found that 12% (n ¼ 3,220) report experiencing one or more incidents of sexual victimization by another youth or facility staff in the past 12 months (Beck et al., 2010). Staff sexual misconduct accounts for the majority of the incidents (85%), and boys report more abuse by staff, while girls are at greatest risk for sexual victimization by another youth (Beck et al., 2010). These statistics are of particular concern, given the higher rates of childhood victimization that exist in the delinquent population compared to the general population and the potential for additional traumatic experiences in the girls’ lives.

OFFENSE TRENDS Much of what is known about juvenile arrests and offense trends comes from the Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) compiled by the U.S. Department of Justice through the Federal Bureau of Investigation; these data are based on reports submitted by law enforcement agencies. In 2008, 95% of the total population of law enforcement agencies was represented by the UCR, making it the most comprehensive data set on juvenile crime available (U.S. Department of Justice, 2009). Nonetheless, there are questions about the extent to which the data represent an accurate picture of juvenile crime. The most frequent criticism has

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Figure 2.3 Percentage of Juvenile Arrests by Offense Type, 2009

non-index property index violent index

Source: U.S. Department of Justice, 2010.

been that the data are affected by discretionary police policies and practices, such as the level of police presence in a particular area. Further, many juvenile crimes are committed that never come to the attention of the police, a statement particularly true for minor offenses. Additionally, arrest statistics do not reflect the guilt of an individual. As a result, when possible, it is important to examine multiple data sources that use several different research methodologies, in addition to arrest statistics, in order to gain the most complete picture possible of youth crime.1 In 2009, the number of juveniles arrested was 1,919,257, comprising 17.8% of the total number of arrests for all ages (U.S. Department 1

Other data sources available include large self-report studies, which collect data from the youth themselves (i.e., the National Youth Survey, www.colorado.edu/ IBS/NYSFS/, Monitoring the Future, www.monitor ingthefuture.org), the National Crime Victimization Survey, which gathers data from victims of crimes (www.ojp.usdoj.gov.bjs), and Juvenile Court Statistics, which are a compilation of records of cases handles by juvenile courts (www.ojjdp.ncjrs.org).

of Justice, 2010). This number captures the number of arrests, not the number of juvenile offenders, and therefore includes multiple arrests of the same person within the year. Additionally, only the most serious offense is recorded in cases where multiple crimes are committed. As shown in Figure 2.3 above, of all the juvenile arrests, the vast majority (73.4%) were for less serious felonies and misdemeanors (also called “nonindex” or Part II offenses). Index crimes (also referred to as Part I offenses) are the eight serious, felony-level crimes of murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, larcenytheft (over $50), motor vehicle theft, and arson. Approximately one quarter (26.6%) of juvenile arrests were for index crimes (22.2% for property index offenses and 4.4% for violent index offenses). In 1980, approximately 7,400 juveniles were arrested, a number that continued to climb to its peak of approximately 9,400 in 1996 (see Figure 2.4). Ten-year trends, from 2000 to 2009, indicate that arrest rates of juveniles are down 20.2%, with greater

Youth in the Juvenile Justice System: Characteristics and Patterns of Involvement

31

Figure 2.4 Arrests per 100,000 Juveniles, Ages 10–17, 1980–2008

Source: Adapted from Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 2009.

reductions seen in index property crimes (down 20.3%) than in index violent crimes (down 15.0%) (U.S. Department of Justice, 2010). From 2008 to 2009, juvenile arrests fell an additional 2.4%, with a decrease in violent index crimes (2.3%) and an increase in index property crimes (1.6%) (U.S. Department of Justice, 2010). Although the UCR has been critiqued for reflecting enforcement practices, these reductions in arrests are substantiated by the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), which finds serious violent and property victimizations at their lowest levels since 1973 (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2008). Between 2005 and 2007, the NCVS showed reductions in violent crime (1.9%), personal theft (11.1%), and property crimes (5%).2 From large self-report studies that rely on youth’s disclosure about law violations, several other important factors about juvenile crime are revealed (Elliott, Huizinga, & Ageton, 1985; Nye, Short, & Olson, 1958; Williams & Gold, 1972). First, apropos to this method of data gathering, unlike official data, self-report 2

NCVS data are not specific to juvenile offenders, but rather reports all victimizations regardless of the age of the offender.

surveys typically tap less serious, even trivial, delinquent behaviors that are unlikely to come to the attention of the police. This measurement approach to juvenile crime showed that minor acts of delinquency are common among youth in the general population in all socioeconomic groups, thus questioning the social class–delinquency relationship (Akers & Sellers, 2008). However, shortcomings of the available data abound, particularly regarding their accuracy capturing more frequent and serious offenses (Elliott & Ageton, 1980). This critique has led to the development of studies that identified a relatively small group of chronic offenders who commit a disproportionate amount of crime and delinquency (Blumstein, Cohen, & Farrington, 1988). An overwhelming strength of self-report studies is the ability to test theoretical propositions by collecting a variety of data. For example, the National Youth Survey, one of the most comprehensive attempts to measure delinquency through self-report survey methodology, found that having delinquent peers was the best independent predictor of self-reported offending for early adolescence, but not an important predictor in childhood (Elliott & Menard, 1996). These data also

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Table 2.1. Percentages of Selected Juvenile Court Referral Offense Types, 1985–2005 Year

Person

Property

Drugs

Public Order

1985 1990 1995 2000 2005

15.9 19.1 22.0 23.0 25.3

60.8 58.4 50.1 39.8 35.3

6.7 5.3 9 11.5 11.5

16.9 17.3 18.9 25.7 27.9

Source: Sickmund, Sladky, and Kang, 2008.

support the contention that juvenile crime has been relatively stable over time (Osgood, O’Malley, Bachman, & Johnston, 1989). Contrary to negative media representation, crime by juveniles is at its lowest level in decades (Krisberg, 2005). Reductions in the youth crime rate have occurred despite slow, steady growth in the juvenile population over the past 25 years. Although the juvenile population is not the fastest growing segment of the population, it increased by 10 million from 1984 (62.5 million) to 2008 (72.3 million), and is projected to continue a slow increase through 2025 (Day, 1996). Another valuable data source on systeminvolved youth and the functioning of the juvenile court is Juvenile Court Statistics, now including 80% of U.S. juvenile court activities (Sickmund, Sladky, & Kang, 2008). These data provide information on the types and dispositions of cases handled by the juvenile courts. In 2005, the referring offense for juveniles was most often a property offense (35.3%), followed by a public order offense (27.9%). Violent or person offenses represented about a quarter of the cases (25.3%), with drugs making up the smallest percentage of cases (11.5%). Marked declines exist when comparing property offenses committed by youth over the past 20 years with less dramatic increases seen in the remaining three offense categories of person, drug, and public order offenses (see Table 2.1).

Over the past 20 years, referrals have become more likely to be handled formally (55.9% in 2005, compared to 45.6% in 1985) and more likely to result in adjudication (36.7% in 2005, compared to 29% in 1985). The use of detention has been slightly variable without consistent trends, but the 20-year average is 20%, meaning 2 out of every 10 youth are held in detention (Sickmund et al., 2008).

RISKS TO, AND STRENGTHS OF, SYSTEM-INVOLVED YOUTH Historically, system-involved youth have been characterized by their deficits, even among those who have advocated for more humane and rehabilitative approaches to addressing delinquency. These deficits appear either as actual conditions or limitations that are documented at some point during involvement with the system, or as “risk factors”— characteristics of the individual child, his or her family, or community that, as statistical predictors, increase the likelihood of a youth becoming delinquent. (See Braverman & Morris, Chapter 3, this volume, for a comprehensive treatment of risks implicated in delinquency.) These risks do not predict offending with certainty, but indeed, a host of factors—for example, impulsive or aggressive childhood behavior, or child maltreatment— have been found to be statistically correlated

Youth in the Juvenile Justice System: Characteristics and Patterns of Involvement

with delinquency. The effect of risk factors can be cumulative, dependent on the timing in which they occur in a youth’s development; however, they also may be mitigated by existing strengths, or “protective factors,” in a youth’s ecology. The strengths perspective, also referred to as a resiliency framework (Masten & Powell, 2003; Saleebey, 2005) and positive youth development (Lerner, Taylor, & von Eye, 2002; see Lerner et al., Chapter 5, this volume), recognize the strengths in individuals, families, and communities and seeks to collaborate with, and utilize, existing resources outside of the justice system. (See Beyer, Chapter 1, this volume, for youth profiles that integrate both strengths and risks.) Strengths are often conceptualized as “protective factors” that can counteract the negative effects of risk factors in youth’s lives as well as promote prosocial behavior in youth. They are defined as “those factors that mediate or moderate the effect of exposure to risk factors, resulting in reduced incidence of problem behavior” (Pollard, Hawkins, & Arthur 1999, p. 146). At times, protective factors are the exact opposite of a given risk factor, for example, excellent academic performance versus academic failure. They can also be “characteristics or conditions that interact with risk factors to reduce their influence” (Office of the Surgeon General, 2001) but are not necessarily “cures” to delinquency. Although a full portrait of youth presenting both risks and strengths would help the juvenile justice system develop more appropriate strategies for combating delinquency and promoting better functioning, the system remains largely deficit based. The strengths of these youth are insufficiently identified, measured, and utilized (Masten & Powell, 2003; see Beyer, Chapter 1, this volume; Lerner et al., Chapter 5, this volume; Schiraldi et al., Chapter 20, this volume).

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THE DEMOGRAPHICS OF SYSTEM-INVOLVED YOUTH Understanding exactly who are the youth involved in the system is a complicated matter. Any national-level descriptive demographic profile of juvenile offenders results from official data and therefore represents only youth who are involved in the system, not all youth who commit offenses and do not come to the attention of the police, or those who are not formally processed. Therefore, demographic data related to age, gender, race/ethnicity, and geography presented in this section focus on youth who are processed in the juvenile justice system. Additionally, disabilities and mental health issues are reported, given their prevalence among this population. Age Each state determines the age at which a child will be under the juvenile court’s jurisdiction. Sixteen states specify a minimum age: 6 years old (North Carolina), 7 years old (Maryland, Massachusetts, and New York), 8 years old (Arizona), and 10 years old (Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, and Wisconsin), while the remaining states do not specify an age but rely on the common-law age of 7 for inclusion in juvenile court (Snyder & Sickmund, 2004). The oldest age for juvenile court jurisdiction in delinquency matters ranges from 16 (New York and North Carolina) to 18, with 17 being the age limit in 11 states. This has been an issue on which states have recently amended their laws, with the trend toward raising the age of juvenile court jurisdiction to 18, expanding youth’s access to the the juvenile justice system rather than the adult criminal justice system (Arya, 2011).

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Figure 2.5 Percentage of Juvenile Arrests Under Age 15, by Offense Type, 2008

Source: U.S. Department of Justice, 2009.

The UCR disaggregates arrest statistics by age. Arrest data also indicate the mean age at which youth are arrested for violent offenses (18 years old) and property offenses (16 years old) (U.S. Department of Justice, 2008). Data on arrests of juvenile offenders under the age of 15 show that their involvement in serious violent crime and serious property crimes is sizable, 27% and 29%, respectively, and similar for nonindex offenses (27%; see Figure 2.5, above). The highest offense categories for this age group within nonindex offenses are sex offenses (47%) and vandalism (40%). Their highest offense category overall is arson, where they make up 56% of juvenile arrests. In terms of violent index crimes, youth in the lower age category are responsible for 34% of forcible rape arrests and 31% of aggravated assaults. Of the cases processed in juvenile court in 2005, juveniles under the age of 16 accounted for 57% of all delinquency cases (4% under the age of 12, 5% 12-year-olds, 10% 13-yearolds, 17% 14-year-olds, 23% 15-year-olds) (Sickmund, 2009; Sickmund et al., 2008).

This younger age group accounted for 64% of all juvenile person offense cases, 59% of property offense cases, 54% of public order offense cases, and 42% of drug offense cases (Sickmund, 2009). The rank ordering of these cases stays the same when looking at the proportions of juvenile cases processed of youth younger than age 14 (24% person offense cases, 20% property offense cases, 15% public order offense cases, and 8% drug offense cases) (Sickmund, 2009). Sixteen-year-olds make up the largest proportion of juvenile court cases (24%), with involvement lower for 17-year-olds (18%) (Sickmund et al., 2008). There has been very little change over time in terms of the age representation in the juvenile court. The most notable changes are a 20-year decrease in the number of youth under the age of 12 (6.4% in 1985 versus 3.8% in 2005) and slight increases in the numbers of 16- and 17-year-olds (Sickmund et al., 2008). In 2005, 15% of the cases transferred to adult court were of youth age 15 or younger, with the remaining 85% being 16 or older; however, that profile has

Youth in the Juvenile Justice System: Characteristics and Patterns of Involvement

shifted to include younger transfers over time. In 1985, only 7% of referrals were 15 years old or younger (Adams & Addie, 2009). Gender Females’ involvement in crime is lower compared to boys for the most serious crimes. Girls make up 18.6% of index violent offense arrests, 31.3% of index property offenses, and 18.6% of the nonindex offenses. Notably, females make up 69.6% of those arrested for prostitution and 55.2% of those arrested for running away. Based on the UCR, juvenile female involvement has been slowly on the rise over time. In 1980, girls made up 21% of arrests, with recent data reporting that girls make up 30% of all arrests in 2008 (U.S. Department of Justice, 2009). Between 2000 and 2009, arrest rates decreased 22.9% for boys and 13.1% for girls. The reductions seen during this period are most significant when looking at index property crimes—down 29.2% for boys, but up almost 1% for girls. Index violent crimes since 2000 are down 14.5% for boys and down 16.9% for girls (U.S. Department of Justice, 2010). The most significant changes in the female percentage of arrests can be attributed to increases in simple assaults (up 13% from 1980 to 2008), aggravated assaults (up 8%), and larceny-theft (up 18%) (U.S. Department of Justice, 1981, 2009). It is primarily for these offenses that gender differences are narrowing. However, detailed data analyses do not conclude that girls are becoming overall more violent; rather explanations focus on how changes, from law enforcement practices to zero-tolerance policies in schools, are driving the increase in girls’ arrests (Zahn et al., 2008). Juvenile court statistics show that in 2007, females made up about 27% of youth processed in juvenile court, a number that has been also

35

on the rise since 1985, when girls made up 19% of all court-involved juveniles (Sickmund et al., 2008). For most offenses, female delinquency cases have grown more or decreased less than male delinquency cases (Snyder & Sickmund, 2006). However, overall, males appear to be receiving harsher treatment than females, which could be related to contextual differences in offending, indicating more serious typical offenses for males within broad offense categories (Zahn et al., 2008). For example, in 2005, males were more likely than females to be detained (22.5% versus 16.6%), more likely to be handled formally (58.9% versus 48.0%), and more likely to be adjudicated delinquent (39.1% versus 30.5%) (Sickmund et al., 2008). Limitations in the data collected, such as the absence of information on the seriousness of the behavior or a youth’s court history, both of which can influence case outcome, require caution in making gender comparisons (Snyder & Sickmund, 2006; see Sherman & Greenstone, Chapter 7, this volume). With the increased concern over how status offenses are managed, a new problem has developed, particularly with regard to the processing of girls for whom status offenses have always represented a larger proportion of committing offenses compared to boys (Chesney-Lind, 1997). When status offenses are relabeled as criminal offenses or youth find their way into the system for violating a valid court order related to a status offense, the deinstitutionalization of status offenses is thwarted and what is known as bootstrapping occurs. In bootstrapping, a status offense becomes a delinquency through mechanisms for enforcement of technical violations of court orders or probation. Evidence exists that girls are more likely than boys to be detained for minor offenses such as technical violation and status offenses (41% versus 25%) (Sherman, 2005).

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Race/Ethnicity Table 2.2 below presents arrest data by race. Native Americans (including Alaskan Natives) and Asians (including Pacific Islanders) comprise small percentages of arrest totals consistent with their representation in the population, and Whites are typically the majority group for every offense. Several notable exceptions exist where African American youth are the majority group represented;

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they are the serious violent offenses of murder (58%), robbery (67.3%), and the nonindex offenses of prostitution/vice (58.4%) and gambling (92.7%). Given that African American youth comprise 15% of the population under 18 years of age, they are overrepresented in every crime category (with the exception of alcohol-related offenses) compared to their representation in the population (Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, 2009). White youth, 76% of the

Table 2.2. Percentages of Arrests for Persons Under 18 Years of Age, by Crime Type and Race, 2009 Crime Type Nonindex offenses Other assaults Forgery and counterfeiting Fraud Embezzlement Stolen property; buying, receiving, possessing Vandalism Weapons (carrying, possessing, etc.) Prostitution and commercialized vice Sex offenses Drug abuse violations Gambling Offenses against the family and children Driving under the influence Liquor laws Drunkenness Disorderly conduct Vagrancy All other offenses (except traffic) Suspicion Curfew and loitering law violations Runaways Index Violent Offenses Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter Forcible rape Robbery Aggravated assault Index Property Offenses Burglary Larceny-theft Motor vehicle theft Arson Total Arrests Representation in the Population (2009) Source: U.S. Department of Justice, 2010.

White

Black

Native American

Asian

67.6 58.6 66.4 61.9 63.8 54.6 78.4 60.7 39.7 71.2 72.4 6.8 73.9 92.0 89.4 88.5 56.8 71.5 69.2 42.3 60.8 65.7 46.4 40.4 63.4 31.1 55.4 63.9 60.9 65.0 54.0 76.7 65.9 77.2

29.6 39.2 32.2 36.0 33.3 43.6 19.2 37.3 58.4 26.6 25.6 92.7 24.3 5.1 6.2 8.7 41.4 27.3 28.0 57.1 37.1 26.7 51.6 58.0 34.5 67.3 42.4 33.2 37.3 31.8 43.2 20.6 31.3 16.2

1.3 1.1 0.5 1.1 0.2 0.8 1.2 0.8 0.4 0.8 0.9 0.0 1.3 1.8 3.1 1.9 1.0 0.4 1.1 0.0 1.0 2.2 0.8 0.9 0.8 0.4 1.0 1.2 0.9 1.2 1.5 1.3 1.2 1.5

1.5 1.1 0.9 1.0 2.7 1.0 1.2 1.2 1.5 1.4 1.1 0.5 0.4 1.2 1.3 0.8 0.8 0.7 1.8 0.6 1.2 5.4 1.2 0.7 1.3 1.2 1.2 1.7 1.0 2.0 1.4 1.4 1.6 5.2

Youth in the Juvenile Justice System: Characteristics and Patterns of Involvement

total juvenile population in the United States, represent the vast majority of arrests for the offenses of driving under the influence (92.5%), liquor law violations (90.2%), and drunkenness (88.7%) (Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, 2009). Fifteen percent of the juvenile population in the United States is Hispanic; however, this number is distributed across racial categories (22.5% of Native Americans are Hispanic, while 17.4% of Whites, 4.7% of African Americans, and 3.4% of Asians are Hispanic) (National Center for Health Statistics, 2008). The percentage of Hispanic youth under 18 years old is projected to make the most significant gains in the U.S. population, with one in four youth belonging to this ethnic group by the year 2021, compared to their current representation of 22% (Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, 2009). Data on ethnicity are not collected in the UCR or in juvenile court statistics, so it is difficult to provide a national profile of Hispanic youth involved in the system. Explaining the disproportionate treatment experienced by minority groups is difficult, but research suggests a complex interplay

between existing biases in the policies and practices of law enforcement and justice systems and social conditions that place youth at increased risk for delinquency (Pope, Lovell, & Hsia, 2002; see Bell & Mariscal, Chapter 6, this volume; Vaught, Chapter 15, this volume). A 1-day snapshot of youth held in detention illustrates disproportionate minority contact, showing that in 2006, African American youth were 6 times as likely to be in detention compared to White youth. Latino youth were more than twice as likely, and Native American youth were almost 4 times as likely to be held in detention compared with White youth (W. Haywood Burns Institute, n.d.) (see Figure 2.6). African American youth made up 33% of delinquency cases handled in 2007 (at 16% of the U.S. population), although their representation increases for person-related offenses (41%) and public-order offenses (34%), and decreases for property-related offenses (30%) and drug offenses (25%) (Knoll & Sickmund, 2010). Black youth are 12% more likely than White youth to be formally processed and 9% more likely to be waived to adult court (Knoll & Sickmund, 2010). Of all the youth

Figure 2.6 Detention Rates Trends by Race (per 10,000 youth)

30 25 20 15 10 5 0 1997

1999 White

Source: W. Haywood Burns Institute.

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2001

African American

2003 Latino

2006 Native American

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waived to adult court, African American youth made up 37% of the waivers, compared with 59% of the waivers made up by White youth; however, it is for person and drug offenses that disproportionate minority numbers are most dramatic, as a greater percentage of Black youth are transferred into the adult system for these offenses than are White youth (Adams & Addie, 2010). Black youth are also 27% more likely to be placed in a residential setting and 14% less likely to be given probation compared to their White counterparts (Knoll & Sickmund, 2010). In 2002, three fourths of the 4,100 juveniles admitted to adult prisons were youth of color (Poe-Yamagata & Jones, 2007). Seventy-seven percent of juveniles serving life sentences are non-White, supporting research showing the cumulative and increasing disadvantage experienced by minorities as they move through the juvenile justice system (Nellis & King, 2009; Poe-Yamagata & Jones, 2007; see Bell & Mariscal, Chapter 6, this volume). Hispanic youth experience similar disproportionate minority contact to African American youth; however, these youth have been deemed largely “invisible” due to shortcomings in available data on ethnicity (Arya, Villarruel, Villanueva, & Augarten 2009; Poe-Yamagata & Jones, 2007; see Bell & Mariscal, Chapter 6, this volume). Fourteen states and the District of Columbia participated in a study that found that Latino/ a youth were sent to detention and residential facilities in the juvenile justice system more often their White counterparts and for longer periods of time (even when controlling for offense type and delinquent histories) (Villarruel & Walker, 2002). Nationally, 32% of youth incarcerated are Latino/a, based on figures from the U.S Census Bureau data on the incarcerated population in 2000 (Human

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Rights Watch, 2002). Latino/a youth were also transferred to adult court more frequently than their White counterparts (Villarruel & Walker, 2002). Geography The UCR does not break arrests down by specific geographical region and age; however, arrest rates are highest for juveniles who live in metropolitan areas, accounting for 12.1% of all arrests versus 8.8% of all arrests in nonmetropolitan areas (U.S. Department of Justice, 2008). Within metropolitan areas, juveniles make up 15.2% of all arrests in the suburbs and that number increases to 16.8% in cities. The highest rates of juvenile crime involvement in serious violent crimes (17.2%) and serious property crimes (26.8%) are found in cities (U.S. Department of Justice, 2008). Urban jurisdictions are also more likely than nonurban areas to impose harsher dispositions, a factor compounding minority representation due to the concentration of minority youth in urban areas (Snyder & Sickmund, 2006). The growth of the juvenile population has not been, and is not projected to be, evenly distributed among states. Between 2005 and 2015, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, and Florida are expected to experience the largest increases in their juvenile population. More than one third of the states are projected to experience a decline in this population, with North Dakota, Vermont, New York, West Virginia, Maine, and the District of Columbia projecting the most significant declines (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 2005). Disabilities and Mental Health Issues Youth with disabilities are overrepresented in the juvenile justice system, and this assessment

Youth in the Juvenile Justice System: Characteristics and Patterns of Involvement

typically occurs once a youth is involved in the juvenile corrections system. Having a disability, however, can also affect a youth’s experiences in the system (see Beyer, Chapter 1, this volume; Boundy & Karger, Chapter 14, this volume). For example, youth with disabilities may be more likely to confess or to have problems communicating with their lawyers (Muller, 2005). They are more likely to plead guilty, be committed, and serve a longer sentence, and less likely to have their sentence appealed, be placed on probation, or be given some type of diversion program (Muller, 2005). Youth with emotional disabilities account for about 8% of students with disabilities in the school system; however, this number goes up to 47% among a national sample of incarcerated youth (Quinn, Rutherford, Leone, Osher, & Poirier, 2005; U.S. Department of Education, 2005). This condition is characterized by an inability to build or maintain relationships, inappropriate behaviors or feelings under normal circumstances, a pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression, or a tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears related to personal or school problems as defined by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (2004). This population typically experiences co-occurring problems related to behavior, academics, drug use, and mental health (Gagnon & Richards, 2008). Approximately 20% of youth with emotional disturbances have been arrested, or are in detention or on probation prior to leaving school (Snyder & Sickmund, 2006). Thirty-nine percent of youth incarcerated in the juvenile justice system have learning disabilities and almost 5% meet the classification for mental retardation (Gagnon & Richards, 2008). The majority of youth entering correctional and detention settings are testing below skill level (66% below in reading and 68% below in mathematics) (U.S.

39

Department of Education, 2006). Youth with learning disabilities are three times more likely to join a gang than youth who are not disabled (Snyder & Sickmund, 2006). Mental health concerns and needs are also prevalent in this population. For example, in a large-scale study of Chicago-area youth in detention facilities, almost 60% of males and more than two thirds of females met the criteria for at least one psychiatric disorder, and more than 40% of the sample met the criteria for a disruptive behavior disorder (Teplin, Abram, McClelland, Dulcan, & Mericle, 2002). Significant variations were found in race and gender with females, non-Hispanic Whites, and older youth showing higher rates of most disorders (Teplin et al.). The connection between disabilities and mental health needs of youth in the juvenile justice system have been inadequately studied and addressed (Gagnon & Richards, 2008; see Braverman & Morris, Chapter 3, this volume).

JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM REFORM A reform agenda in juvenile justice has clearly begun to take hold but needs empirical research to flourish (see Butts & Roman, Chapter 24, this volume). Research is needed in order to develop a more complete national picture of youth as they move through the system. If there were a rich and comprehensive national data collection effort, “who these kids and families are” might well help drive reform and the implementation of new strategies for intervention. At present, there are many descriptive factors that are simply not available that might better explain youth’s initial involvement in the system, as well as indicate how their circumstances change

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as they move through the system. Currently, the diversity within juvenile court jurisdictions and the lack of standardization make it impossible to examine the effectiveness of various sanctions, or to glean a national picture of the youth, let alone identify the best predictors of recidivism. Some global deficiencies in current data collection efforts even make it difficult to determine the number of youth who are actually involved in the system. For example, the UCR and the juvenile court statistics are incident based, as opposed to offender based. This method of tracking incidents makes it almost impossible to identify high-rate offenders on a systemic level, let alone incidents that have multiple offenders/defendants (see Schneider & Simpson, Chapter 22, this volume). Similarly, the current method of systemic-level data collection makes it difficult to ascertain trends in less serious offenses, since typically only the most serious offense or most severe disposition is recorded. Likewise, currently reported statistics do not include the seriousness of the behavior (which may not match the charge all that well), contextual offense variables, or a youth’s prior offenses making cross-race and sex comparisons in processing problematic, for example. As previously mentioned, national level data sources on system-involved juveniles do not distinguish ethnicity, nor do they provide information on youth involved with multiple systems, particularly related to disability and mental health. Moreover, most juvenile justice and other youth agencies do not have the data capacity to work across agencies to view youth in their family and community contexts, leaving an incomplete snapshot of youth in individual systems (see Schneider & Simpson, Chapter 22, this volume). Effective reform requires the deeper understanding that greater data capacity and research would provide.

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REFERENCES Adams, B., & Addie, S. (2010). Delinquency cases waived to criminal court, 2007. Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, U.S. Government Printing Office. Akers, R. L., & Sellers, C. S. (2008). Criminological theories: Introduction, evaluation, and application. Los Angeles, CA: Roxbury. Allard, P., & Young, M. (2002). Prosecuting juveniles in adult court: The practitioner’s perspective. Journal of Forensic Psychology, 2 (2),65–77. American Correctional Association. (2008). 2008 Directory: Adult and juvenile correctional departments, institutions, agencies, and probation and parole authorities. Alexandria, VA: American Correctional Association. Arya, N. (2011). State trends: Legislative victories from 2005–2010 removing youth from the adult criminal justice system. Washington, DC: Campaign for Youth Justice. Arya, N., Villarruel, F., Villanueva, C., & Augarten, I. (2009). America’s invisible children: Latino youth and the failure of justice. Washington, DC: Campaign for Youth Justice. Beck, A., Harrison, P., & Guerino, P. (2010). Sexual victimization in juvenile facilities reported by youth, 2008–2009. Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Government Printing Office. Bernburg, J. G., & Krohn, M. D. (2003). Labeling, life chances, and adult crime: The direct and indirect effects of official intervention in adolescence on crime in early adulthood. Criminology, 41 (4), 1287–1318. Bishop, D. M. (2000). Juvenile offenders in the adult criminal justice system. In M. Tonry (Ed.), Crime and justice: A review of research (Vol. 27, pp. 81–167). Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Bishop, D. M., & Frazier, C. E. (2000). Race effects in juvenile justice decision-making: Findings of a statewide analysis. Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology, 86, 392–414. Blumstein, A., Cohen, J., & Farrington, D. P. (1988). Criminal career research: Its value for criminology. Criminology, 26, 1–35. Bureau of Justice Statistics. (2008). Crime and victims statistics, 2007. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. Butts, J. A., & Mears, D. P. (2001). Reviving juvenile justice in a get-tough era. Youth & Society, 33(2), 169–198.

Youth in the Juvenile Justice System: Characteristics and Patterns of Involvement Chesney-Lind, M. (1997). The female offender: Girls, women, and crime. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Chesney-Lind, M., & Shelden, R. (2004). Girls, delinquency, and juvenile justice. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. Day, J. C. (1996). Population projections of the United States by age, sex, race, and Hispanic origin: 1995 to 2050. Washington, DC: Bureau of the Census, U.S. Government Printing Office. Elliott, D. S., & Ageton, S. S. (1980). Reconciling race and class differences in self-reported and official estimates of delinquency. American Sociological Review, 45(1), 95–110. Elliott, D. S., Huizinga, D., & Ageton, S. S. (1985). Explaining delinquency and drug use. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage. Elliott, D. S., & Menard, S. (1996). Delinquent friends and delinquent behavior: Temporal and developmental patterns. In J. D. Hawkins (Ed.), Delinquency and crime: Current theories (pp. 28–67). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics. (2009). America’s children: Key national indicators of well-being, 2009. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. Feld, B. C. (1998). Juvenile and criminal justice systems’ responses to youth violence. In M. Tonry & M. H. Moore (Eds.), Crime and Justice: A Review of Research. Vol. 24: Youth Violence (pp. 189–261). Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Forst, M. L., Fisher, B. A., & Coates, R. B. (1985) Indeterminate and determinate sentencing of juvenile delinquents: A national survey of approaches to commitment and release decision-making. Juvenile and Family Court Journal, 36 (2), 1–12. Frazier, C. E., Bishop, D. M., & Lanza-Kaduce, L. (1999). “Get tough” juvenile justice reforms: The Florida experience. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 564, 167–184. Gagnon, J. C., & Richards, C. (2008). Making the right turn: A guide about improving transition outcomes of youth involved in the juvenile corrections system. Washington, DC: National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth, Institute for Educational Leadership. Graham v. Florida, 120 S. Ct. 2011, 78 USLW 4387 (2010). Holland, P., & Mlyniec, W. J. (1995). Whatever happened to the right to treatment? The modern quest for a historical promise. Temple Law Review, 68, 1791–1835.

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Human Rights Watch. (2002). Backgrounders: Race and incarceration in the United States. New York, NY: Author. Human Rights Watch. (2008). The rest of their lives: Life without parole for youthful offenders in the United States. Executive summary. New York, NY: Author. In re Gault. (1967). The Supreme Court of the United States, 387 U.S. 1. In D. L. Parry (Ed.), Essential readings in juvenile justice (pp. 87–101). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall. In re Winship. (1970). The Supreme Court of the United States, 397 U.S. 358. In D. L. Parry (Ed.), Essential readings in juvenile justice (pp. 102–105). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall. Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004, Pub. L. No. 108-446, § 302, 118 Stat. 2803 (codified as amended at 20 U.S.C. § 1415 (2004). Retrieved from www.ed.gov/offices /osers/idea/the_law.html Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974 (JJDPA) (P.L. 93-415, 88 Stat. 1109) and subsequent reauthorizations (1977, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 2002). Kent v. United States. (1966). The Supreme Court of the United States, 383 U.S. 541. In D. L. Parry (Ed.), Essential readings in juvenile justice (pp. 79–86). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall. Knoll, C., & Sickmund, M. (2010). Delinquency cases in juvenile court, 2007. Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, U.S. Government Printing Office. Krezmien, M. P., Leone, P. E., Zablocki, M. S., & Wells, C. (2009) Juvenile court referrals and the public schools: Nature and extent of the practice of five states. Unpublished manuscript, University of Maryland. Krisberg, B. (2005). Juvenile justice: Redeeming our children. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Lerner, R., Taylor, C. & von Eye, A. (Eds.). (2002). Pathways to positive development among diverse youth. Indianapolis, IN: Wiley. Livsey, S., Sickmund, M., & Sladky, A. (2009). Juvenile residential facility census, 2004: Selected findings. Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, U.S. Government Printing Office. Masten, A. S., & Powell, J. L. (2003). A resiliency framework for research, policy and practice. In Luthar, S. (Ed.), Resiliency and vulnerability: Adaptation in the context of childhood adversity (pp. 1–29). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

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Mears, D. P., & Travis, J. (2004). Youth development and reentry. Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice, 2(1), 3–20. Mennel, R. M. (1972). Origins of the juvenile court: Changing perspectives on the legal rights of juveniles. Crime and Delinquency, 18, 68–78. Mohr, H. (2008, March 2). 13,000 abuse claims in juvie centers. USA Today. Retrieved from www.usa today.com/news/nation/2008-03-02-1668706373 _x.htm Muller, E. (2005). The juvenile justice system and youths with disabilities. InForum: Brief Policy Analysis. Alexandria, VA: National Association of State Directors of Special Education. National Center for Health Statistics. (2008). Estimates of the July 1, 2000–July 1, 2007, United States resident population from the Vintage 2007 postcensal series by year, county, age, sex, race, and Hispanic origin. Retrieved from www.cdc.gov/nchs/about/major /dvs/popbridge/popbridge.htm Nellis, A., & King, R. S. (2009). No exit: The expanding use of life sentences in America. Washington, DC: Sentencing Project. Nye, F. I., Short, J. F., & Olson, V. (1958). Socioeconomic status and delinquent behavior. American Journal of Sociology, 63, 381–389. Office of the Surgeon General. (2001). Youth violence: A report to the Surgeon General. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved from www.surgeongeneral.gov/library /youthviolence Osgood, D. W., O’Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., & Johnston, L. D. (1989). Time trends and age trends in arrests and self-reported illegal behavior. Criminology, 27 (3), 389–418. Poe-Yamagata, E., & Jones, M. A. (2007). And justice for some: Differential treatment of youth of color in the justice system. Oakland, CA: National Council on Crime and Delinquency. Pollard, J. A., Hawkins, J. D., & Arthur, M. (1999). Risk and protection: Are both necessary to understand diverse behavioral outcomes in adolescence? Social Work Research, 23(3), 145–158. Pope, C. E., Lovell, R., & Hsia, H. M. (2002). Disproportionate minority confinement: A review of the research literature from 1989 through 2001. Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, U.S. Government Printing Office. President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice. (1967). The task force report:

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Juvenile delinquency and youth crime. Washington, DC: U.S Government Printing Office. Puzzanchera, C., Adams, B., & Sickmund, M. (2010). Juvenile court statistics 2006–2007. Pittsburgh, PA: National Center for Juvenile Justice. Puzzanchera, C., & Sickmund, M. (2008). Juvenile court statistics 2005. Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, U.S. Government Printing Office. Quinn, M. M., Rutherford, R. B., Leone, P. E., Osher, D. M., & Poirier, J. M. (2005). Youth with disabilities in juvenile corrections: A national survey. Exceptional Children, 71, 339–345. Saleebey, D. (2005). The strengths approach to practice. In D. Saleebey (Ed.), The strengths perspective in social work practice (4th ed., pp. 49–58). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon. Scott, E., & Steinberg, L. (2008). Rethinking juvenile justice. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Sherman, F. (2005). Juvenile detention reform for girls: Challenges and solutions. Baltimore, MD: Annie E. Casey Foundation. Sickmund, M. (2009). Delinquency cases in juvenile court, 2005. Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, U.S. Government Printing Office. Sickmund, M., Sladky, A., & Kang, W. (2008). Easy access to juvenile court statistics: 1985–2005. Retrieved from www.ojjdp.ncjrs.gov/ojstatbb/ezajcs/ Skiba, R. J. (2000). Zero tolerance, zero evidence: An analysis of school disciplinary practice. Bloomington: Indiana Education Policy Research Center. Snyder, H. N., & Sickmund, M. (2006). Juvenile offenders and victims: 2006 national report. Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, U.S. Government Printing Office. Teplin, L. A., Abram, K. M., McClelland, G. M., Dulcan, M. K., & Mericle, A. A. (2002). Psychiatric disorders in youth in juvenile detention. Archives of General Psychiatry, 59, 1133–1143. Torbet, P., Gable, R., Hurst, H., Montgomery, I., Szymanski, L., & Thomas, D. (1996). State responses to serious and violent juvenile crime: Research report. Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, U.S. Government Printing Office. U.S. Bureau of the Census. (2005). Interim projections of the population by selected age groups for the United States and the States: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2030

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[Data file]. Retrieved from www.census.gov /population/projections/SummaryTabC1.pdf U.S. Department of Education. (2005). Twenty-seventh annual report to congress on the implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Jessup, MD: Education Publications Center. U.S. Department of Education. (2006). National Evaluation and Technical Assistance Center for the Education of Children and Youth Who Are Neglected, Delinquent, or At Risk (NDTAC). State and national fast facts. Retrieved from www.neglecteddelinquent.org U.S. Department of Justice. Federal Bureau of Investigation. (1981). Crime in the United States, 1980. Retrieved from www.fbi.gov/ucr U.S. Department of Justice. Federal Bureau of Investigation (2008). Crime in the United States, 2007. Retrieved from www.fbi.gov/ucr U.S. Department of Justice. Federal Bureau of Investigation (2009). Crime in the United States, 2008. Retrieved from www.fbi.gov/ucr

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U.S. Department of Justice. Federal Bureau of Investigation (2010). Crime in the United States, 2009. Retrieved from www.fbi.gov/ucr Villarruel, F. A., & Walker, N. E. (2002). ¿Donde esta la justicia?: A call to action on behalf of Latino and Latina youth in the U.S. justice system. Washington, DC: Building Blocks for Youth. W. Haywood Burns Institute. For Juvenile Justice Fairness and Equity. DMC Fact Sheet, www.burnsinstitute .org/downloads/BI%20DMC%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf Wald, J., & Losen, D. J. (2003). Defining and redirecting a school-to-prison pipeline. New Directions for Youth Development, 99, 9–15. Williams, J. R., & Gold, M. (1972). From delinquent behavior to official delinquency. Social Problems, 20(2), 209–229. Zahn, M. A., Brumbaugh, S., Steffensmeier, D., Feld, B. C., Morash, M., Chesney-Lind, M., . . . Kruttschnitt, C. (2008). Violence by teenage girls: Trends and context. Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency.

Juvenile Justice: Advancing Research, Policy, and Practice Edited by Francine T. Sherman and Francine H. Jacobs Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

CHAPTER

3

The Health of Youth in the Juvenile Justice System PAULA BRAVERMAN

AND

ROBERT MORRIS

T

his chapter begins with a detailed profile of the physical and mental health of youth currently in the juvenile justice system and an overview of some of the salient findings presented in these studies. The data offered confirm, unsurprisingly, that these youth have greater health challenges and less access to quality health care than would be considered acceptable in most communities in this country. Although juvenile justice involvement may provide an opportunity to improve the health of these youth by providing services that may not be available or accessible at home, being incarcerated can also compromise their health and well-being. Clearly, the more potentially efficacious point at which to intervene is before youth enter the system altogether. The second section of this chapter, then, provides an ecological view of the factors associated with both juvenile delinquency and poor health status, in an attempt to stimulate the thoughtful development and implementation of primary prevention efforts to address these two overlapping concerns.

(Council on Scientific Affairs, 1990; Golzari, Hunt, & Anoshiravani, 2006) who commonly present with unaddressed physical and mental health needs at higher rates than the general adolescent population (Forrest, Tambor, Riley, Ensminger, & Starfield, 2000; Morris et al., 1995; Sedlak & Bruce, 2010; Sedlak & McPherson, 2010). Although many of their health problems are the same as youth in their age group (e.g., dermatologic, respiratory, dental, gastrointestinal, genitourinary, and metabolic problems), youth in the juvenile justice system are at greater risk for other medical issues. In part, this is because many of these youth engage in high-risk behaviors, including violence, substance abuse, and unsafe sexual activity (Morris et al., 1995; Litt & Cohen, 1974). A recently published study summarized data from the Survey of Youth in Residential Placement (SYRP). This survey, conducted by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), utilized audio computerassisted self-interview surveys from a representative sample of 7,073 youth age 10–20 years in residential placement throughout the United States in the spring of 2003 (Sedlak & McPherson, 2010). This self-reported information obtained directly from youth echoes and confirms the other published studies in the literature, which report on specific clinical

OVERVIEW Youth entering correctional facilities are a high-risk, medically underserved population 44

The Health of Youth in the Juvenile Justice System

data obtained by health-care professionals. The SYRP report also clearly demonstrates the disconnect between the need for physical and mental health services and the provision of appropriately matched services for youth in custody. In this chapter, we sketch out the dimensions and characteristics of these health needs.

PHYSICAL HEALTH This section provides an overview of the health needs of youth in custody. Where available, more detail is provided on specific physical health conditions. Extent of Health Problems Data from the SYRP provide an overview of the extent of health needs among youth in custody (Sedlak & McPherson, 2010). Approximately two thirds of youth reported a physical health-care need including dental, vision, or hearing (37%); illness (28%); injury (25%); and other unspecified physical health problems (29%). Males were more likely than females to report treatment needs related to injuries while females were more likely than males to report health-care needs related to illness, vision, dental, and hearing. This data are similar to other previously published studies described below which, although not in most cases nationally representative data, provide additional detail not presented in the SYRP report. The most comprehensive study evaluating the health issues of youth in the juvenile justice system was published in 1980 and described 88,106 youth admitted over 11 years to a secure detention facility in New York (Hein et al., 1980). In that survey, 46% of youth were found to have a medical problem. The

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diagnoses ranged from minor dermatologic complaints to traumatic injuries, drug overdoses or drug abstinence, psychiatric issues, and other body systems complaints. Particular note was made of dental issues, positive tuberculosis tests, sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy, abnormal Pap smears, and signs of abuse and medical neglect. Of the 3,353 teens admitted to the infirmary, 20% had unresolved medical problems that required follow-up after release from detention. Two studies provide a national perspective on the risk taking behaviors that contribute to health problems among juvenile justice youth. The first is a 1991 survey conducted by the National Commission on Correctional Health Care included 1,801 minors from 39 correctional facilities in the United States (Morris et al., 1995). These youth were predominantly younger than age 18 (mean age of 15.4 years old in short-term facilities and 15.8 years old in long-term facilities) and had rates of substance abuse, trauma, sexual activity without protection, suicidal ideation, and violence that were higher than general high school populations. The recently published SYRP confirmed the high rates of self-reported mental and emotional problems, substance abuse, and traumatic experiences. This report included a comparison of reported alcohol and drug use to data from the 2003 National Survey on Drug Use and Health demonstrating higher lifetime use among youth in custody (Sedlak & McPherson, 2010). Another recent study of 819 youth admitted to a detention center in Alabama over an 18-month period in the mid-1990s found that 16.5% had been hospitalized prior to detention for sports injuries, trauma, or medical reasons (Feinstein et al., 1998). Over one third had medical problems related to trauma from fights or stab and gunshot wounds. Of the

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youth studied, 16.7% had received previous treatment for mental illness, and 6.7% had been treated for substance abuse. In addition, 6.4% reported being on a prescription medication at the time of admission. The most common condition was asthma, with others including orthopedic problems (scoliosis, fracture), mental illness, pregnancy, and hearing problems (chronic otitis media, perforated tympanic membranes). Moreover, 10.6% had a medical condition that required medical follow-up after release. Similar results were found among a broader sampling of youth in 15 detention and long-term facilities in the Maryland Juvenile Justice System during the same time period (Shelton, 2000). In that study, over 45% had an identified medical condition. Specific Health Conditions The following section provides more detail on several specific health conditions. Trauma As discussed by Feinstein et al. (1998), the causes of injury in these youth are diverse (see Baker, Cunningham & Harris, Chapter 11, this volume). Several additional studies provide detail. In the 1991 National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC) study, almost 70% of youth had been involved in at least one fight in the previous year, and one quarter of these youth had resulting injuries that required medical care (Morris et al., 1995). Three quarters of these youth reported that a weapon was involved in at least one of these fights. Selfinjury was also common, with one fifth having considered suicide, 15.5% making at least one attempt, and 8.2% injured during an attempt in the previous year. In the Maryland study, almost one fifth had an injury, including burns, musculoskeletal, and head trauma, with 12%

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reporting lack of treatment for these injuries (Shelton, 2000). Additional detail about the nature of traumatic events was provided by Woolf and Funk (1985) in a review of almost all the medical records (369) of 10- to 17-yearolds who were admitted to a secure residential facility in North Carolina over a 4.5-year period beginning in 1978. One quarter of these youth were female, and over half had an injury requiring medical attention. One third of injuries were sports related, 20% caused by fights, 13% self-inflicted, 9% suicide attempts, 8% vocational, 3% horseplay, and 11% designated as “other.” Musculoskeletal injury (33%) was most common, followed by scratches/bruises (27%). Fourteen percent had lacerations requiring closure; 7% had a fracture; and over one quarter required referral outside the facility for further evaluation. The authors concluded that facilities must pay attention to maintaining physical safety from accidental and purposeful injury, including suicide attempts. Dental Dental issues also stand out as a significant health problem for youth in the juvenile justice system. Bolin and Jones’s (2006) study of a random sample, including 419 dental screenings conducted on 12- to 17year-olds from the Juvenile Detention Center in Dallas County, Texas, between September 1999 and December 2003, found that one half had untreated decay. High-urgency dental problems, such as infection, tooth or jaw fracture, pulpitis, or severe periodontal disease with bleeding, were identified in 6.2% of youth. Moderate-urgency conditions in 13.1% included cavitated asymptomatic decay or moderate gingivitis. This study highlighted the challenges in providing comprehensive dental care to this population unless they are long-term detainees.

The Health of Youth in the Juvenile Justice System

Reproductive Health Youth in the juvenile justice system engage in high-risk behaviors including unprotected sexual activity, which place them at risk for sexually transmitted diseases and HIV infection, as well as pregnancy and parenthood. The following sections provide additional information on reproductive health issues among these youth. Sexual Activity/Contraception Adolescents in the juvenile justice system have high rates of sexual activity and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) compared to other adolescent populations. The 1991 NCCHC study found that most of these youth had four or more lifetime sexual partners (Morris et al., 1995), a rate much higher than reported during that same time frame in the general population of high school youth. Similarly, STD incidence was double that of the general population. Use of contraception or condoms at last intercourse was reported by three quarters of high school youth compared to only one half of incarcerated youth, and 40–50% of high school youth used condoms as compared to less than one fifth of incarcerated youth. STD/HIV The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) 2009 Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance Report (CDC, 2010) found that the overall rate of chlamydia positivity among detained adolescent girls age 12–18 was 14.8% (4.7% for females age 12 and 16.2% for those age 16) while adolescent boys had an overall positivity rate of 6.6% (1.2% for males age 12 and 10.1% for those age 18). The overall rate of gonorrhea positivity for females was 3.9% (1.8% for females age 12 and 4.4.% for those age 16), while the overall positivity rate for males was 1.0% (0.1% for males age 12 and 1.4% for those age 18). Rates for syphilis, which are available in the 2007

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Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance Report (CDC, 2008a), were much lower, with the median rate of a serologic positivity of 0.2% (0.0–2.1%) for adolescent girls and 0.1% (0.0–0.9%) for adolescent boys. These rates are similar to data collected in a comparable study conducted between 1996 and 1999 (Mertz, Voight, Hutchins, Levine, & Jail STD Prevalence Monitoring Group, 2002). Results from one juvenile detention facility (Oh et al., 1994) found that 50% of gonorrhea and 90% of chlamydia infections were asymptomatic, while another study (Mertz et al., 2002) found even higher rates of asymptomatic infection, with only 2.7% of those with chlamydia and 7.3% of those with gonorrhea having symptoms. These studies indicate that most STDs will be diagnosed only by active screening. Unprotected sex with multiple partners, prostitution, injection drug use, and substance abuse by incarcerated youth puts them at risk for hepatitis B and C as well as HIV infection. The high rate of STDs also increases risk for HIV (CDC, 2008b; Elkington et al., 2008; Harwell, Trino, Rudy, Yorkman, & Gollub, 1999; Kim, McFarland, Kellogg, & Katz, 1999; Morris, Baker, Valentine, & Pennisi, 1998; Teplin, Mericle, McClelland, & Abram, 2003). The rate of hepatitis B in incarcerated adolescents ranges from 0–6% and the prevalence of hepatitis C virus is 2–3.5% (Weinbaum, Lyerla, & Margolis, 2003). Youth aged 13–17 admitted to a juvenile detention center in San Francisco between 1990 and 1995 showed an HIV-1 antibody–positive prevalence of 0.32% among 2,780 tests conducted (Kim et al., 1999). Serum specimens collected between 1990 and 1992 from adolescents in 33 correctional facilities found a rate of 0.3% (range 0–6.8%) (Sweeney, Lindegren, Buehler, Onorato, & Janssen, 1995). Despite the documented need for identifying youth with STDs, the 2004 Juvenile

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Residential Facility Census reported that only 18.5% of facilities offered STD testing for all adolescents on admission (Gallagher & Dobrin, 2007). Further, 8.3% of facilities did not make STD testing available, and the rest provided testing only when it was requested or deemed medically necessary. Similarly, only 4.3% of the facilities tested all youth for HIV, and 28.1% did not have HIV testing available. Pregnancy/Parenting Self-reported rates of parenthood among incarcerated teens are higher than in the general adolescent population. The nationally representative SRYP study found that 14% of youth in custody in 2003 reported having a child. Males (15%) were more likely to report having a child than females (9%). This compares to rates of 2% for males and 6% for females age 12–20 in the general population. Of those who were already parents, 12% were expecting another child indicating a female who was currently pregnant or a male whose female partner was pregnant. Overall, 20% of both males and females in the SYRP study were already parents or expecting a child (Sedlak & Bruce, 2010). These SYRP data add information to other studies, which have found that approximately one third of teens in juvenile correction facilities report that they have ever been pregnant (Lederman, Dakof, Larrea, & Hua, 2004; Williams & Hollis, 1999). The 2004 Juvenile Facilities Census study reported that at least 2.1% of girls are currently pregnant at any particular point in time (Gallagher, Dobrin, & Douds, 2007). Further in-depth study of pregnancies in the juvenile justice population is needed, since teen pregnancy rates vary by race/ethnicity, geographic location, and socioeconomic level and are continuously evolving. Fatherhood among adolescent males is also an important issue that needs further

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investigation. One study, of 125 adolescent males age 14–17 incarcerated in a juvenile correctional facility in 1994, found that one quarter had fathered a pregnancy and of those who were fathers, 41% had fathered more than one pregnancy (Nesmith, Klerman, Oh, & Feinstein, 1997). Pregnancies in these youth are complicated by underlying problems of substance abuse, posttraumatic stress disorder, and complex decisions about postdelivery options (Hufft, 2004). In addition, these young women may need an altered schedule with additional rest and may have higher caloric requirements. Most juvenile justice facilities do not have arrangements for infant residency or visitation, and the majority of facilities do not have parenting classes (Breuner & Farrow, 1995; Hufft, 2004; see Pinderhughes, Craddock, & Fermin, Chapter 9, this volume). Attention must be paid to the potential for postpartum depression and other psychological consequences. Despite these high pregnancy rates and the constellation of health issues they raise, the 2004 Juvenile Facilities Census found that only 15–17% of all facilities had universal pregnancy testing of all girls on admission (Gallagher, Dobrin, & Douds, 2007). Further, 4.5–6.6% did not provide pregnancy testing, and the rest performed testing only when it was deemed medically necessary or requested by the adolescent. Prenatal services are also lacking in some correctional facilities and approximately one quarter to one third of facilities had no obstetrical services (Gallager, Dobrin, & Douds, 2007). Another study with data from 430 facilities in 41 states found that one third failed to provide prenatal services and 60% of the facilities with detained pregnant youth had at least one obstetrical complication (Breuner & Farrow, 1995).

The Health of Youth in the Juvenile Justice System

MENTAL HEALTH AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE Currently available studies indicate that adolescents involved in the juvenile justice system have rates of psychiatric and substance abuse disorders that exceed those of the general adolescent population (Desai et al., 2006; Fazel, Doll, & Langstrom, 2008; Vermeiren, Jespers, & Moffitt, 2006). Some authors have suggested that the juvenile justice system has become the placement of last resort for youth with mental health disorders who are not receiving care in their communities (Martin, 2006; see also Beyer, Chapter 1, this volume). The SYRP (Sedlak & McPherson, 2010) does not provide diagnostic data; however, the report demonstrates the extent of self-reported mental and emotional problems. More than 60% of youth reported being easily upset, quick to lose their temper, and often angry. Fifty-one percent reported being unable to do what they wanted over the previous several months because of worry or being nervous and 52% felt lonely “too much of the time.” Determining the exact prevalence of these mental health and substance abuse disorders, including the specific subcategories of mental health diagnoses, has been challenging. A significant proportion of adolescents have multiple diagnoses (comorbidity) and/or

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co-occurring psychiatric and substance abuse diagnoses. While there are no national prevalence statistics on specific mental health diagnoses available for this population in the United States, studies from both the United States and other countries show prevalence rates ranging from approximately 50% to 100% when disruptive behavior disorders are included (Boesky, 2002). It is estimated that approximately one quarter of youth in the juvenile justice system have a severe mental health disorder that requires immediate treatment (Shufelt & Cocozza, 2006). Study Limitations The difficulty in determining the exact extent of mental health and substance abuse problems is related to the fact that most of the published studies have limitations in study design and data collection methodology (see Table 3.1). A few of these limitations warrant further discussion. The timing of the reported evaluations varied from the detention setting to longer term facilities. This is important because the stress of incarceration may affect the accuracy of mental health diagnoses, exacerbating various symptoms including suicidal ideation and self-injury/mutilation behaviors (Boesky, 2002). In addition, the source of information is also crucial and varies in these studies. Many studies

Table 3.1. Limitations and Variations Within the Literature on Reports About Mental Health and Substance Abuse Disorders Among Youth in the Juvenile Justice System  Data are specific to certain states and individual facilities or are from other countries.  Nonstandardized measures and different diagnostic instruments or techniques are used.  Sociodemographic variables such as age, gender, ethnicity, family environment, socioeconomic status, and criminal behavior are not comparable.  The timing of the evaluation varies from recent detention to postadjudication settings.  Potential bias exists based on selection of youth referred for psychiatric assessment.  Input from parents or teachers is not always added to youth self-report. Sources: Boesky, 2002; Shufelt, 2006; Teplin et al., 2002; Vermeiren, 2006.

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rely on self-reported impairment by youth, which may not be as accurate as when observations by parents and others, such as teachers, are included (Vermeiren et al., 2006). However, information from other informants is not always helpful. While one study found that one third of parents added substantial new information (Ko, Wasserman, McReynolds, & Katz, 2004), other studies found that adolescents actually reported higher rates of disorder and impairment than did their parents (Ko et al., 2004; Kramer et al., 2004). Certainly, reports from parents or other adults may lead to incorrect diagnoses when they include inaccurate or biased information (Boesky, 2002; Ko et al., 2004; Kramer et al., 2004). Parents and other adults may not be cognizant of the adolescent’s behavior or symptoms or may deny existing problems or accept different levels of behavior (Boesky, 2002; Vermeiren et al., 2006). The variation in sociodemographic variables between studies is important because mental health disorders result from a combination of inherited biological or psychological vulnerabilities, along with environmental stressors and supports as well as individual coping skills (Vermeiren et al., 2006). Studies of small samples of girls or ethnic minorities may significantly limit the interpretation of data since mental health diagnoses vary by gender and ethnicity (Shufelt & Cocozza, 2006; Teplin, Abram, McClelland, Dulcan, & Mericle, 2002). Comparisons within and between studies is also complicated by the fact that these youth have been exposed to different environmental experiences, which may include family conflict, physical and sexual abuse, domestic violence, neglect, experience with the foster care system, parental mental health and substance abuse, exposure to violence in their community, and easier access to drugs and alcohol (Boesky, 2002; Vermeiren et al., 2006).

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Prevalence Youth in the juvenile corrections system have a high prevalence of psychiatric and substance abuse disorders, with noted differences in rates when considering race/ethnicity and gender. These disorders also do not occur in isolation. Co-morbid psychiatric disorders and co-occurring psychiatric and substance abuse disorders have been documented in multiple studies. Overall Prevalence Based on a review of the worldwide literature from the 1960s through the 1990s, Roberts, Attkisson, and Rosenblatt (1998) found a mean prevalence rate of 16.5% (range 6.2%–41.3) for mental health disorders among adolescents in the general population. This compares to estimates of 50–100% of youth in the juvenile justice system with mental health disorders when conduct disorder is included (Boesky, 2002). The issue of whether to include disruptive behavior disorders such as conduct disorder in the prevalence analyses has been raised in the literature as an interesting issue, since conduct disorder diagnoses may reflect behavior that the juvenile will age out of naturally. When assessing selfreported behavior among adolescents, delinquency is very common, and multiple studies have demonstrated that the majority of adolescents in the general population participate in behaviors that would be considered delinquent (Moffitt, 1993). These behaviors are usually transient and part of the normal adolescent development, which include imitation of antisocial models/styles and social reinforcement. In fact, most of the adolescent offenders (85%) known to the criminal justice system stop offending by age 28 and severe persistent antisocial behavior over time is only found in approximately 5% of males. Those youth with early onset in childhood are more likely to be

The Health of Youth in the Juvenile Justice System

persistent than those who begin these behaviors during adolescence (Moffitt, 1993; Ruchkin, Koposov, Vermeiren, & Schwab-Stone, 2003). Until recently, the 1991 NCCHC study was the only published multisite study in the United States that identified self-reported substance use and mental health risk behaviors among youth in corrections (Morris et al., 1995). This study found that more than 80% of these youth had smoked cigarettes and almost all had tried alcohol. Although marijuana was the most commonly used illicit drug, 25.6% of females and 13.1% of males had used other drugs including injection drugs. Suicidal thought in the previous 12 months was not uncommon, with 21.8% having seriously considered suicide, 19.5% having made a plan, 15.5% with at least one attempt, and 8.2% having been injured by an attempt in the previous 12 months. The 2003 SYRP study (Sedlak & McPherson, 2010) found that 85% of youth had lifetime use of “any illegal drug,” and 50% had used an illegal drug other than marijuana. Lifetime alcohol use was reported by 74% of those surveyed, while 84% had used marijuana/hashish, 30% cocaine/crack, 26% ecstasy, 22% crystal meth, 19% acid/LSD, and 7% heroin. More than one half of these youth reported being drunk or high on drugs multiple times a week during the months leading up to being in custody. In addition, one fifth of those surveyed reported prior suicidal ideation; 22% had past suicide attempts. In order to better characterize the specific mental health and substance abuse issues among these youth, several recently published studies have attempted to eliminate some of the previous study design issues by using randomly selected youth, including more ethnic/racially diverse subjects, and using standardized screening and assessment instruments (Shufelt & Cocozza, 2006; Teplin et al., 2002;

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Wasserman, McReynolds, Ko, Katz, & Carpenter, 2005; Wasserman, McReynolds, Lucas, Fisher, & Santos, 2002). All of these studies utilized versions of the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children (DISC), a highly structured psychiatric interview based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual criteria. The Teplin study, conducted between 1995 and 1998, involved 1,829 youth at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center; Wasserman and colleagues’ studies, conducted in 1998 and 2001, involved 991 youth at probation intake in eight Texas counties and 292 youth in secure placement in New Jersey and Illinois. Shufelt’s 2006 study included youth from three previously understudied areas—Louisiana, Texas, and Washington— and involved over 1,400 youth from 29 different programs and facilities with oversampling of two understudied populations: Hispanic and Native American youth. A comparison of the results of these newer studies shows consistent findings, including prevalence rates within a smaller range of 45.7–70.4% for psychiatric and substance abuse diagnoses. Both the Teplin and Shufelt studies were able to demonstrate that the prevalence rates were not explained solely by disruptive behavior disorders, as both authors similarly found that when conduct disorder was eliminated from the diagnostic categories, 60.9% (Teplin) and 66.3% (Shufelt) of youth had a psychiatric or substance use disorder. Shufelt found that 45.5% of youth still had mental health diagnoses when both substance use and conduct disorder were eliminated, indicating a high level of mental illness in this population. Table 3.2 compares the results of these studies. Comorbid and Co-occurring Disorders Comorbidity of two or more psychiatric diagnoses as well as co-occurring psychiatric and

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Disorder

Rate Males %

Rate Females %

Any Disorder Any Affective Major depressive Any Anxiety Disorder1 Generalized anxiety Panic disorder Obsessive-compulsive Separation anxiety disorder2 Any Disruptive Behavior3 ADHD Oppositional–defiant Conduct disorder Any Substance Abuse

44.8–68.5 5.9–18.7 5.1–13 17.4–26.4 2.1–7.1 0.3–4.8 4.8–8.3 12.9–25.1 20–44.9 1.2–16.6 3.1–14.5 18.3–37.8 26.3–50.7

49.5–81.0 13.0–29.2 11.4–21.6 29.0–56.0 3.1–7.3 1.5–3.0 5.7–10.6 18.6–32.8 20–51.3 0.5–21.4 10.5–17.5 16.8–40.6 22–55.1

1 Only Teplin (2002) included “separation anxiety” in the data for the “Any Anxiety” category. 2 Separation anxiety disorder subcategory data is from Teplin (2002) and Wasserman (2005). 3 Teplin (2002) did not include ADHD under the “Any Disruptive Behavior” category; ADHD was reported as a separate category. Note: All subcategories under the bolded “Any” headings are from Teplin (2002) and Wasserman (2002, 2005). Sources: Shufelt et al., 2006; Teplin et al., 2002; Wasserman et al., 2002, 2005.

substance abuse disorders have been documented in multiple studies in the United States and other countries (Abram, Teplin, McClelland, & Dulcan, 2003; Atkins et al., 1999; Dixon, Howie, & Starling, 2004; Domalanta, Risser, Roberts, & Risser, 2003; Lederman et al., 2004; Robertson, Dill, Husain, & Undesser, 2004; Shufelt & Cocozza, 2006; Teplin et al., 2002; Ulzen & Hamilton, 1998; Vreugenhil, Doreleijers, Vermeiren, Wouters, & van Den Brink, 2004). In the study by Shufelt and Cocozza (2006), 79% of youth with a mental health disorder had two or more diagnoses with 60% having three or more mental health diagnoses. Further, 60.8% of youth with a mental health diagnosis also had a co-occurring substance use disorder, and this association was more common among youth with disruptive behavior disorders and mood disorders. Youth with substance use

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disorders commonly abuse multiple substances. McClelland, Elkington, Teplin, and Abram (2004) found that approximately one half of youth had one or more and one fifth had two or more substance use disorders. For those with an alcohol use disorder, 80% also had a drug use disorder, and for those with a drug use disorder, 50% also had an alcohol use disorder. Youth who have substance use problems are more likely to engage in high-risk sexual behavior, which places them at increased risk for STDs and HIV/AIDS. This increased risk includes youth with co-occurring substance use and other mental health diagnoses (Teplin et al., 2005). Racial/Ethnic Differences Utilizing a standardized diagnostic tool, Teplin et al. (2002) found that non-Hispanic whites had the highest rates of mental health disorders, and African American youth had the lowest. Hispanic youth fell in between these two groups. This difference, however, does not mean that minority youth do not have mental health/substance abuse treatment needs. In fact, concern has been raised in the literature that the actions of minority youth may be considered simply criminal behavior rather than the result of an emotional problem, making it more likely for them to become involved in the criminal justice rather than the mental health system (Boesky, 2002). Successful access to services may also be affected by important racial and/or ethnic differences in attitudes toward diagnosis and treatment of mental health and substance abuse. Some insight can be found from a qualitative study utilizing focus groups of African American youth in a detention center with diagnosed mental health disorders (Shelton, 2004). Youth in this study believed it was unacceptable to have a mental health disorder, and some were secretive about their experiences with mental

The Health of Youth in the Juvenile Justice System

illness, illustrating the need for awareness about cultural issues in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness. Low mental health service utilization among African American and Hispanic youth when compared to non-Hispanic white youth was also addressed by Rawal, Romansky, Jenuwine, and Lyons (2004). They found a need for addition services since all youth, regardless of race or ethnicity, had low service utilization rates. However, minority youth had evidence of more multisystem needs, and African American youth had higher scores for caregiver problems including motivation to provide care. They note that lower mental health service utilization among minorities may be related to a culture that places a stigma on mental health issues and relies on family members and non-mental health professionals. Gender Differences The better designed studies consistently found that females are more likely than males to have any psychiatric disorder, and specifically to be diagnosed with internalizing disorders such as anxiety and mood disorders (Shufelt et al., 2006; Teplin et al., 2002; Wasserman et al., 2005). In general, both females and males had similar rates of substance use disorders. However, within the category of substance abuse, Teplin and colleagues (2002) found that females had higher rates of a substance use disorder other than alcohol or marijuana. Another problem more commonly found among females is physical, sexual, and emotional abuse (Mason, Zimmerman, & Evans, 1998; McCabe, Lansing, Garland, & Hough, 2002). These findings were confirmed in the nationally representative data in the SYRP report (Sedlak & McPherson, 2010). Victims of physical or sexual abuse engage in riskier sexual behavior compared to their peers who do not report abuse (Hayes, 2009;

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Mason et al., 1998). As documented in data collected in the 1991 NCCHC study, victims of sexual abuse also had a twofold increased likelihood of reporting a history of STD as well as suicidal ideation, and suicide attempts (Morris et al., 1995). As summarized in a recent OJJDP report, when considering both genders, rates of physical abuse vary from 11% to 73%, while sexual abuse ranges from 10% to 68% (Hayes, 2009). The SYRP data showed that, in a nationally representative sample, 42% of females and 22% of males reported past physical abuse while 35% of females and 8% of males experienced prior sexual abuse (Sedlak & McPherson, 2010). Specific Mental Health Disorders Published studies provide additional information on specific mental health disorders among youth in the juvenile justice system. Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)/ Dissociative Disorder Several studies have specifically addressed PTSD and trauma with dissociation among delinquent youth. In addition to having higher rates of PTSD than general community samples, delinquent youth also report significant histories of witnessing and experiencing interpersonal violence. Dissociative disorder, which is associated with abuse and neglect, is also found in this population (Abram et al., 2004; Carrion & Steiner, 2000; Cauffman, Feldman, Waterman, & Steiner, 1998; Ford, Chapman, Hawke, & Albert, 2007; Steiner, Garcia, & Matthews, 1997). Suicide Suicidal ideation and suicide attempts are a major concern for youth in the juvenile justice system. Both the 1991 NCCHC study and 2003 SYRP found that a history of suicidal ideation and attempts were common in this population (Morris et al.,

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1995; Sedlak & McPherson, 2010), and several studies utilizing nationally representative samples have been published specifically addressing suicide within juvenile facilities. The first was a national census of public and private juvenile justice facilities in the United States during the years 2000 and 2002, which found that the leading cause of death in these facilities was suicide (20 out of 62 deaths) (Gallagher & Dobrin, 2006a). The second study included an analysis of suicides between 1995 and 1999 in public and private juvenile facilities and found that staff should be aware of most suicidal youth because a history of mental illness, as well as a current diagnosis of depression, was found in two thirds of victims and more than onehalf were taking a psychotropic medication (Hayes, 2009). In that study, hanging was the method of suicide in virtually all (98.7%) of the cases and two thirds of victims were in single occupancy rooms. Approximately one half of the deaths occurred between 6 PM and midnight, which includes the time frame youth were less likely to be alone. For those on room confinement, they were most likely to commit suicide during waking hours when they should have been involved in other interactive activities. This study suggests the need for further research to better understand the reasons for and role of confinement in suicide attempts in juvenile facilities. Reduction in suicides among juveniles in confinement may be possible by suicide risk screening and training staff in suicide prevention, as these efforts resulted in lower rates of suicide in the facilities described in an OJJDP report (Hayes, 2009). This finding is similar to that of Gallagher and Dobrin (2006b), that facilities screening all youth within 24 hours of admission had a lower suicide risk. Suicide prevention strategies need to be improved, as only one fifth of the facilities in the 2009 OJJDP report had the seven key components

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needed for suicide prevention in juvenile facilities (Hayes, 2009). Psychotropic Medications There are no national data on the use of psychotropic medications in the juvenile justice system, but data from two studies conducted in Pennsylvania and Oregon found that almost one half of youth in detention facilities and over two thirds in longer term facilities receive psychotropic medication as part of their mental health treatment plan. Although ideal treatment plans for mental health issues may include psychotropic medications, the length of stay, attitudes of the parent and adolescent, and resources for continuity of care need to be considered in prescribing these medications (Desai et al., 2006). The challenges of mental health screening, assessment, and continuity of care illustrate the complexity of designing and implementing effective treatment for youth in the juvenile justice system. Health-Care Standards Challenges exist in the provision of quality health care to youth in correctional facilities. The NCCHC has published standards for health services for youth in correctional facilities (NCCHC, 2004). However, data analyzed by Gallagher and Dobrin from the Juvenile Residential Facilities Census (2000, 2004; see Gallagher & Dobrin, 2007) and Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement (2003; see Gallagher & Dobrin, 2007) found that the overwhelming majority of facilities were not accredited by NCCHC and that there were significant deficits found when comparing reported practices to NCCHC standards (Gallagher & Dobrin, 2007). In addition, there are challenges related to the continuity of care between community health-care providers and health-care providers in the correctional

The Health of Youth in the Juvenile Justice System

system (Feinstein et al., 1998; Morris, 2001). In part, continuity is made more difficult by the prohibition on utilizing federal money (i.e., Medicaid benefits) to treat youth while they are incarcerated as well as, in many cases, termination rather than suspension of benefits resulting in a delay in reinstatement once the youth is released back into the community (Gupta, Kelleher, Pajer, Stevens, & Cuellar, 2005; Perez, Ro, & Treadwell, 2009).

FACTORS RELATING TO DELINQUENCY AND HEALTH STATUS We have just reviewed the literature on the physical and mental health status and treatment findings for youth in the juvenile justice system. Overall, the research shows that in most domains of physical and mental health, these youth fare worse than their counterparts outside of the juvenile justice system. The following section begins to explain why that is, and suggests responses, by reviewing the literature on factors associated with both delinquency and poor health status. These factors range from the biologic to the cultural and cover the ecological domains of individual, family, community, and social institutions. As these interrelated factors compound, the likelihood of delinquency may increase along with the risk of poor health and reduced access to health care. Thus, understanding them is essential to preventing delinquency and improving youth health. Socioeconomic Status Nearly 13 million children live in poverty (National Center for Children in Poverty, 2009), and socioeconomic status affects both health status and self-reported delinquency.

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Emerson points out that relative child poverty appears to be associated with health status, particularly in the macroeconomic aspect of the health of nations (2009). Child poverty is associated with unintentional injuries, juvenile homicide, low educational achievement, dropping out of school, poor peer relationships, feeling lonely, and mental health problems (Pickett & Wilkinson, 2007), all of which also tend to be found in delinquent youth as documented in the SYRP data (Sedlak & McPherson, 2010). Poverty is related to mortality risk, with the highest risk for 18- to 27-year-olds whose income is below the median of $20,190 (Rehkopf, Berkman, Coull, & Krieger, 2008). Adverse childhood experiences, such as frequent moves often associated with unstable socioeconomic circumstances, appear to be related to various health risks such as smoking and suicide (Dong et al., 2005). Economically disadvantaged communities with neighborhood violence and deviant peer groups may put middle childhood youth at particular vulnerability for antisocial behavior (Ingoldsby & Shaw, 2002; Seidman et al., 1998). Girls who live in poverty-stricken neighborhoods and who are victims of violence themselves are 2.2 times more likely to have behaved violently in the past year compared to girls who were not victimized. Girls from neighborhoods with poverty and homicides have higher rates of aggression (Molnar, Browne, Cerda, & Buka, 2005). Poverty is related to race and ethnicity in these findings; in 2007, Black and Hispanic juveniles were 3 times as likely to live in poverty as nonHispanic White youth (OJJDP, 2007). More generally, Leventhal and BrooksGunn reported the results of a comprehensive review of research on the effects of neighborhood residence on child and adolescent wellbeing. High socioeconomic status (SES) led to

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positive life achievement, while low SES and residential instability was related to poor behavioral/emotional outcomes (e.g., increased delinquency and problem behaviors in adolescents) (Leventhal & Brooks-Gunn, 2000). Sampson (2003) elaborated on social characteristics of communities and neighborhoods as they affect health disparities in the inner city. Both articles point to a need to understand the functions of communities in order to improve the health of their citizens. This is particularly evident in a British study of 5- to 10-year-olds in deprived neighborhoods who displayed higher levels of antisocial behavior at school entry and less improvement in antisocial behavior between ages 5 and 10. That behavioral finding was offset by neighborhood collective efficacy but only in deprived neighborhoods, leading the authors to suggest that neighborhood efficacy had a protective effect in young children (Odgers et al., 2009; see Hawkins, Vashchenko, & Davis, Chapter 12, this volume). Race and Culture Minority youth are disproportionately present both in the delinquency system and in the population of youth with reduced access to health care and poor health. Although there is a range of explanations offered, youth of color are represented among arrests and delinquency placements disproportionate to their presence in the population, and this disparity permeates the juvenile custody system including longterm facilities (see Bell & Mariscal, Chapter 6, this volume). This disparity remained stable over the last decade, with a slight decrease of the minority population in custody from 62% in 1997 to 61% in 2003 (Snyder, 2008; Snyder & Sickmund, 2006) and an increase in 2006 to 66% (OJJDP, 2007). Except for Vermont, Black youth’s custody rates in 2003

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exceeded rates for White youth across the states (Snyder & Sickmund, 2006). Black youth accounted for 38% of all youth in custody in 2003 (Snyder & Sickmund, 2006) and 41% of all males in custody in 2006 (OJJDP, 2007). Asian youth are an exception. In 1997, they comprised 4% of the juvenile population but only 2% of youth in secure detention (Hsia, Bridges, & McHale, 2004), and in 2006, they comprised 5% of the population but only 1% of youth in secure placement. Similarly, numerous studies report that racial and ethnic minorities have poor health and health care overall. For example, Shi and Macinko (2008) examined changes in medical care experiences between 1996 and 2002 for various racial groups and found that, although there were some fluctuations, racial minorities reported difficulties accessing care, worse health care, and worse health indicators that further declined in 2002. Flores and TomanyKorman (2008a) found similar results, as did Simpson and colleagues (2005) reviewing 2000–2002 data. The REACH 2010 Risk Factor Survey conducted in 21 minority communities showed that racial minorities had substantially greater socioeconomic risk factors and health burden than the general U.S. population, with type and degree varying somewhat among communities (Liao, Tucker, & Giles, 2004). The RAND Corporation in 2004 reported a wide range of socioeconomic, health, safety, and educational disparities faced by boys and men of color in California, all of which could increase the risk of offending and problems accessing health care. These included higher poverty rates of 27% as compared with 19% in the general population, higher HIV/AIDS rates than White peers (6.9 times higher for African Americans and 3.1 times higher for Latinos) and a higher likelihood of being imprisoned. Educational

The Health of Youth in the Juvenile Justice System

gaps compared to White youth, as evidenced by a lack of a high school diploma, are twice as high for African American youth and 7 times as high for Latinos (Davis, Kilburn, & Schultz, 2009). Likewise, substantial health disparities are found in Native American/Alaska Native youth compared to the general population (Castor et al., 2006). In a report on adolescent health and youth of color, the National Association of Social Workers pointed out that Native American youth have the worst health of any racial group and highest rate of violent death compared to “any other racial or ethnic group” (Clark, 2001). Ethnic minority youth also report less regular participation in physical exercise. A review of the scientific literature by Elster, Jarosik, VanGeest, and Fleming (2003) compared 31 studies addressing adolescent racial and ethnic disparities in health care, concluding that racial and ethnic disparities, independent of socioeconomic status, exist in selected areas of adolescent health care (Elster et al.). Similar disparities for oral health are found among racial/ethnic minorities (Dietrich, Culler, Garcia, & Henshaw, 2008). Flores and Tomany-Korman (2008b) observed that children in non-English-speaking homes experienced multiple disparities in medical and oral health, access to care, and use of services, adding another factor that relates to the racial disadvantage in health care. Engagement in psychiatric care in particular is an issue that may not just be related to access (see Oliveri, Towery, Jacobs & Jacobs, Chapter 18, this volume). Many Americans are reluctant to take psychiatric medications even though they are effective, and their reluctance may have cultural roots. Croghan’s study found that the majority of respondents would not take psychiatric medications (Croghan et al., 2003). This finding may help explain some of the factors related to whether

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detained youth continue on psychiatric medications when they are released. There are ethnic differences in perspectives toward depression in that African American and Latino youth and their parents have less knowledge about antidepressants and are less willing to seek treatment (Chandra et al., 2009). Thus, these negative factors are not confined solely to delinquent youth, but rather result in poor mental health outcomes in the communities from which delinquents come. Family Structure, Abuse/Neglect, and the Foster Care System Family dysfunction, and specifically abuse and neglect, can lead to involvement in the foster care system. Youth in foster care (a number of whom will transition to the juvenile justice system) suffer poor health, and have chronic medical conditions, mental disorders, and substance abuse problems (Currie & Tekin, 2006; see Baker, Cunningham & Harris, Chapter 11, this volume). In general, suffering greater levels of abuse leads to a greater likelihood of engaging in delinquency (Grogan-Kaylor, Ruffolo, Ortega, & Clarke, 2008; Malmgren & Meisel, 2004; Stewart, Livingston, & Dennison, 2008). However, the contribution of foster care alone as a cause of delinquency and poor health cannot be separated from the various types of severity and duration of abuse that lead to foster care placement. An additional confounding element is the appropriate disposition of foster children who may commit minor offenses such as hitting a staff member or fighting in a group home. There is the tendency to send these children to the juvenile justice system with no right of return to the child welfare system. Ross, Conger, and Armstrong (2002) discuss this effect and suggest the need for a “human services” model with the “objective of

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achieving real working partnerships at the front line (see Ross & Miller, Chapter 17, this volume). There is also a link between poverty (Farrington, 1989; Kirk, 2008), family disruption (Kirk, 2008; Sampson & Laub, 1994) and self-reported delinquency. Family disruption influences juvenile violence, leading to three interconnected states—poverty, family disruption, and violent delinquency (Sampson & Laub, 1994). Children from two-parent families are less likely to live in poverty than children from single-parent families, 8% vs. 17%. Single-mother households have much higher rates of receiving public assistance (62%) and food stamps (61%) compared to two-parent families, 32% and 23%, respectively (OJJDP, 2007). Youth living with both biologic parents are less likely to engage in problem behaviors and crime regardless of whether the neighborhood is well or poorly kept. In fact, family structure predicts problem behaviors more than does race or ethnicity (Snyder & Sickmund, 2006). However, neighborhood characteristics, including social networks and Hispanic ethnicity, may influence parent-tochild aggression, with physical aggression leading to more severe child maltreatment (Molnar, Buka, Brennan, Holton, & Earls, 2003). Hispanic and African American youth are more likely to live in single-parent households (Snyder & Sickmund, 2006). In 2007, 57% of Black youth lived with one parent, compared to 31% of Hispanic children and 23% of White children (OJJDP, 2007). Characteristics of parental supervision can help reduce delinquency so that a high level of parental supervision is associated with low delinquency (Fischer, 1983). Positive family communication (i.e., open vs. closed communication) with a youth’s parents also helps deter delinquency (Clark & Shields, 1997). Parents

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of delinquent youth tend to lose control of their children, as evidenced by their inability to turn their children away from maladaptive behaviors and toward prosocial activities. This, in turn, can interfere with the parents’ effectiveness in obtaining services for their children because of parental feelings of helplessness and inability to engage their children in agreeing to attend services. The Smith Sterns (1999) suggest that new approaches are necessary to empower parents and enhance cooperation between parents and social service agencies. The pathway from foster care to the delinquency system is more pronounced among youth of color. Youth of color make up the majority of foster youth (Clark, 2001). NonWhite children, given in-home abuse avoidance services as opposed to no services, had a lower risk of juvenile corrections entry. However, youth receiving mental health services had a high risk of entering the juvenile correctional system (Jonson-Reid, 2002). The same author reporting on children receiving child welfare services in California reported similar outcomes for non-White children. However, girls who experienced foster placement or group home placement had higher rates of involvement with the juvenile corrections system than girls not placed out of home (see, e.g., Sherman & Greenstone, Chapter 7, this volume). Further, children who were reported as neglected were more likely to be incarcerated compared to those who were reported as being physically or sexually abused. The authors felt that children receiving no services were at greatest risk for incarceration (Jonson-Reid & Barth, 2000). Education Educational failure leads to unemployment and possibly criminal behavior. Again, these factors are interrelated, with poor education

The Health of Youth in the Juvenile Justice System

leading to low SES, which is related to both poor health and health access and to involvement in the delinquency system. Hispanic and African American youth drop out of school more often compared to White youth. In 2005, 2.8% of White, 7.3% of Black, and 5% of Hispanic youth dropped out of school (OJJDP, 2007). Youth who neither attend school nor work have an increased risk of engaging in high-risk and delinquent behaviors (Snyder & Sickmund, 2006). Lowincome families, defined as those in the bottom fifth income bracket, also have higher dropout rates with 8.9% of low-income youth dropping out compared to 1.5% of high-income families who are in the top fifth income bracket (OJJDP, 2007). Biologic Factors Intrinsic factors, such as genetic variations, appear to contribute to behavioral traits leading to delinquent acts, and recent research shows that the origins of adult illness and behavioral abnormalities may be biologic (Shonkoff, Boyce, & McEwen, 2009). Youth who carry the short allele form of the serotonin transporter–linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR) gene that is found in 40% of the general population are prone to impulsivity, low self-control, binge drinking, and substance use (Brody et al., 2009). Other genetic variations involving monoamine oxidase A (Passamonti et al., 2006) and serotonin (Lesch & Merschdorf, 2000) influence impulsive, aggressive behaviors. Serotonin transporter– promoting gene polymorphism is associated with violence in relation to personality disorders, impulsiveness, and childhood attentiondeficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (Retz, Retz-Junginger, Supprian, Thome & Rosler, 2004). The combination of violent behavior, impulsiveness, and ADHD also may be related

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to dopamine D3 receptor gene polymorphism (Retz, Rosler, Supprian, Retz-Junginger & Thome, 2003). There are a number of other genes that may be involved in antisocial behavior combined with ADHD (Langley, 2009) and ADHD and impulsivity (Ribases et al., 2008). Finally, there appears to be a subset of children with ADHD and antisocial behavior associated with variations in the catechol-Omethyltransferase (COMT) gene (Caspi et al., 2008). Although these genetic variations account for a small number of incarcerated youth, further research is likely to discover more of these inborn tendencies to engage in delinquent behavior. Some of these antisocial behaviors that are genetically related may be modified by prevention programs that can override the genetic predisposition (Brody et al., 2009). Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) provides another tool to evaluate maturation and disruption in brain function in normal adolescence and pathologic states. Giedd and his colleagues followed brain architecture during childhood into early adulthood and found that the brain continues to change through the early 20s. The frontal lobes, where executive functioning resides, is one of the last areas to mature (Rhoghel & Giedd, 2006). These authors point out that changes in the brain’s structure and the size of various areas of the brain correspond to enhanced strengths or weaknesses in brain function such as memory capacity. They also note that brain maturation includes interactions between genetic, epigenetic, and environmental factors. They define environmental factors as both outside environment and internal “physiologic milieu.” Thus, individuals who are stressed beyond their capacity to cope will develop “compensatory physiologic responses and behaviors that in time may affect brain structures” (p. 726). This can be part of a normal or abnormal learning process.

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Preliminary MRI studies of youth with developmental disorders show consistent changes in brain structure compared to controls, although the physiologic meaning of these changes is not well understood. Childhood-onset schizophrenia, Williams syndrome, ADHD, and fetal alcohol syndrome all demonstrate abnormal brain morphology with some areas of decreased size. Although the abnormalities vary in these disorders, there also are some similarities among them (Toga, Thompson, & Sowell, 2006). Although not directly related to these neuroimaging studies, many authors have measured various aspects of adolescent decision-making processes compared with that of adults. When engaged with peers, adolescents are more likely than adults to make decisions associated with increased risk. This scenario, which is called “hot cognition,” is compared to “cold cognition” when decisions are made in controlled or nonemotional circumstances (Gardner & Steinberg, 2005). Modecki (2007) reviewed the gaps in the maturity of judgment literature and found that adolescents “display less responsibility and perspective relative to college students” (p. 89). There was no difference between nondelinquent youth and delinquent youth with regard to maturity of judgment, but high-level-delinquency youth have significantly lower maturity of judgment compared to low-level-delinquency youth (Modecki, 2007). Recent work utilizing functional MRI studies of normal adolescents 11–13 years old find that sleep deprivation may be related to compensatory increases in reward-driven behavior, possibly increasing risky behavior because of less activation of the caudate (part of the ventral striatum) that is related to reward-related brain function (Holm et al., 2009). Thus, there may be an interaction between brain

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maturation and sleep deprivation, which is often found in adolescents engaged in delinquent behavior at night. A recent review of childhood roots of health disparities amplifies the effects of poor environment on young children, bringing our understanding to a new theoretical plane. The authors argue that the origins of adult illness and behavioral abnormalities result from biological disruptions caused by toxic stress beginning prenatally and continuing through childhood. Unless there are protective relationships to buffer the effects of stress, the individual develops maladaptive coping mechanisms that are reinforced by permanent changes in the brain and other organs. They further point out that protective and stressful events affecting one generation can have positive or negative effects for several successive generations that are facilitated by epigenetic changes in DNA methylation and histamine modification of chromatin in response to experiences that can influence the next generation (Shonkoff et al., 2009). Although not part of their argument, there is the possibility of a multiplying effect in that parents who have experienced severe childhood trauma will pass on a genetic predisposition for poor adaptation to stress and compound the effect by lacking the ability themselves as parents to provide supportive relationships to their children. These children are likely to experience substantial, perhaps “toxic stress” because they remain embedded in the poor social climate of their parents. At the extreme, the children experience child abuse, chronic neglect, emotional abuse, extreme poverty, family violence, and parental drug abuse (Shonkoff et al., 2009). Shonkoff and colleagues (2009) also point out the long-term effects of this stress on personal well-being, including heart disease; high blood pressure; obesity; early aging; pulmonary disease; depression; alcoholism; teen pregnancy; smoking; anxiety; aggression;

The Health of Youth in the Juvenile Justice System

and poor mental flexibility, memory, and other cognitive processes. These observations lead to an understanding that the poor health and health disparities of many disadvantaged social groups have an early biologic basis that becomes evident as the person ages and illuminates the link between health disparities and delinquency. They make a strong case for early childhood interventions to reduce the risks of both physical and mental health impairments. They also point out that once these early processes take effect, it is very difficult to reverse the early biological damage. A related article reinforces these concepts and makes clear the difficulty in changing behavior in delinquent youth. Abram, Choe, Washburn, Romero, and Teplin (2009) followed 1,653 youth for about three years after detention and found significant functional impairment across one or more of the eight domains. One fifth (21.6%) of youth had marked global impairment. Only 7.5% had “no noteworthy impairment.” It would be expected that those youth who had substantial functional impairments would also have problems accessing health care after being released from detention. These data also reinforce the difficulties of changing behavior and functioning that may have roots in early childhood toxic experiences. Poor compliance with health care may also be related to the normal developmental course of brain maturation discussed in the MRI studies above. The associated lag in appropriate and non-risk-taking decision making could play a role in some youth not seeking health care or not cooperating with health-care recommendations. This may be compounded by poor parental supervision or disordered communities, and these immaturity dynamics could play a significant role in impeding the seeking of health care because there is no outside control on the youth’s behavior.

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CONCLUSION While additional national research is needed, existing literature confirms the sense in the field that youth in the juvenile justice system fare worse than their counterparts in the general population in most domains of physical and mental health. This is explained in part by the compelling confluence of demographic, family, and youth traits related to both the onset of delinquent behaviors and disparities in health care. Youth from lower socioeconomic strata, minority race and ethnicity, and disorganized families, including abused youth, are more likely to be involved in delinquency, and the same elements impede health care. Currently, it is not known if delinquent youth receive worse health care than nondelinquent youth of similar backgrounds. It may be that both groups suffer equally because of their social status. However, nondelinquent youth may have more supportive functional family structures that help ameliorate the risk of poor health care. At the time youth are incarcerated, there is a window of opportunity to address their existing health problems. However, although the health needs of these youth become evident and need to be addressed when they become involved in the juvenile justice system, primary prevention efforts, which address disparate socioeconomic and personal health risk factors before youth are involved in the justice system, may be most effective and most likely will require multiple approaches. Thus, it is important to view the causes and remediation of poor health care in detained and incarcerated youth from the broader perspective of their social, economic, and demographic origins. Efforts to improve the health status of this underserved population may also reduce the incidence of delinquency because the etiology of both is similar. Universal health

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The Health of Youth in the Juvenile Justice System Snyder, H. N., & Sickmund, M. (2006). Juvenile offenders and victims: 2006 national report. Washington, DC: US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Steiner, H., Garcia, I. G., & Matthews, Z. (1997). Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 36, 357–365. Stewart, A., Livingston, M., & Dennison, S. (2008). Transitions and turning points: Examining the links between child maltreatment and juvenile offending. Child Abuse and Neglect, 32, 51–66. Sweeney, P., Lindegren, M. L., Buehler J. W., Onorato, I. M., & Janssen, R. S. (1995). Teenagers at risk of immunodeficiency virus type 1 infection. Results from seroprevalence surveys in the United States. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 149, 521–528. Teplin, L. A., Abram, K. M., McClelland, G. M., Dulcan, M. K., & Mericle, A. A. (2002). Psychiatric disorders in youth in juvenile detention. Archives of General Psychiatry, 59, 1133–1143. Teplin, L. A., Mericle, A. A., McClelland, G. M., & Abram, K. M. (2003). HIV and AIDS risk behaviors in juvenile detainees: Implications for public health policy. American Journal of Public Health, 93, 906–912. Teplin, L. A., Elkington, K. S., McClelland, G. M., Abram, K. M., Mericle, A. A., & Washburn, J. J. (2005). Major mental disorders, substance use disorders, co-morbidity, and HIV-AIDS risk behaviors in juvenile detainees. Psychiatric Services, 56, 823–828. Toga, A. W., Thompson, P. M., & Sowell, E. R. (2006). Mapping brain maturation. Trends in Neuroscience, 29, 148–159.

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Ulzen, T. P., & Hamilton, H. (1998). The nature and characteristics of psychiatric comorbidity in incarcerated adolescents. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 43, 57–63. Vermeiren, R., Jespers, I., & Moffitt, T. (2006) Mental health problems in juvenile justice populations. Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Clinics of North America, 15, 333–351. Vreugdenhil, C., Doreleijers, T. H., Vermeiren, R., Wouters, L. F., & van den Brink, W. (2004). Psychiatric disorders in a representative sample of boys in the Netherlands. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 43, 97–104. Wasserman, G. A., McReynolds, L. S., Lucas, C. P., Fisher, P., & Santos, L. (2002). The Voice DISC-IV with incarcerated male youths: Prevalence of disorder. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 41, 314–321. Wasserman, G. A., McReynolds, L. S., Ko, S. J., Katz, L. M., & Carpenter, J. R. (2005). Gender differences in psychiatric disorders at juvenile probation intake. American Journal of Public Health, 95, 131– 137. Weinbaum, C., Lyerla, R., & Margolis, H. S. (2003). Prevention and control of infections with hepatitis viruses in correctional settings. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. MMWR Recommendations and Reports, 52, RR-1, 1–36. Williams, R. A., & Hollis, H. M. (1999). Health beliefs and reported symptoms among a sample of incarcerated adolescent females. Journal of Adolescent Health, 24, 21–27. Woolf, A., & Funk, S. G. (1985). Epidemiology of trauma in a population of incarcerated youth. Pediatrics, 75, 463–468.

Juvenile Justice: Advancing Research, Policy, and Practice Edited by Francine T. Sherman and Francine H. Jacobs Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

CHAPTER

4

Children’s Rights and Relationships: A Legal Framework F R A N C I N E T. S H E R M A N

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HON. JAY BLITZMAN

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hough we know that children have a set of evolving needs and capacities linked to their development, children’s law in the United States is not organized around child development or, in fact, any single organizing theory. Instead, it is a patchwork of sometimes contradictory provisions. After all, what developmental (or other) principle would restrict a child’s ability to vote until 18, to purchase alcohol until 21, yet sentence a 14-year-old to adult prison for life without the possibility of parole or allow him to waive his right to counsel in a delinquency case? Rather than reflecting a coherent vision of society’s responsibility to children, children’s law in the United States reflects history, a particularly American vision of individual rights, and the occasional nod to child development. It is helpful to think of children’s legal rights in two broad categories: autonomy-based rights and needs-based rights (see Buss, 2004a; Meyer, 2003; Woodhouse, 2001). Autonomybased rights pertain to children’s competencies or their abilities to make decisions and act on their own behalf—to be independent legal actors. They include the rights to direct one’s legal representation, make medical decisions as a mature minor, exercise free speech, contract, and enjoy procedural due process in court and administrative matters. Needs-based rights are rights to health, education, safety,

stable housing, and stable relationships; many of which are discussed as children’s human rights (United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989). Although autonomy and need are useful classifications, these categories of rights are connected. For example, a child’s right to liberty or to freedom from unnecessary restraint is behind his or her autonomy-based rights to counsel and formal process in delinquency cases, but it is also behind the needs-based right to rehabilitative treatment should the child be found delinquent (Holland & Mlyniec, 1996). Although its detailed analysis is beyond the scope of this chapter, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) (1989), to which the United States is not a signatory, codifies for the international community this blend of need- and autonomybased rights. The CRC requires signatory nations to provide education, health care, stable homes, and a range of children’s needs. But the CRC also requires consideration of the child’s autonomy, limiting the exercise of parental rights to be “consistent with the evolving capacities of the child” and including children’s independent rights to speech, religion, association, and assembly (Melton, 2005). In the United States, children’s law developed through a legal tradition in which children were seen foremost as part of their 68

Children’s Rights and Relationships: A Legal Framework

families, with rights historically contingent on those of their parents (Cunningham, 2006). Parents retain that authority over their children unless parents are found to be unfit, at which time the state steps in as parens patriae (literally translated, “parent of country”), a doctrine drawn from British common law under which the state serves as parent to protect and care for the child. But in U.S. law the child’s, parents’, and state’s rights coexist, each contributing in some way to the rights of the others, and can be viewed as rights in relationship to each other (Buss, 2004b; Henning, 2006; Meyer, 2003; Minow, 1986; Ross, 2003). For example, children need their parents in order to fully realize many of their individual rights. Parents help children find lawyers to pursue their rights and help them obtain health care and education, and the law recognizes this, giving parents authority to make most health and education decisions for their children. Moreover, parents’ rights over their children’s decisions diminish as the child matures, when the law increasingly recognizes the child’s ability to make more of her own decisions—for example, in areas of health care, abortion, and, through counsel, the conduct of any delinquency case. The state, which exercises its authority as both police power and parens patriae, is authorized by the needs of the public (e.g., requiring parents to immunize children and children to be immunized) but also limited by the parents’ and child’s rights. Thus, the rights of the child, parent, and state function in relation to each other. This chapter provides an overview of U.S. law relating to children. Framed both in terms of needs- and autonomy-based rights and the legal dynamics among child, parent, and state, the chapter describes how the law organizes the world for children in the United States. Like the other chapters in this volume, the discussion focuses on children involved with

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the child and family services, juvenile justice, and other state systems as well as critical institutions such as schools and health providers. The chapter discusses children’s law in relation to each of these systems and institutions independently and explores ways in which the law crosses or should cross these systems and institutions on behalf of children and families. With this ecological frame in mind, we acknowledge that children’s lives, including their legal lives, are related to their families, communities, and the social institutions that surround them.

CHILD, PARENT, AND STATE Children’s rights are contingent in significant measure on their parents. As recently as 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court acknowledged this, upholding a Washington state statute allowing a custodial parent to restrict grandparents from visiting with her children. Although the Court did not deny findings that the grandparents’ visitation had a positive effect on the children, providing a “large, central, loving family . . . ” (p. 61), the Court found that “ . . . [t]he liberty interest at issue in this case—the interest of parents in the care, custody, and control of their children—is perhaps the oldest of the fundamental liberty interests recognized by this court” (Troxel v. Granville, 2000, p. 65, emphasis added). In its holding, the majority deferred to the parent’s decision about grandparent visitation, even in the face of a possible contrary interest on the part of the child, who was not separately consulted or represented under the statutory scheme. In his dissent, Justice Stevens suggested that the interest at work may be the child’s: While this Court has not yet had occasion to elucidate the nature of a

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child’s liberty interests in preserving established familial or family-like bonds . . . it seems to me extremely likely that, to the extent parents and families have fundamental liberty interests in preserving such intimate relationships, so, too, do children have these interests, and so, too, must their interests be balanced in the equation. (Troxel, pp. 88–89; Buss, 2003) When parents are unfit, the state steps in as parens patriae. The notion first appeared in U.S. law in 1839 in Ex Parte Crouse, in which Mary Ann Crouse’s father challenged her commitment to the Philadelphia House of Refuge for being “an incorrigible or vicious female under the age of 18 years” (p. 1). Upholding the commitment, the court wrote: The object of charity is reformation, by training its inmates to industry, by imbuing their minds with principles of morality and religion, by furnishing them with means to earn a living, and, above all, by separating them from the corrupting influence of improper associates. To this end may not the natural parents, when unequal to the task of education, or unworthy of it, be superceded by the parens patriae, or common guardian of the community? (Ex Parte Crouse, 1939, p. 2) The notion of the state as parens patriae was first recognized by the Supreme Court in two cases (Meyer v. Nebraska, 1923, and Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 1925), upholding challenges to the constitutionality of state statutes interfering with the rights of parents to control their children’s upbringing and education. Meyer and Pierce, both cited approvingly in Troxel,

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did not discuss the children’s independent interests or rights. Concern about children’s autonomy rights to be heard in court independently of the state or parents is a relatively recent development beginning, perhaps, with Prince v. Massachusetts (1944), the prosecution of a guardian for violating a child labor law by permitting her 9-year-old ward to sell Jehovah’s Witnesses periodicals in the evening. Although the court upheld the conviction, the case included references to the rights of children to exercise their religion and notes that “children have rights, in common with other people, in the primary use of highways” (p. 169). Ten years later, in the school desegregation case, Brown v. Board of Education, children were the named plaintiffs, and in 1967 the Supreme Court held that children had the right to be heard directly through their own attorneys during the adjudicatory phase of delinquency proceedings (In re Gault, 1967). The role of counsel and the extent to which children’s rights should be independent of adults is still the subject of debate. Does counsel have a responsibility to represent the child client’s expressed wishes or should counsel serve his or her view of the child client’s best interests? What happens when a parent’s view of what is best for her child, on a matter of fundamental interest such as education or health, conflicts with that child’s view? In an often-cited dissent in Wisconsin v. Yoder (1972), a case that reversed convictions of Amish parents who had violated a compulsory school attendance law, Justice Douglas argued that “(w)hile the parents, absent dissent, normally speak for the entire family, the education of the child is a matter on which the child will often have decided views” (p. 244). Although the growing consensus is that lawyers for children serve children best when they represent the child’s expressed wishes, providing representation comparable to that which an adult would

Children’s Rights and Relationships: A Legal Framework

receive (Green & Dohrn, 1996), the relationship between children’s and parents’ rights is a continuing theme in children’s law. The Interplay of Child, Parent, and State Rights in Juvenile Justice The state’s role as parens patriae is clearest in the child and family services system, where the rationale for the case is the parents’ abuse or neglect of their child. When youth are alleged to be status offenders—committing acts that are law violations only for children (e.g., truancy, incorrigibility, running away, underage drinking)—or delinquent—committing acts that would be criminal if the child were an adult—the state exercises its authority both as parens patriae and police power. In these cases the roles and rights of parents are less clear. While the law increasingly requires parental involvement in these cases (Henning, 2006), it also blames parents and provides parents relatively little protection or encouragement, although the case can result in their loss of custody and one of the state’s goals is to assist the child and his or her family (see Jacobs, Miranda-Julian, & Kaplan, Chapter 10, this volume). As the rights of parents are deemphasized in delinquency cases, the rights of youth are emphasized but never equal to those of adults, and they are often expressed in relationship to their parents. In 1967 the Supreme Court found that children charged with delinquency and subject to possible placement in a “training school” have a right to counsel because they risk a loss of liberty protected by the U.S. Constitution. This liberty interest, and the procedural rights that flow from it, belong to the child and not the parents (In re Gault,1967). Almost 20 years later, the Supreme Court found that children charged with delinquency could be detained in locked facilities with fewer procedural protections

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than would be available to adults, reasoning that, although a juvenile’s interest in freedom from institutional restraints . . . is undoubtedly substantial . . . juveniles, unlike adults, are always in some form of custody . . . . They are assumed to be subject to the control of their parents, and if parental control falters, the State must play its part as parens patriae. (Schall v. Martin, 1984, p. 256) Thus, even in the delinquency system with their individual right to liberty at stake, children’s rights are conceptualized in relation to those of their parents. Although the law in many states requires that parents participate in the delinquency process (e.g., attend hearings, contact probation, pay restitution for their children’s acts), the juvenile justice process, despite its original intent, is a crude tool for nurturing the parent– child bond. Parental responsibility and parent– child privilege laws illustrate this point. Parental responsibility laws, which impose civil, criminal, or quasi-criminal liability on parents for the illegal acts of their children, illustrate the conceptual difficulties inherent in balancing parents’ rights and responsibilities for their children once those children become involved in the juvenile justice system. These laws, which assume that parents are in some way at fault for their children’s delinquency and that they can be motivated to do better by legal liability, have been around for decades but, perhaps because they feel out of step with the complex task of parenting, are rarely enforced absent a high-profile case (Harris, 2006; Henning, 2006). Parent–child testimonial privilege is another area of inconsistent policy about parents in relation to their children charged with

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crimes. Unlike the spousal testimonial privilege, which has a long history in common and statutory law (Trammel v. United States, 1980), as of 2006 only four states recognized a parent– child testimonial privilege, which would shield confidential communications between parent and child (Henning, 2006). Scholars have observed that the absence of a parent– child testimonial privilege creates a situation in which a child in trouble with the law would be wise not to seek help and advice from her parent. This runs counter to established legal tradition protecting the privacy of families and encouraging strong parent–child relationships, as well as the philosophy of the juvenile court to encourage parental responsibility for their children and the child’s trust of their parent, the juvenile justice process, and of their lawyer (Henning, 2006; Ross, 2003). As we examine the details of children’s rights and the law governing child-serving systems, we will continue to see a struggle, with inconsistent results, among the interests and rights of the child, parent, and state.

CHILDREN’S NEEDS-BASED RIGHTS Although there is federal constitutional law relating to children, most of the law governing children’s rights is state-based, and so there is significant state-to-state variation in children’s law and practice (Blitzman, 2007). Federal children’s policy is typically set through funding legislation, requiring states to approach children’s issues in proscribed ways. Federal constitutional law sets the floor for defining and protecting children’s rights, leaving states to pass laws complying with constitutional minimums, but which may test constitutional parameters (e.g., minor’s right to abortion) or to imagine the ceiling and exceed

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constitutional minimums in defining and protecting the rights of the child (e.g., broader rights to appointment of counsel in juvenile cases than are constitutionally required; state laws requiring a jury in a delinquency adjudication although none is required under the U.S. Constitution). The essentially local quality of children’s law and of the systems affecting children makes for 51 local laboratories that express community views about children and the roles of parents and society in relation to them (see Ross & Miller, Chapter 17, this volume). Education In San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez (1973), in the context of a school funding challenge, the U.S. Supreme Court held that there was no fundamental right to education in the federal Constitution. While all 50 states have provisions in their constitutions establishing systems of public education, only 20 states recognize education as a fundamental right (Blumenson & Nilsen, 2003; see also Boundy & Karger, Chapter 14, this volume), and the extent of the right varies (Hubsch, 1989; School Districts’ Alliance for Adequate Funding of Special Education v. State, 2009). Even where states have established a child’s right to education, parents exercise that right, which is subject to restrictions imposed by the state under its police power. While parents have a long-standing federal constitutional right to make decisions concerning their children’s education, they do not have the ability to direct their children’s education in the face of reasonable state regulation. For example, failure to send a child to school can result in a finding of neglect and state intervention into the family (see, e.g., Clonlara, Inc. v. Runkel, 1989; Ossant v. Millard, 1972; State v. Newstrom, 1985).

Children’s Rights and Relationships: A Legal Framework

The state’s police power also provides authority for schools to suspend and expel students when they violate school rules or criminal laws or, in some states, when they are charged with a crime (Anderson, 2004; Blumenson & Nilsen, 2002; Reyes, 2006). Again, there is a great deal of state variation both in expulsion laws and in the extent to which alternative education is required or available to expelled students. Because the Supreme Court held that a student has a property interest in public education, schools must provide some procedural protections before expulsion or other deprivation of education (Goss v. Lopez, 1975). However, only a small minority of states recognize some degree of a right to alternative education for regular education students who have been expelled (Blumenson & Nilsen, 2003; Carroll, 2008). Despite the lack of a federal constitutional right to education, federal law sets educational policy through legislation such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. §2000a et seq. (1988), and Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, also known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB) (20 U.S.C. §6301 et seq.). These laws condition federal funding for education on a range of policydriven requirements. NCLB, for example, requires that 100% of students demonstrate proficiently in reading and mathematics by 2014, showing “adequate yearly progress” (AYP) along the way (No Child Left Behind, §6316). This mandate sets education policy but is not actually a right to adequate education held by any individual child and so is not individually enforceable (i.e., a child who fails state tests cannot sue his school district under NCLB). However, NCLB contains provisions that may be tools for lawyers seeking to improve a child client’s education, such as the ability of a student to transfer from a Title I school that has not met adequate yearly

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progress for 2 years in a row (No Child Left Behind, §6316; Reichbach, 2004; see Boundy & Karger, Chapter 14, this volume, for a detailed discussion of education law and juvenile justice). Unlike regular education students, students with disabilities do have a right to education under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (20 U.S.C. §1401 et seq.), which guarantees a “free and appropriate public education” (FAPE) to every child with a disability in need of special education services. IDEA applies fully to all children with disabilities, including those in state systems such as the juvenile justice system (20 U.S.C. §§ 1412(a)(3)(A), (7); Blau & Allbright, 2006; see also Boundy & Karger, Chapter 14, this volume). This includes the right of youth in the justice system who have identified special education needs to receive specialized instruction and necessary developmental, supportive, and corrective services, and to be provided a full substantive curriculum (20 U.S.C.§1401 (3)(A); see Boundy & Karger, Chapter 14, this volume). Approximately one third of youth in juvenile correctional facilities have been diagnosed with learning disabilities, which, according to advocates and experts, underrepresents the actual population of incarcerated youth with learning disabilities (Quinn, Rutherford, Leone, Osher, & Poirier, 2005; Sedlak & McPherson, 2010; see also Boundy & Karger, Chapter 14, this volume). Health Like education, there is no clear legal right to health care for children in the United States. Children living in poverty—particularly poor children who are foster children, children in the juvenile justice system, and homeless children—have difficulty accessing health care; and their health needs often go unmet.

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However, Medicaid, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP, 42 U.S. C. 1397aa, et seq. (2009)), the Foster Care Independence Act (FCIA, 42 U.S.C.A. § 670 (1999)), and the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordability Care Act (PPACA, PL111–148, 2010 HR 3590 (2010)) all have provisions designed to expand health insurance coverage for these populations of youth. The extent to which these access goals are met vary considerably, depending on how these laws are implemented by the states (English, 2006). Medicaid provides health insurance to low-income families as well as to categories of juveniles based on individual state plans. Thus, in Massachusetts, for example, youth in state custody are categorically eligible for Medicaid (MassHealth), although that is not the case in other states. Federal SCHIP (2009) extended Medicaid benefits to children who would not otherwise be income eligible, and FCIA originally made youth between 18 and 21, who were in foster care at age 18, an additional Medicaid-eligible group (English, 2006), which will be extended by PPACA, beginning in 2014, to age 26 (42 U.S.C. §§ 2004, 10201). However, the structure of Medicaid coverage and reimbursement leaves coverage gaps for children, particularly those involved with state and county systems. For example, under the “inmate exception” to Medicaid, “an inmate of a public institution” is ineligible for Medicaid reimbursement, and that eligibility exception has been interpreted to apply to youth in delinquency facilities both preand post-adjudication, such as detention and secure post-adjudication treatment (Burrell & Bussiere, 2002; Gupta, Kelleher, & Cueller, 2005). As a result, teens who are Medicaid eligible due to family poverty often have their Medicaid suspended (or in some cases terminated) when detained or incarcerated.

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When these youth re enter the community, they must apply to have their benefits reinstated, and because they often have little access to assistance with this process, many youth are not covered when they return to the community. A federal court in Massachusetts addressed another common gap in Medicaid coverage for youth, finding that state Medicaid provisions failed to provide adequate medical assessments and coordination of services for youth with serious emotional disturbance as required under the “Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment” (EPSDT) provision of the federal Medicaid law (Rosie D. v. Romney, 2006). To reach this conclusion the court, like other courts presented with the issue, held that EPSDT provisions create private rights that can be enforced in the courts through a civil rights statute (42 U.S.C. § 1983; e.g., S. D. v. Hood, 2004). Rosie D. further found that the state had failed to provide adequate inhome behavioral support services for this population of children, necessitating instead, harmful confinement in residential facilities (Perkins, 2009). The litigation resulted in a statewide system of assessment and community-based mental health services (CBHI). The recent 2010 Patient Protection and Affordability Care Act (PPACA, P.L. 111–148), and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act (Recon. Act, P.L. 111– 152) expand health coverage for a number of vulnerable populations of youth. In addition to extending Medicaid eligibility to age 26 for former foster children (42 U.S.C. §§ 2004, 10201), they increase federal incentives to states to maintain broad eligibility for children under SCHIP (42 U.S.C. § 2101(a)) and require states to ensure that children who do not qualify for Medicaid are enrolled in a qualified plan through a state exchange (42 U.S.C. §2101 (b)), simplifying the process

Children’s Rights and Relationships: A Legal Framework

of enrollment for these children (42 U.S.C. §2201; National Health Law Program, 2010). Thus, needs-based rights for youth to education and health in the United States are addressed through a patchwork of federal and state laws and court decisions, and vary considerably from state to state. This patchwork is complicated for youth in the juvenile justice system, who tend to have a concentration of education and health needs, which often go unmet due to system fragmentation (see Farrell & Myers, Chapter 21, this volume; Ross & Miller, Chapter 17, this volume). For them, strategic use of federal laws mandating the type of education and health services states must provide to certain children is particularly critical.

CHILDREN’S AUTONOMYBASED RIGHTS On issues of both education and health, courts have developed children’s autonomy-based rights as well as their needs-based rights. For example, in education, issues of autonomy have come up in free-speech cases and procedural rights cases relating to school discipline. In health, theyarisein theareaofconsent tomedical treatment and abortion. Like all children’s law, the cases and statutes in these areas reflect the sometimes competing interests of the child, parent, and state. We treat health-care decision making next, as a case in point. Health-Care Decision Making We have recognized three reasons justifying the conclusion that the constitutional rights of children cannot be equated with those of adults: the peculiar vulnerability of children; their inability to make critical

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decisions in an informed, mature manner; and the importance of the parental role in child-rearing. (Bellotti v. Baird, 1979, p. 634) As a general rule, minors do not have the legal right to consent to most medical procedures, whether routine or emergency. This is based on the belief that children’s judgment is not sufficiently mature to make medical decisions, and in the overarching legal principle of deference to parents’ decision making about their children’s upbringing, absent some showing of parents’ inability to act in their child’s interests. In Parham v. J. R. (1979), the Supreme Court articulated this assumption, upholding a Georgia law that allowed parents to “voluntarily” commit their child to a state mental hospital. The Court reasoned both that children had limited decision-making ability about medical matters and that parents generally have their children’s interests at heart. The law’s concept of the family rests on a presumption that parents possess what a child lacks in maturity, experience, and capacity for judgment required for making life’s difficult decisions. More importantly, it has recognized that natural bonds of affection lead parents to act in the best interests of their children. (p. 602) Under the statutory scheme, which the Court upheld, the admitting doctor safeguarded against parents who might not have their children’s best interests at heart. Parham expressed the tension between parents’ rights to raise their children and children’s individual rights, as well as the assumption behind much of children’s law— that parents exercise their children’s rights in their children’s interests. In this, we see

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children’s and parents’ rights in relationship to each other. The court in Parham clearly articulated the child’s emerging liberty interest: “. . . we assume that a child has a protectable interest . . . in being free from unnecessary bodily restraint . . .” (442 U.S. 584, p. 601), which was later developed in the delinquency context in In re Gault (1967) to support procedural due process rights for children in delinquency adjudications (Weithorn, 2005). A number of exceptions to the general rule that children cannot consent to medical treatment have been recognized for youth who are determined, by a physician or judge, to be “mature minors,” and for certain classes of health issues (Cunningham, 2006; Hartman, 2002; Mutcherson, 2005). State law also provides for youth to consent to medical care in areas of public health concern such as reproductive health, communicable disease, substance use, or mental health (e.g., Mass. Gen L. Ann c. 21 §§12F; 12S). In these laws, public health concerns trump parental consent requirements, because obtaining parental consent may inhibit youth from accessing needed treatment. Even the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA, 29 U.S.C.A. § 1181 et seq.), which controls access to medical records, gives 16-year-olds authority to access and release their medical information (2009). In Planned Parenthood of Central Missouri v. Danforth (1976) and Bellotti v. Baird (1979), the Supreme Court considered the rights of a minor to make the decision to terminate her pregnancy. In Belotti, the Supreme Court struck down a Massachusetts statute that required parental consent for a minor to access an abortion, holding that minors, like adult women, have rights to reproductive choice. However, the Court balanced that autonomybased right with its view of the minor’s “inability to make fully informed decisions

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that take account of both immediate and long-term consequences” (pp. 633–634). To accommodate limitations on a minor’s decision-making ability while preserving her reproductive rights, the Court held that parental consent provisions are constitutional as long as the law also provides for a “judicial bypass,” providing the minor with an alternative to parental consent. The law of children’s autonomy-based rights in the areas of education and health is, in many ways, a moving target in which courts try to balance youth’s autonomy to assert independent interests in education and health with parents’ well-established right to make decisions about their child’s upbringing. Behind it all is the state’s interest in protecting children and society. That state interest moves to the foreground when we consider the law that applies to children in the delinquency and child and family services systems.

THE JUVENILE COURT AND CHILD-SERVING SYSTEMS The first juvenile court was established in 1899 in Chicago, and the model quickly spread so that by 1920 all but three states had some form of separate court to address the needs of abused, neglected, and “wayward” youth (Ainsworth, 1991). The original vision did not distinguish youth who were abused and neglected from those who violated the criminal laws. Rather, these youth were collectively seen as needing the “care and discipline” of the state as a “kind, just parent” (see Ayers, 1997). Youth who violated the criminal laws, like youth who were abused or neglected, required treatment and reform, not punishment. The systems and laws addressing youth charged with crimes, youth who are status offenders, and youth who are abused and

Children’s Rights and Relationships: A Legal Framework

neglected diverged through the 20th century so that we currently have a continuum of legal structures and rights. Youth who are charged with crimes have the most extensive due process rights, which, with some notable exceptions (e.g., right to a jury), almost mirror the rights of adult criminal defendants. These youth are increasingly considered different from their counterparts in the child and family services system, who may have fewer due process rights but are entitled to greater care and protection. Children’s Liberty Interests and the State as Parens Patriae and Police Power One thread of constitutional rights running through the law relating to children in state systems has to do with children’s libertyrelated interests—right to be free from restraint, freedom of movement, and freedom of association. These appear in cases about juvenile curfews, gang statutes, mental health confinement, and conditions in facilities and foster homes, and become central to the law governing the juvenile justice system. Courts acknowledge that the juvenile justice system reflects the “good intentions” (In re Gault, 1967, p. 19) of the state as parens patriae, and at times they defer to those intentions. In these situations the state’s parens patriae role can become conflated with the state’s role as police power in preventing juvenile crime and protecting the public; though these are really distinct, together they allow state conduct in relation to juveniles that would not be allowed for adults in the criminal justice system. An illustration of this can be found in cases allowing routine strip searches, without reasonable suspicion, of youth detained in the juvenile justice system (e.g., N. G. v. Connecticut, 2004; Smook v. Minnehaha County, 2006). In these cases the federal courts held that, because youth in the juvenile justice system

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are particularly vulnerable and the state as parens patriae is responsible for protecting them, routine strip searches at detention intake, after visitation, and when youth leave and reenter the facility are lawful in the name of child protection. In these cases, the courts contrast the juvenile justice context with other youth contexts such as schools (Safford v. Redding, 2009) and immigration detention (Reno v. Flores, 1993), finding the state’s interest greater and the juvenile rights reduced in the juvenile justice context. It should be noted that Safford v. Redding (2009), in which the Supreme Court found unconstitutional the strip search of 13-year-old Savana Redding by school officials who suspected her of hiding ibuprofen in violation of school policy, was decided by the Supreme Court subsequent to the federal court decisions in the detention strip search cases, and so may influence that law in the future. For now, the detention strip search cases provide a striking illustration of the way the state’s twin interests in juvenile justice as parens patriae and police power can outweigh the child’s individual liberty interest. Juvenile Justice: Social Welfare Versus Social Control Asany parent knows andasthe scientific and sociological studies . . . confirm, “[a] lack of maturity and an underdeveloped sense of responsibility are found in youth more often than in adults and are more understandable among the young. These qualities often result in impetuous and ill-considered actions and decisions.” . . .The second area of difference is that juveniles are more vulnerable or susceptible to negative influences and outside pressures,includingpeer pressure. . . . The third broad difference is that the

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character of a juvenile is not as well formed as that of an adult. The personality traits of juveniles are more transitory, less fixed. (Roper v. Simmons, 2005, pp. 569–570) [D]evelopments in psychology and brain science continue to show fundamental differences between juvenile and adult minds. For example, parts of the brain involved in behavior control continue to mature through late adolescence. Juveniles are more capable of change than are adults, and their actions are less likely to be evidence of “irretrievably depraved character” than are the actions of adults. It remains true that “[f]rom a moral standpoint it would be misguided to equate the failings of a minor with those of an adult, for a greater possibility exists that a minor’s character deficiencies will be reformed.” (Graham v. Florida, 2010, pp. 2026–2027) The tension between the juvenile court’s twin missions to promote social welfare and social control permeates the law of delinquency. Juvenile delinquency proceedings increasingly resemble adult criminal proceedings, yet they are described in noncriminal terms. The juvenile is adjudicated delinquent, not found guilty, and he or she is given a disposition, not a sentence. The due process revolution of the 1960s and 1970s, resulting in expanded autonomy rights for youth, came at the cost of reduced dedication in the law to rehabilitation as the exclusive mission of juvenile justice. While juvenile justice still emphasizes rehabilitation as the goal, an increased segment of youth charged with crimes are tried and sentenced as adults, and in their dispositions, many juvenile justice systems couple rehabilitation with some measure of retribution, incapacitation, and punishment.

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There is a growing consensus that a juvenile’s right to counsel—developed in the 40-plus years since Gault—should look as much like an adult lawyer–client relationship as possible (Green & Dohrn, 1996; Blitzman, 2007). But how can we give children control over their cases through client-directed, adultstyle representation, yet acknowledge that their judgment is influenced by their still immature status? This is a specific instance of a paradox in youth law—we simultaneously base policy on the notion that juveniles are different from adults and the notion that they should be treated the same as adults (see Poncz, 2008). The particular question of the younger juvenile’s role vis-a-vis counsel is addressed through the law of competency (to consult with a lawyer and understand the proceedings) (Dusky v. United States, 1960). Greater understanding of the meaning of competency for juveniles, particularly for juveniles in adult court, may help protect both the integrity of the judicial process and the rights of the child (Cauffman, 1999; Henning, 2006). The shift from a purely parens patriae framework for juvenile justice was part of what has been called the “due process bargain”: In exchange for procedural due process, courts limited the youth’s second chances, a founding principle of the separate juvenile justice system. For example, although it was the norm in the 1960s, few jurisdictions now completely seal juvenile records. Children are required to register as sex offenders, as are adults, if found delinquent for certain offenses; and findings of delinquency now carry collateral consequences such as school expulsion or ineligibility for subsidized housing (Henning, 2004; Markman, 2008), which can dramatically reduce a youth’s opportunities for a productive future and have a significant impact on the lives of parents and siblings. Despite these significant consequences, in many juvenile courts the

Children’s Rights and Relationships: A Legal Framework

culture continues to be casual and unaccountable, and the defense bar less than zealous, reflecting the incorrect belief that a finding of delinquency is a small price to pay for treatment. To combat this view there have been significant recent efforts to boost juvenile defense capacity, recognizing that the stakes are indeed high and special skills are needed (Majd & Puritz, 2009; Sterling, 2009). Procedural Due Process Youth have significant autonomy-based rights in juvenile justice. Perhaps foremost among these is the right to counsel at adjudication; in most jurisdictions that has come to mean a right to client-directed representation like an adult (Madj & Puritz, 2009). Youth also have the right to some procedural protections at a judicial transfer hearing to determine whether they will be tried in adult or juvenile court (Kent v. United States,1966), and at the delinquency adjudication, juveniles have the right to confront and cross-examine witnesses, to receive detailed and timely notice of charges, and to protection against self-incrimination (In re Gault, 1967). Like adults, juveniles are constitutionally protected against double jeopardy (Breed v. Jones, 1975), and the standard of proof for a juvenile delinquency adjudication is the same as that for an adult criminal proceeding—proof beyond a reasonable doubt (In re Winship, 1970). In deciding which of the adult criminal due process rights are essential to a fundamentally fair proceeding, and therefore must apply to juvenile delinquency proceedings, the Supreme Court balanced the need to preserve the unique, rehabilitative quality of juvenile proceedings, requiring procedural informality and flexibility, with the need to protect the liberty interest of juveniles that is at stake in delinquency proceedings (In re Gault, 1967; Breed v. Jones, 1975; In re Winship, 1970;

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McKeiver v. Pennsylvania, 1971). Thus, rather than import all adult procedural rights wholesale into the juvenile process, Supreme Court jurisprudence examines each right separately using this calculus. In a plurality decision, which effectively ended the due process revolution, the Court concluded that juveniles charged with delinquency do not have a constitutional right to a jury trial. In McKeiver v. Pennsylvania (1971) the Court reasoned that a jury was not necessary for fair fact finding and would constrain the juvenile court’s distinguishing flexible and informal character. The Court relied on the assumption that the juvenile justice system is oriented to rehabilitation and treatment; thus, the potential deprivation of liberty is less than that for adults in the criminal justice system, requiring fewer safeguards. The holding in McKeiver essentially returned discretion to the states to design the contours of each juvenile justice system, a minority of which provide for a jury in juvenile cases through statute or case law, though the number is increasing (Birkhead, 2009; Blitzman, 2007). Although there are other differences between adult and juvenile procedural protections, such as the lack of a bail right for most juveniles, the absence of a jury right is perhaps the most striking procedural difference between adult criminal and juvenile delinquency proceedings and has ramifications for charging, plea bargaining, and the juvenile’s perception of the fairness of the process. The systemic tension over whether juveniles should have rights co-extensive with adults or be treated more protectively at the expense of some autonomy is ever present in delinquency law. Most jurisdictions, for example, allow a juvenile to waive his rights to be protected from self-incrimination, to confess to police in an interrogation without counsel or a parent present, and to waive the right to

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be represented by counsel at trial (Berkeiser, 2002; National Juvenile Defender Center, 2000–2006). While the law governing interrogation and waiver of counsel must comply with constitutional minimums, it varies by state, reflecting local concern over crime and the administrative inconvenience that may result from increased procedural safeguards in the juvenile justice process. While (as we have seen) upholding parents’ rights to raise their children is a consistent thread in children’s law, parents are surprisingly minor players in the juvenile justice process (Henning, 2006; Ross, 2004; see Jacobs, MirandaJulian, & Kaplan, Chapter 10, this volume). Although many states require parents to appear in court, meet with probation, pay fees, and participate in treatment (Henning, 2006; see Greenwood & Turner, Chapter 23, this volume), in juvenile justice, parents’ interests in raising their children and society’s interest in promoting the parent–child relationship are subordinate to the child’s liberty interest and the state’s authority as parens patriae and police power. In the juvenile justice process the child, parent, and state too often become, practically speaking, adversaries. Interrogation At interrogation, juveniles may be particularly vulnerable, and there is an active debate over whether their rights require more (or different) protection than that which is provided for adults. Currently, most jurisdictions allow a juvenile to confess to police without an attorney or parent present. To determine whether the juvenile’s confession is made “knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily” (Fare v. Michael C., 1979, p. 724), and therefore admissible in court, courts must consider the “totality of the circumstances” surrounding the interrogation, just as they do for adult defendants (Fare v. Michael C., 1979). In this totality analysis, courts

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consider the youth’s age, emotional state, mental capacity, and whether his or her parent is present, among other factors. In these jurisdictions, a juvenile’s rights are essentially coextensive with those of an adult, and, other than considering youth as one factor within the larger totality, the framework for conducting an interrogation is not modified to accommodate the unique context of childhood. Thus, if a child, like an adult, requests counsel, the interrogation must end. However, the police may continue to interrogate a child even if he or she asks for a parent to be present (except in California; People v. Burton, 1971), even though the request to talk with a parent may be the child’s way of asserting his or her need for adult support and would be a much more natural request for a child to make than would asking for a lawyer. In contrast to this totality approach, a minority of jurisdictions require a parent or interested adult to be present at the interrogation of a juvenile, regardless of the totality of the circumstances surrounding the interrogation (King, 2006). While this interested adult or per se rule is ostensibly designed to protect the juvenile and the integrity of the process, most scholars believe it is inadequate protection against coerced confession. In fact, there have been many instances in which parents have encouraged children to confess, either unaware of the jeopardy to their child, in a parenting effort to encourage their child to take responsibility, or out of their own need to understand their child’s situation (Farber, 2004; King, 2006). Finally, a small minority of jurisdictions has what is arguably the fairest and most protective rule, requiring a lawyer to be present at interrogation for a confession to be admissible. The lawyer, directed by the youth client, preserves autonomy rights and protects the juvenile’s interest to be free from coercion

Children’s Rights and Relationships: A Legal Framework

as well as the state’s interest in investigating the crime and protecting the public (Feld, 2006). Other accommodations to youth’s vulnerabilities at interrogation include laws and policies requiring that interrogations be videotaped (Feld, 2006). Applying the adult totality standard to juvenile confessions, just like allowing juveniles to waive their right to counsel, provides youth with a level of autonomy over critical decisions that many argue is inappropriate and inconsistent with their developmental abilities (Grisso, 1981). The enormous risk to youth and society of erroneous convictions resulting from false confessions by juveniles has been well documented (Drizin & Warden, 2009). Moreover, it is strikingly inconsistent policy to allow youth to confess or waive counsel without the advice of a parent or attorney, but to give parents near complete authority over all other critical decisions for their teenage children. Yet that inconsistency is a central feature of the law of juvenile justice, where concerns about public safety and juvenile crime tend to trump policies that might better reflect youth development and capacity (Cunningham, 2006). The extent to which a juvenile’s age should be considered in the interrogation phase of the juvenile justice process is an ongoing issue and is before the U.S. Supreme Court in its 2010 term. In J.D.B. v. North Carolina (2009) a 13-year-old special education student was suspected of burglaries and questioned by police in school without being given Miranda warnings. J.D.B. provided incriminating statements that resulted in a finding of delinquency. The question before the Court is whether and to what extent age must be considered in determining whether a youth is in custody for Miranda purposes. In J. D. B., like in so many juvenile justice cases, the Court is being asked to

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accommodate juveniles within a body of law designed for adults. Detention Approximately 22% of youth brought before the court for delinquency are detained (Puzzanchera, Adams & Sickmund, 2010), which generally refers to preadjudication locked confinement, used to ensure the juvenile’s appearance at trial and prevent him or her from committing additional crime before trial. Adult criminal law differs from juvenile law here. Adults have a constitutional right to pre-adjudication bail, but juveniles do not, although as of 2004, 16 states, by statute, provided juveniles with a right to bail like that of adults (Moriearty, 2008; e.g., Mass. Gen. L. Ann. c. 119 39H; Ga. Code Ann. § 15–11–47). In contrast to the law of adult detention, most juvenile detention is considered preventative. Courts decide at a hearing whether the juvenile is likely to appear at trial, and whether he or she poses a danger prior to adjudication; they then detain on the basis of that determination. However, without clear standards and accountability for the detention decision, detention is overused, and although not technically allowed, courts often consider the youth’s needs along with the risks they pose in making the detention decision. Thus, detention is used disproportionately for youth who are minor offenders and who violate conditions of probation (Holman & Ziedenberg, 2006). In Schall v. Martin (1984), the Supreme Court upheld New York’s preventative detention scheme, reasoning that detention is not as extreme a deprivation for juveniles as it is for adults because juveniles are “always in some form of custody” (p. 265). The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) is a policy and programmatic response to the overuse of detention and the awareness of

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the long-term harm that detention can cause for youth (Holman, & Ziedenberg, 2006). As of 2009, JDAI was in 110 jurisdictions in 27 states, and the initiative has contributed to reductions in detention utilization, improvements in public safety, and reductions in disproportionate minority contact with the juvenile system (Mendel, 2009; see also Bell & Mariscal, Chapter 6, this volume; Farrell & Myers, Chapter 21, this volume; Schiraldi, Schindler, & Goliday, Chapter 20, this volume; Schneider & Simpson, Chapter 22, this volume). Among its strategies, JDAI streamlines the court process, strengthens the defense role, and brings objectivity to the detention decision through the use of risk assessment instruments and data-driven analysis of detention utilization. Juveniles in the Adult Criminal Justice System An estimated 200,000 youth are tried, sentenced, or incarcerated as adults every year across the United States, most for nonviolent offenses; on any given day more than 3,600 youth are locked up in adult prisons (Campaign for Youth Justice, 2010; Woolard, 2005). Adult sentences carry significant long-term costs for youth and society, including a significant risk of victimization and trauma for the youth, lack of education, rehabilitative programming and family contact, and a greater likelihood that youth will reoffend than if they were retained in the juvenile justice system (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2007). Although racial and ethnic disparities (disproportionate minority contact [DMC]) are a problem throughout the juvenile justice system, those disparities are particularly pronounced among youth tried and incarcerated in the adult system (Arya & Augarten, 2008; Campaign for Youth Justice, 2010; see also Bell & Mariscal, Chapter 6, this volume).

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Although chronologically minors, juveniles under 18 are tried and incarcerated in the adult system as a result of state laws that define the jurisdiction of juvenile justice systems according to criteria other than age. Waiver statutes (also called transfer or certification) are how states define which youth will be handled by the juvenile justice system and which by the adult criminal justice system. Thus, even though a youth may be chronologically a minor, state waiver laws define him or her out of the juvenile justice system based on formulas that may include offense, offense history, history of treatment in the juvenile justice system, and availability of social supports, as well as other factors (Champion & Mays, 1991; Fagan & Zimring, 2000; Feld, 1998, 2003; Kent v. United States, 1964; Torbet et al., 1996). In one sense, waiver laws represent the state’s judgment about which youth are likely to benefit from the rehabilitation offered in the juvenile justice system and, therefore, on which youth the state should expend its treatment resources. Waiver laws are categorized by who makes the jurisdiction determination: the legislature, judiciary, or prosecution. Take the hypothetical case of a 14-year-old juvenile charged with armed robbery. Under legislative waiver, the law might require that every juvenile 14 or older who is charged with armed robbery be tried and sentenced as an adult, automatically, regardless of his or her individual circumstances. Under judicial waiver, the law might provide for a hearing in which a judge would make an individual determination as to whether this juvenile poses a danger to the public and is amenable to rehabilitation allowing him or her to be retained in the juvenile system. Under prosecutorial waiver, the prosecution has the option of filing the case in adult criminal court or in juvenile court based on the prosecutor’s evaluation of what is in the public interest or other criteria that might be

Children’s Rights and Relationships: A Legal Framework

set out in statute. Over the past 20 years, every state has modified its waiver laws in some way, and many have amended their laws multiple times, struggling to decide which youth deserve the benefits of the juvenile justice system, thus largely defining the state’s overall vision of juvenile justice (Blitzman, 2007; Merlo, Benekos, & Cook, 1996). Under the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA, 2002), states must separate incarcerated juveniles from adults; however, this does not apply to juveniles tried as adults (§223(a)(10)(H)). Thus, in 2008 there were 2,484 juveniles serving sentences of life without the possibility of parole in the adult prisons. These youth were under 18 at the time of their crimes and were tried and sentenced in the adult criminal justice system. Sixteen percent of them were 15 or under when they committed their crimes (Amnesty International & Human Rights Watch, 2008). In Roper v. Simmons (2005), the Supreme Court declared the death penalty unconstitutional when applied to juveniles who were under 18 years of age at the time of their crime (see also Stanford v. Kentucky, 1989; Thompson v. Oklahoma, 1988). In doing so, the Court acknowledged that youth are different from adults developmentally, making the death penalty disproportional to any crime a youth may commit. The Court made specific developmental findings, that: &

&

&

Youth lack maturity and responsibility, which leads them to reckless and impulsive behavior. Youth are more vulnerable than adults to outside negative influences, generally negative peer influences. Youth are changing and do not yet have fully developed characters or personalities and so may grow out of criminal behaviors.

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These developmental findings echo the principles that informed the juvenile court initially, but from which juvenile justice had been drifting beginning in the late 1980s. Hopefully, Roper marks a return to a developmentally informed juvenile justice policy in which it becomes more difficult to try and punish juveniles as adults, and in which laws governing interrogation, detention, trial rights, and sentencing reflect the reduced capacity of juveniles while respecting their rights to autonomy. In Graham v. Florida (2010), the Court extended the reasoning in Roper, and held that a sentence of life without parole was unconstitutional for juveniles in non-homicide cases. In its decision, the Court reinforced the Roper findings that juveniles are not as culpable as adults as a result of their developmental immaturity and went even further, acknowledging developments in neuroscience that show differences between adolescent and adult brains that may inhibit juveniles’ abilities to control their behavior. As of the decision in Graham, there were 129 juvenile nonhomicide offenders serving life without parole sentences (p. 2024). Status Offenses Status offenses are those offenses that apply only to minors, such as truancy, running away, underage drinking, or curfew violations. In many states, some of these laws are grouped together in comprehensive statutory schemes with titles such as Children in Need of Services (CHINS) or Persons in Need of Services (PINS) (e.g., Mass. Gen. L. Ann. C. 119 §§ 21, 39E-39I). Under the JJDPA, status offenders cannot be held in secure facilities with delinquent youth unless they violate a valid court order (VCO). That prohibition is called the Deinstitutionalization of Status Offenders

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(DSO) mandate, and results in dispositions for these youth with child and family services systems and not delinquency or youth corrections systems (42 U.S.C.A. § 5633(B)). Despite the DSO mandate, juveniles are detained for status offenses when they violate a court order requiring certain behavior. This has been referred to as “bootstrapping” delinquency onto a status offense, and has a disproportional impact on girls who tend to enter the juvenile justice system for misbehaviors such as running away and violating court orders. These actions, then, trigger detention even when the underlying offense is a status offense (Sherman, 2005). Notably, the JJDPA reauthorization bill, which passed the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee in 2009 (S. 678), eliminates the VCO exception to the DSO mandate, compelling states to address status offending youth in family services, and not juvenile justice systems. That bill, however, did not become law and future treatment by Congress of the VCO exception remains to be seen. Youth curfew ordinances are a type of status offense that have proliferated in the past 15 years, and have resulted in a number of court challenges that are shaping the contours of children’s rights. Juvenile curfews have passed with a range of rationale—to reduce crime and victimization, reduce gang violence, and assist parents’ efforts to control their teenage children. The majority of studies, however, show that juvenile curfews are ineffective at reducing crime. Challenges to juvenile curfews generally consider whether juveniles have a constitutional interest in freedom of movement (or association) and whether that interest is equal to that of adults. The majority of courts (federal and state) that have considered a juvenile curfew have found that juveniles do have a fundamental constitutional right to free movement. However,

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courts vary in the precise formulation of that right and their holdings as to whether individual curfew ordinances are constitutional (Herman, 2007; Jashinsky, 2007; Kaminsky, 2003; see e.g., Commonwealth v. Weston, 2009; Ramos v. Town of Vernon, 2003) States vary on the extent of due process required in a status offense case, where counsel is not constitutionally mandated and the case falls somewhere between delinquency and abuse and neglect, often revolving around parents’ difficulties handling teenage children’s behaviors. A few states, like Massachusetts, always provide counsel for the child and provide counsel for the parent if a loss of custody is likely (In re Hillary, 2008). Child Maltreatment Every state has a statutorily proscribed system for reporting, investigating, prosecuting, and protecting children from maltreatment (abuse and neglect). These systems are state created and are not required under the U.S. Constitution (Deshaney v. Winnebago County Department of Social Services, 1989). Although they vary somewhat across states, they are all grounded in the states’ parens patriae authority to protect and care for children when parents are unable to do so, and they all reflect a number of federal mandates. The guiding federal statutes are the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA, 2003, 42 U.S.C. A. § 5101(2003), which prompted more uniform definitions of child abuse and neglect, mandatory reporting laws, guardian ad litem (GAL) appointments and records confidentiality; the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act (2008, 42 U.S.C. 621), which required states to make “reasonable efforts” to prevent placement before removing children from their homes, shifting the focus away from removal and toward reunification and

Children’s Rights and Relationships: A Legal Framework

placement prevention; and the Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA, 1997, 42 U.S.C. 671 (2009)), which was designed to address indeterminate foster care placements and frequent changes in foster homes by mandating timelines for reunification or permanent placement (adoption or kinship) of a child, once child protection proceedings are initiated. Each of these federal laws ties state funding to implementation of the particular act’s mandates through state law. Although state laws and systems typically have the dual missions of family preservation and child protection, these can be in conflict. Child welfare law in the United States cycles through emphasis on removing children from their homes for their protection and keeping children in their homes for stability. The systems have variously favored orphanages, group homes, foster care, kinship care, and adoption; they have been accused of being under- and over-intrusive in families and have been guided by social science and public perceptions about “good” parenting (Bernstein, 2001). State laws typically set forth a system of abuse reporting and investigation as well as a system of services provided to willing families. They also provide for a court process, which can be initiated by an allegation that the child is abused, neglected, or abandoned and that the parent is unwilling or unable to accept and benefit from social services. Statutory definitions of abuse and neglect tend to be somewhat vague and ambiguous, making them vulnerable to misuse in situations rooted in family poverty or cultural issues, and some have been challenged as vague in the courts (Alsager v. District Ct. of Polk City, 1975). Like in the juvenile justice system, children of color are represented in the child protection system disproportionate to their presence in the population, and experience multiple foster

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placements and lack of permanency at rates higher than their White counterparts. These findings suggest, along with social inequities, that existing laws may be too open to the exercise of discretion without adequate standards. But others counter that they also reflect the challenges of parenting for poor, stressed families, many of whom are families of color in urban areas (Bartholet, 2009; Chapin Hall Center for Children, 2008). All children who are the subject of maltreatment actions are supposed to be provided representation of some sort as the result of CAPTA, which mandates the appointment of a lawyer or non-lawyer GAL in all child abuse and neglect cases (Abrams & Ramsey, 2010; Koh Peters, 2007). However, states differ as to whether counsel acts as a lawyer, directed by the child client as much as possible, or GAL, representing the child’s best interest. There is a general consensus that attorneys for youth in delinquency cases should provide client-directed representation, as they would for an adult defendant. However, accommodating age and youth development, many attorneys for children in child abuse and neglect proceedings see their role as representing what they perceive to be the best interests of the child. Some state laws and rules support that conceptualization, despite an emerging consensus in the bar that client–directed representation is the child’s right (American Bar Association, 2006, 2009). The role and professional responsibility of attorneys for children is the subject of ongoing discussion in the profession, and a 2009 study found that in child protection cases, many children still go unrepresented (First Star & Children’s Advocacy Institute, 2009). The U.S. Supreme Court found that the liberty interest at stake in a termination of parental rights proceeding did not warrant a constitutionally protected right to counsel

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for parents in all cases (Lassiter v. Department of Social Services, 1981), but states provide for court-appointed counsel by statute. In Santosky v. Kramer (1984), the Court held that the state must prove its case for a permanent termination of parental custody by clear and convincing evidence. Rights to Treatment and Services: Conditions of Confinement for Youth Although every state has a juvenile justice system charged with rehabilitating youth who commit crimes, and a child and family services system including foster care and other out-of-home programs to protect and provide services to youth who are victims of parental abuse or neglect, those systems often fail to do what they are required to do and, in some cases, can themselves be abusive to the youth they are charged with protecting. Particularly in juvenile justice detention and programs, reports of failure to provide adequate mental and physical health services as well as outright abusive conditions—such as use of pepper spray, excessive use of physical restraints, and physical and sexual assaults of youth by staff— occur too frequently (Soler, Shoenberg, & Schindler, 2009). When such abuse occurs, what laws protect youth, and how can they hold systems accountable? The law addressing children’s rights when the systems fail has a constitutional dimension through cases that have found that youth who are in the juvenile justice, mental health, or child and family services system have some form of right to treatment, because treatment is the reason for the youth’s confinement (Holland & Mlyniec, 1995). Systems may also be held accountable to provide services to youth through federal statutes mandating services or accommodations such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA, 42 U.S.C.

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§ 12132, et seq.), the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA, 20 U.S.C. § 1400, et seq. (i) (2004)), or the Civil Rights for Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA, 42 U.S.C. § 1997). Although juvenile courts that place children in the custody of the family service agencies or juvenile justice systems may play a role in requiring specific placements and services, in many states courts are constrained from ordering child-serving agencies to provide specific services by the doctrine of separation of powers. Youth who have not been convicted of a crime cannot be subject to conditions that amount to punishment, and, because a delinquency finding is not a criminal conviction, this protection applies to all youth in the juvenile justice system (Santana v. Collazo, 1983). Moreover, juveniles incarcerated in the juvenile justice system have a right to safety, adequate medical and mental health care in custody, some due process protections, access to their families and the courts, and to education and other programming (Dale & Soler, 2008; Soler et al., 2009; Youngberg v. Romeo, 1982). Although what we know about effective juvenile treatment has grown considerably over the past decade (see Beyer, Chapter 1, this volume; Greenwood & Turner, Chapter 23, this volume: Schiraldi, Schindler, & Goliday, Chapter 20, this volume) and facilities and courts can look to professional standards to determine the contours of treatment in juvenile justice, identifying poor conditions and enforcing reforms is complex. Youth often do not have access to counsel once they are incarcerated. Over the past two decades, federal courts have become less hospitable to conditions litigation, and youth are not legally entitled to best practices but only to treatment that satisfies minimal constitutional and statutory standards (Dale & Soler, 2008). However,

Children’s Rights and Relationships: A Legal Framework

increased federal Justice Department oversight of conditions in juvenile facilities through CRIPA, the development of performancebased and other standards for youth detention and corrections, increased awareness of youth suicide in facilities (Hayes, 2009), enforcement of the Prison Rape Elimination Act in juvenile facilities (PREA, 45 U.S.C. §15601; Beck, Harrison, & Guerino, 2010), and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s (OJJDP) 2010 publication of data from the Survey of Youth in Residential Placement (Sedlak & McPherson, 2010) all point toward improved conditions and treatment for youth in the juvenile justice system (Soler et al., 2009).

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relationship to the other two. Children have similar rights to those of adults, but often to a lesser degree; and children’s rights are always framed by their families and the institutions with which they are involved. Children in state systems retain rights they have generally— to some measure of free speech; freedom of association, movement, special education; some sort of health care—and, by virtue of their system and court involvement, they have additional rights—to counsel, some procedural due process, some measure of treatment. When children’s law is functioning properly, it both protects and respects youth.

REFERENCES CONCLUSION The juvenile justice system is essentially a legal system, with each youth’s initial involvement marked by an alleged law violation that initiates the legal process. Because the laws governing juvenile justice practices are a patchwork of state and federal statutes that attempt to reconcile the various, sometimes competing, interests of youth, their parents, and the state itself, many outside the system simply cannot understand how it works— indeed, they view it as virtually impenetrable. This places informed participation in the process beyond the reach of a significant percentage of youth and families who end up subject to its decisions. Children’s law is best understood when categorized into needs-based and autonomybased rights, although these categories are to some extent artificial and they are often related. In addition, children’s law strives to balance the rights and interests of children with those of parents and the state. Each has a separate role to play, but each role operates in

Abrams, D. E., & Ramsey, S. H. (2010). Children and the law: Doctrine, policy and practice. (4th ed.). St. Paul, MN: West, Thomas Reuters. Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980, 42 U.S.C. 621 (proposed legislation—effective October 2008). Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997, 42 U.S.C. 671 (2009). Ainsworth, J. (1991). Re-imagining childhood and reconstructing the legal order: The case for abolishing the juvenile court. North Carolina Law Review, 69, 1083–1113. Alsager v. District Ct. of Polk County, Iowa, 406 F. Supp. 10 (S.D. Iowa 1975). American Bar Association. (2006). Young Lawyers Division report to the House of Delegates. American Bar Association. (2009). Section on Litigation Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants, report to the House of Delegates, Recommendation. Amnesty International & Human Rights Watch. (2008). The rest of their lives: Life without parole for youth offenders in the United States. Updating the report first published in 2005, The rest of their lives: Life without parole for child offenders in the United States. Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §12132, et seq.; 28 C.F.R. §35.130(d). Anderson, C. (2004). Double jeopardy: The modern dilemma for juvenile justice. University of Pennsylvania Law Review, 152, 1181–1219.

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Arya, N. & Augarten, I. (2008). Critical condition: AfricanAmerican youth in the justice system. Washington, DC: Campaign for Youth Justice. Ayers, W. (1997). A kind and just parent: The children of the juvenile court. Boston, MA: Beacon Press. Bartholet, E. (2009). The racial disproportionality movement in child welfare: False facts and dangerous directions. Arizona Law Review, 51, 871–932. Beck, A. J., Harrison, P. M., & Guerino, P. (2010). Sexual victimization in juvenile facilities reported by youth, 2001–09. Special Report. U. S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics. Bellotti v. Baird, 443 U.S. 622 (1979). Berkheiser, M. (2002). The fiction of juvenile right to counsel: Waiver in the juvenile courts. Florida Law Review, 54, 577–686. Bernstein, N. (2001). The lost children of Wilder: The epic struggle to change foster care. New York, NY: Pantheon. Birkhead, T. R. (2009). Toward a theory of procedural justice for juveniles. Buffalo Law Review, 57(5), 1–72. Blau, A., & Allbright, A. (2006). 50-state roundup: Ensuring children with disabilities a free appropriate public education. Mental and Physical Disability Law Reporter, 30, 11–19. Blitzman, J. (2007). Gault’s promise. Barry Law Review, 9, 67–98. Blumenson, E., & Nilsen, E. (2002). One strike and you’re out? Constitutional constraints on zero tolerance in public education. Washington University Law Quarterly, 86, 65–117. Breed v. Jones, 421 U.S. 519 (1975). Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954). Burrell, S., & Bussiere, A. (2002). The “inmate exception”and its impact on health care services for children in out-of-home care in California. San Francisco, CA: Youth Law Center. Buss, E. (2003). Symposium: The relationship rights of children. Children’s associational rights?: Why less is more. William and Mary Bill of Rights Journal, 1101–1116. Buss, E. (2004a). Constitutional fidelity through children’s rights. Supreme Court Review, 355–407. Buss, E. (2004b). The public and private face of family law. University of Chicago Legal Forum, 27–55. Carroll, M. (2008). Educating expelled students after No Child Left Behind: Mending an incentive structure that discourages alternative education and reinstatement. University of California Los Angeles Law Review, 55, 1909–1968.

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Campaign for Youth Justice. (2010) Key Facts: Youth in the justice system. Retrieved from www .campaignforyouthjustice.org/documents/FS_Key YouthCrimeFacts.pdf Cauffman, E., Woolard, J., & Reppucci, D. N. (1999). Justice for juveniles: New perspectives on adolescents’ competence and culpability. Q.L.R. 403–419. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2007). Effects on violence of laws and policies facilitating the transfer of youth from the juvenile to the adult system: A report on recommendations of the task force on community prevention services. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 56 (No. RR-9). Available online at www.cdc.gov/mmwr/pdf/rr /rr5609.pdf Champion, D. J., & Mays, L. G. (1991). Transferring juveniles to criminal courts: Trends and implications for criminal justice. Symposium on serious juvenile crime. Notre Dame Journal of Ethics & Public Policy, 5, 257–503. Chapin Hall Center for Children. (2008). Understanding racial and ethnic disparities in child welfare and juvenile justice. In Racial and ethnic disparity and disproportionality in child welfare and juvenile justice: A compendium. (2009). Center for Juvenile Justice Reform, Georgetown University. Retrieved from http://cjjr.georgetown.edu/. Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act of 1974, 42 U.S.C.A. § 5101 (2003). Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §2000a et seq. (1988).Current through P.L. 111–202 (excluding P.L. 111–148, 111–152, 111–159, 111–173, 111– 192, and 111–198), approved July 13, 2010. Civil Rights for Institutionalized Persons Act of 1980, 42 U.S.C. § 1997. Clonlara, Inc. v. Runkel, 722 F.Supp. 1442 (E.D.Mich., 1989). Commonwealth v. Weston, 913 N.E.2d 832 (Mass. 2009). Cunningham, L. (2006). A question of capacity: Towards a comprehensive and consistent vision of children and their status under the law. University of California at Davis Journal of Juvenile Law & Policy, 10, 275–377. Dale, M. J., & Soler, M. I. (2008). Representing the child client (Vols. 1–2). New York, NY: Matthew Bender. Deshaney v. Winnebago County Department of Social Services, 489 U.S. 189 (1989). Drizin, S. & Warden, R. (Eds.). (2009). True stories of false confessions. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press.

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Dusky v. United States, 362 U.S. 402 (1960). English, A. (2006). Youth leaving foster care and homeless youth: Ensuring access to health care. Temple Law Review, 79, 439–459. Ex Parte Crouse, 4 Whart. 9 (1839). Fagan, J., & Zimring, F. (Eds). (2000). Changing borders of juvenile justice: Transfer of adolescents to the criminal court. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Farber, H. (2004). The role of the parent/guardian in juvenile custodial interrogations: Friend or foe? American Criminal Law Review, 41, 1277–1312. Fare v. Michael C., 442 U.S. 707 (1979). Feld, B. (1998). Juvenile and criminal justice systems’ response to youth violence. Crime & Justice, 24, 189–262. Feld, B. (2003). Race, politics, and juvenile justice: The Warren Court and the conservative “backlash.” Minnesota Law Review, 87, 1447–1578. Feld, B. (2006). Police interrogation of juveniles: An empirical study of policy and practice. Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 97, 219–316. First Star & Children’s Advocacy Institute. (2009). A child’s right to counsel: A national report card on legal representation for abused and neglected children. San Diego, CA: University of San Diego Law School. Foster Care Independence Act of 1999, 42 U.S.C.A. § 670. Ga. Code Ann., § 15–11–47 (2006) (proposed legislation as of 2009; amended). Goss v. Lopez, 419 U.S. 565 (1975). Graham v. Florida, 130 S. Ct. 2011, 560 U.S. ___ (2010). Green, B. A., & Dohrn, B. (1996). Foreword: Children and the ethical practice of law. Fordham Law Review, 64, 1281–1300. Grisso, T. (1981). Juveniles’ waiver of rights: legal and psychological competence. New York, NY: Plenum Press. Gupta, R. A., Kelleher, K. J., & Cueller, A. (2005). Delinquent youth in corrections: Medicaid and re-entry into the community. Pediatrics, 115, 1077–1083. Harris, L. J. (2006). An empirical study of parental responsibility laws: Sending messages, but what kind and to whom? Utah Law Review, 5–34. Hartman, R. G. (2002). Coming of age: Devising legislation for adolescent medical decisionmaking. American Journal of Law and Medicine, 28, 409–453. Hayes, L. M. (2009). Juvenile suicide in confinement: A national survey. OJJDP, U.S. Department of Justice

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Office of Justice Programs. Retrieved from www .ojjdp.ncjrs.org Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (Recon. Act, P.L. 111–152). Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, 29 U.S.C.A. § 1181 et seq. (2009). Henning, K. (2004). Eroding confidentiality in delinquency proceedings: Should schools and public housing authorities be notified? New York University Law Review, 79, 520–611. Henning, K. (2006). It takes a lawyer to raise a child: Allocating responsibilities among parents, children, and lawyers in delinquency cases. Nevada Law Journal, 6, 836–889. Herman, D. (2007). Juvenile curfews and the breakdown of the tiered approach to equal protection. New York University Law Review, 82, 1857–1894. Holland, P., & Mlyniec, W. J. (1995). Whatever happened to the right to treatment: The modern quest of a historical promise. Temple Law Review, 68, 1791–1836. Holman, B., & Ziedenberg, J. (2006). The dangers of detention: The impact of incarcerating youth in detention and other secure facilities. Washington, DC: Justice Policy Institute. Hubsch, A.W. (1989). Education and self-government: The right to education under state constitutional law. Journal of Law and Education, 18, 134–140. In re Gault, 387 U.S. 1 (1967). In re Hillary, 39 Mass. App. Ct. 1114 (1995). In re J.D.B., 686 S.E.2d 135 (N.C. 2009), cert. granted sub nom. J.D.B. v. North Carolina, 79 U.S.L.W. 3268 (U.S. Nov. 1, 2010). In re Winship, 397 U.S. 358 (1970). Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004, 20 U.S.C. § 1400, et seq. (i). Jashinsky, O. (2007). Liberty for all? Juvenile curfews: Always an unconstitutional and ineffective solution. Rutgers Journal of Law & Public Policy, 4, 546–574. Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of (JJDPA) of 1974 (P.L. 93–415, 88 Stat. 1109) and subsequent reauthorizations (1977, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 2002), 42 U.S.C. § 5601 et seq. Kaminsky, T. (2003). Rethinking judicial attitudes toward freedom of association challenges to teen curfews: The first amendment exception explored. New York University Law Review, 78, 2278–2303. Kent v. United States, 383 U.S. 541 (1966). King, K. (2006). Waiving childhood goodbye: How juvenile courts fail to protect children from

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unknowing, unintelligent, and involuntary waivers of Miranda rights. Wisconsin Law Review, 431–478. Koh Peters, J. (2007). Representing children in child protective proceedings 2007: Ethical and practical dimensions (3rd ed.). Charlottesville, VA: Lexis Law Publishers. Lassiter v. Department of Social Services, 452 U.S. 18 (1981). Majd, K., & Puritz, P. (2009). The cost of justice: How low-income youth continue to pay the price of failing indigent defense systems. Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law & Policy, 16, 543–583. Markman, J. (2008). Community notification and the perils of mandatory juvenile sex offender registration: The dangers faced by children and their families. Seton Hall Legislative Journal, 32, 261–285. Mass. Gen. Laws, ch. 119 §39H (2008). McKeiver v. Pennsylvania, 403 U.S. 528 (1971). Medicaid 42 U.S.C. § 1396 et seq.;1;(1975)(proposed legislation—effective April 1, 2009). Melton, G. B. (2005). Treating children like people: A framework for research and advocacy. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 34(4), 646–657. Mendel, R. (2009). Two decades of JDAI: A progress report: From demonstration project to national standard. Baltimore, MD: Annie E. Casey Foundation. Merlo, A., Benekos, P., & Cook, W. (1996). Getting tough with youth: Legislative waiver as crime control. Juvenile & Family Court Journal, 48, 1–15. Meyer, D. D. (2003). The modest promise of children’s relationship rights. William and Mary Bill of Rights Journal, 11, 1117–1137. Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390 (1923). Minow, M. (1986). Rights for the next generation: A feminist approach to children’s rights. Harvard Women’s Law Journal, 9, 1–24. Moriearty, P. L. (2008). Combating the color-coded confinement of kids: An equal protection remedy. New York University Review of Law and Social Change, 32, 285–343. Mutcherson, K. (2005) Whose body is it anyway? An updated model of healthcare decision-making rights for adolescents. Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy, 14, 251–325. N.G. v. Connecticut, 382 F.3d 225 (2nd Cir. 2004). National Health Law Program. (2010). Analysis of the Health Care Reform Law: PPACA and the Reconciliation Act. Retrieved from www.health law.org/index.php?option¼com_content&view¼

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article&id¼456:health-reform&catid¼51&Itemid ¼212 National Juvenile Defender Center. (2000–2006). State Juvenile Indigent Defense Assessments. No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, 20 U.S.C.A. §6301 et. seq. Ossant v. Millard, 72 Misc.2d 384, 339 N.Y.S.2d 163 (N.Y.Fam.Ct. 1972). Parham v. J.R., 442 U.S. 584 (1979). Patient Protection and Affordability Care Act (PPACA, PL111–148, 2010 HR 3590) (2010). People v. Burton, 6 Cal.3d 375 (1971). Perkins, J. (2009). Fact Sheet: Medicaid EPSDT Litigation (National Health law Program). Retrieved from www.healthlaw.org/images/pubs /EPSDT_Docket.pdf Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510 (1925). Planned Parenthood of Central Missouri v. Danforth, 428 U.S. 52 (1976). Poncz, E. (2008). Rethinking child advocacy after Roper v. Simmons: Kids are just different and kids are just like adults advocacy strategies. Cardozo Public Law, Policy and Ethics Journal, 6, 273–343. Prince v. Massachusetts, 321 U.S. 158 (1944). Prison Rape Elimination Act, 42 U.S.C.A. § 15601. Puzzanchera, C., Adams, B., & Sickmund, M. (2010). Juvenile Court Statistics 2006–2007. Pittsburgh, PA: National Center for Juvenile Justice. Quinn, M. M., Rutherford, R. B., Leone, P. E., Osher, D. M., & Poirier, J. M. (2005). Youth with disabilities in juvenile corrections: A national survey. Exceptional Children, 71(3), 339–345. Ramos v. Town of Vernon, 353 F.3d 171 (2nd Cir. 2003). Reichbach, A. (2004). The power behind the promise: Enforcing No Child Left Behind to improve education. Boston College Law Review, 45, 667–704. Reno v. Flores, 507 U.S. 292, 315–19 (1993). Reyes, A. (2006). The criminalization of student discipline programs and adolescent behavior. Saint John’s Journal of Legal Commentary, 21, 73–109. Roper v. Simmons, 543 U.S. 551 (2005). Rosie D. v. Romney, 410 F. Supp.2d 18 (D. Mass. 2006). Ross, C. (2003). Implementing constitutional rights for juvenile: The parent-child privilege in context. Stanford Law & Policy Review, 14, 85–120. S.D. ex rel. Dickson v. Hood, 391 F. 3d 581 (5th Cir. 2004). Safford v. Redding, 557 U.S., 129 S. Ct. 2633, 77 USLW 4591 (2009).

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San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 1 (1973). Santana v. Collazo, 714 F.2d 1172 (1st Cir. 1983). Santosky v. Kramer, 455 U.S. 745 (1982). Schall v. Martin, 467 U.S. 253 (1984). School Districts’ Alliance for Adequate Funding of Special Educ. v. State, 202 P.3d 990 (Wash. Ct. App. 2009). Sedlak, A. J., & McPherson, K. S. (2010). Youth needs and services: Findings from the survey of youth in residential placement. Juvenile Justice Bulletin. U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Sherman, F. (2005). Pathways to juvenile detention reform: Detention reform and girls: Challenges and solutions. Baltimore, MD: Annie E. Casey Foundation. Smook v. Minnehaha County, 457 F.3d 806 (8th Cir. 2006). Soler, M., Shoenberg, D., & Schindler, M. (2009). Juvenile justice: Lessons for a new era. Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law & Policy, 16, 483–541. Stanford v. Kentucky, 492 U.S. 361 (1989). State v. Newstrom, 371 N.W.2d 525 (Minn. 1985). State Children’s Health Insurance Program of 1997, 42 U.S.C. 1397aa et seq. (2009).

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Sterling, R. W. (2009). The role of juvenile defense counsel in delinquency court. Washington, DC: National Juvenile Defender Center. Thompson v. Oklahoma, 487 U.S. 815 (1988). Torbet, P., Gable, R., Hurst, H., Montgomery, I., Szymanski, L., & Thomas, D. (1996). State responses to serious and violent juvenile crime: Research report. U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Trammel v. United States, 445 U.S. 40 (1980). Troxell v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57 (2000). United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, November 20, 1989. United Nations Treaty Series Vol. 1557. Weithorn, L. (2005). Envisioning second-order change in American’s responses to troubled and troublesome youth. Hofstra Law Review, 33, 1305–1505. Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406 U.S. 205 (1972). Woodhouse, B. B. (2001). Children’s Rights.InS. O. White (Ed.), Youth and justice. New York, NY: Plenum Press. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com /abstract=234180 or doi:10.2139/ssrn.234180 Woolard, J. (2005). Juveniles within adult correctional settings: Legal pathways and developmental considerations. International Journal of Forensic Mental Health, 4(1), 18. Youngberg v. Romeo, 457 U.S. 307 (1982).

Juvenile Justice: Advancing Research, Policy, and Practice Edited by Francine T. Sherman and Francine H. Jacobs Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

CHAPTER

5

A Vision for the American Juvenile Justice System The Positive Youth Development Perspective R I C H A R D M. L E R N E R , M I C H A E L D. W I A T R O W S K I , M E G A N K I E L Y M U E L L E R , C H R I S T O P H E R M. N A P O L I T A N O , K R I S T I N A L. S C H M I D , A N D A N I T A P R I T C H A R D

E

ach year in the United States, millions of adolescents become involved with the juvenile justice system (see Steinberg, 2008a). For some youth, this involvement begins and ends with a warning; they are not taken into custody and do not formally enter the system. Other youth are indeed taken into custody one or more times, and for some of these youth, there may be eventual incarceration in the adult criminal justice system. Although the treatment of youth within the juvenile justice system is generally dictated by the nature and seriousness of the offense and the prior involvement of youth with the system, it is also influenced by the extant conception of these youth (Steinberg, 2008b; Woolard & Scott, 2009) and, perhaps more fundamentally, by whether there exists a developmental conception of youth within the system (Scott & Steinberg, 2008). Traditionally, a developmental perspective has been absent within the juvenile justice system (Schwartz, 2003; Scott & Steinberg,



2008; Steinberg, 2008b), especially a developmental perspective informed by what we discuss later in the chapter as contemporary and cutting-edge models of development. Such models emphasize that mutually influential relations between the developing person and his/her complex (multilevel) ecology constitute the basic process of human development (Lerner, 2006; Overton, 2006, 2010). Moreover, young people, whether involved in the juvenile justice system or not, have been seen through a lens that regards healthy or positive adolescent development as being reflected by the absence of problems (Lerner, 2007). The assumption guiding this general view of youth is that adolescence is (because of biology) an inevitable period of “storm and stress” and, as such, a time when youth are both dangerous to others and to themselves (Anthony, 1969; Freud, 1969; Hall, 1904). There has been, then, a purported universal, biologically based shortcoming—a deficit—in their behavior and development. This nature (or nativist) deficit conception aligns with conceptions of system-involved youth that reflect ideas that transgressing adolescents need to be protected from themselves and from harming society (Steinberg, 2008b). As noted later in

The preparation of this chapter was supported in part by grants from the National 4-H Council, the John Templeton Foundation, and the Thrive Foundation for Youth.

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A Vision for the American Juvenile Justice System: The Positive Youth Development Perspective

the chapter, these ideas were linked in the mid to late 1990s to the “superpredator” depiction of young people in the system and to adjudicating teenagers as adults. This deficit view of youth may have been a motivating factor in the separation of juveniles from treatment within the adult criminal justice system and the creation of the American juvenile justice system in 1899. Schwartz (2003) has suggested that this deficit view may have been a conceptually problematic but, nonetheless, somewhat effective way to protect children from “socialization” by adult criminals. Nevertheless, the deficit lens about adolescent development is based on an erroneous understanding of biological development, ignorance of extant data about adolescence, and a misunderstanding about the nature and strengths of youth development. Accordingly, the purpose of this chapter is to describe the nature and problems of the contemporary juvenile justice system that arise as a consequence of the counterfactual conception of adolescence that has framed the treatment of youth within the juvenile justice system (Schwartz, 2003; Steinberg, 2008a, 2008b). We place contemporary views about youth within the context of the history of the conceptions of young people that have been used within the juvenile justice system. In turn, building on recent calls for adopting a developmental perspective on juvenile justice (Scott & Steinberg, 2008; Steinberg, 2008b; Woolard & Scott, 2009), we provide a lens for viewing youth development: the positive youth development (PYD) perspective (Lerner, 2005, 2009). We believe that the PYD perspective capitalizes appropriately on contemporary theory and research on adolescent development and, as such, has profound implications for the transformation of juvenile justice policy and programs.

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JUVENILE JUSTICE AND VIEWS OF YOUTH BEHAVIOR AND DEVELOPMENT: PAST AND CURRENT PERSPECTIVES The United States created the concept of juvenile justice based on an idea that has developed slowly over the past 200 years— that is, that youth are socially and developmentally not as fully responsible for their behavior as are adults before the law (Woolard & Scott, 2009). With the onset of Andrew Jackson’s presidency (1829–1837), penitentiaries were created to reform and rehabilitate adult and juvenile criminals alike rather than to punish them, as did prisons (Rothman, 1971). Following this model of rehabilitation, reformers soon sought to remove children from the presence of adults and provide a different place for them in the justice system. During this time, the first juvenile houses of refuge were established, and attempts were made to treat children accused and convicted of criminal offenses differently from adults (Dean & Repucci, 1974; Fox, 1970). With the creation of the first reformatories in the 1830s until the creation of the first juvenile court in Illinois in 1899, various approaches were taken for the care and treatment of children in the custody of the law. Public and private institutions attempted to mimic idealized visions of families or provide pastoral settings outside the “corruption” of the cities. Order, discipline, and hard work were the vision for the care of delinquent youth. However, these initiatives were imperfect experiments, and periodic investigations revealed that children in the court-ordered care of adults were typically treated poorly and harshly—a situation that some might argue continues to exist today. In the late 19th century, with the emergence of the field of social work and new ideas

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regarding the causes of delinquency, the juvenile court evolved as a legal and social institution. The moral crusaders of this period had the view that children in trouble with the law were the product of flawed social environments (Platt, 1969). The settlement house idea was imported from England, and community centers were created as a place to bring some order to the slums and to solve the problems of overcrowding, labor exploitation, alcoholism, public health failure, and the myriad of related problems (Addams, 1910). These problems were viewed as social pathologies reflecting the emergent disease theory of medicine. Social work emerged as an area of professional specialization that sought to ameliorate the conditions that were thought to cause crime and delinquency. In 1899, Illinois became the first state to establish a statutory basis for juvenile courts, with most states following soon thereafter. The juvenile court developed a structure and language that differentiated it from the adult justice system. It was designed to be therapeutic and not punitive and, in theory, it was the antithesis of the adult criminal justice system. The medical model was adapted and applied to the treatment of social problems; this language of “treatment” became commonplace in dealing with juvenile delinquents (Smith, 1911). Certainly, this approach was more benign than the placement of juveniles in the adult system. Nevertheless, many of the reforms were often implemented poorly, and the treatment of juveniles in reform schools began to resemble the treatment of adults in minimum and medium security prisons (Feld, 1999). By the mid-1960s, however, events occurred in both the legal system and in academe to change the landscape of juvenile justice law and the treatment of juvenile offenders. Scott and Steinberg (2008) note

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that this conceptual landscape had remained largely unchanged throughout the first half of the 20th century. In regard to the legal system, the President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice (1967) provided a comprehensive examination of how both adult and juvenile justice were administered in the United States, as questions were emerging about whether the system protected the legal rights of juveniles and whether the actions of the juvenile justice system were in fact benign. In 1967, the Supreme Court case In re Gault challenged the historically informal court proceedings typical of juvenile cases (Scott & Steinberg, 2008), when Gerald Gault, a 15-year-old youth, was adjudicated in regard to making an obscene telephone call (see Schwartz, 2003, for a discussion of the impact of the Gault decision). He had been sentenced to a juvenile facility that was the equivalent of a medium security prison for the remainder of the time he was a juvenile. This case was the first to provide juveniles with the basic constitutional protections afforded to adults. In regard to academic events, Hirschi’s (1969) social control theory of delinquency used what may be termed sociogenic, or social mold (Elder, 1998) ideas (about socialization and social learning) to account for the advent of delinquency in a young person’s behavioral repertoire. From the standards of contemporary developmental theory, which we have already noted are linked to relational, systems notions of mutually influential exchanges between developing individuals and their complex (multilevel) and changing contexts, Hirschi’s theory reflects an outdated, split conception of the causes of behavior and development in the course of human life (Lerner, 2006; Overton, 2006, 2010). Simply, Hirschi’s model (and others like it, e.g., Hirschi & Gottfredson, 1980) is based on a

A Vision for the American Juvenile Justice System: The Positive Youth Development Perspective

counterfactual separation of organism and ecological developmental processes (Overton, 2006). Nevertheless, at the time of its presentation, the model of Hirschi was within the mainstream of social and behavioral science, which adhered to such Cartesian, split conceptions (Overton, 2010). Although Hirschi’s views about the bases of delinquency issues evolved (Hirschi & Gottfredson, 1980), his work nevertheless continued to reflect the split notion of human functioning that is today seen as inadequate within developmental science (Lerner, 2006; Overton, 2010). Nevertheless, at the time, his work was certainly useful in eliciting other discussions of the defining characteristics of delinquent youth and the source of these characteristics. Historically, then, Hirschi’s work was a precursor of ideas about the nature of the development of delinquency. In addition, his work provided a basis for discussions in the literature of whether the characteristics of treatment in juvenile institutions provided a good fit with the attributes of delinquent youth. In addition Wolfgang, Figlio, and Sellin (1972), examined the offenses of a cohort of youth born in Philadelphia in 1944 and found that involvement with the justice system among these youth was common; almost half of the youth had at least one contact. A progressively smaller number of youth, about 6%, accounted for almost half of the offenses. The juvenile justice system apparently had little impact on the behavior of these youth. From this work, the idea of the chronic offender was born. During the 1980s it became clear that, generally, prisons and juvenile institutions had punishment and incarceration as their primary purpose, and, as a consequence, the goal of rehabilitation was significantly reduced. This shift reflects what has been repeated historical

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variation between an emphasis on punishment and an emphasis on rehabilitation. The emphasis found within any particular period may reflect the larger zeitgeist pertinent to societal concern with issues of social order. By the 1980s, the idea of “Do the crime, do the time” was applied to juveniles who were now treated as the developmental equivalent of adults; these youth were incarcerated in the adult criminal justice system, although separated from adult prisoners until they themselves became adults (Redding, 2005). Moreover, many states revised their statutes allowing juveniles to be waived or transferred to the jurisdiction of the adult criminal justice system. This treatment was reinforced by works such as that of Dilulio (1995), who coined the term juvenile superpredator to describe youth who were so primal, amoral, and violent in their behavior that he believed there was little society could do with them except to incarcerate them and “throw away the key,” again reflecting a theoretically atavistic and counterfactual Cartesian, split conception of the bases of human behavior and development (Overton, 2010). Although here one emphasized the nativist (nature) basis of youth behavior, this conception also had racial overtones, in that youth of color comprised the major proportion of children and adolescents then involved in the juvenile justice system (see also Bell & Mariscal, Chapter 6, this volume). Today, however, the laws that transfer juveniles to the punishments of the adult court are being questioned. A consistent finding is that those transferred to the adult system are more likely to reoffend than those who remain in the juvenile system (Lanza-Kaduce, Lane, Bishop, & Frazier, 2000). Indeed, because imprisonment undermines important developmental tasks, including social maturation, Scott and Steinberg (2008) argue that

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many young offenders “are not headed for careers in crime—unless correctional interventions push them in that direction” (p. 25). Is there, then, a different model of youth that can recast their treatment within the juvenile justice system? Can this model be expected to reduce youth crime, and, in turn, promote positive individual and social behavior? We believe that the answer is yes. We discuss such a model next and then consider its implications for transforming the juvenile justice system.

THE CONTEMPORARY STUDY OF ADOLESCENCE AND THE EMERGENCE OF THE POSITIVE YOUTH DEVELOPMENT (PYD) PERSPECTIVE The scientific study of adolescent development was founded by Granville (G.) Stanley Hall (1844–1924) who, in 1904, published the first text on adolescence, a two-volume work entitled: Adolescence: Its Psychology and Its Relations to Physiology, Anthropology, Sociology, Sex, Crime, Religion, and Education. Hall launched the study of adolescence with a theory that saw the period as one marked by “storm and stress.” Hall believed that “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny”: The changes that occur in a person’s life mirror the changes that occurred in the evolution of the human species. (This view is also called the theory of recapitulation.) Human evolution, he believed, involved changes that moved humans from being beastlike to being civilized. Adolescence corresponds to the period in evolution when humans underwent this change. Therefore, adolescence is a time of overcoming one’s beastlike impulses. Hall’s (1904) conception gave birth to what we noted earlier is a nativist, deficit model of

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adolescence. Predicated on a split notion that separates the nature and nurture sources of behavior and development, Hall believed that the biological- or evolutionary-based “nature” of human development gave rise necessarily to storm and stress during the adolescent period; there was, then, a biologically based deficit in the ability of youth to manifest overall civilized, serene, and stress-free behavior. Few scientists believed the specifics of Hall’s theory of recapitulation. However, his prominence in American psychology did influence the general conception that scientists—and society—had of adolescence as a time of upheaval and stress. Other scholars studying adolescent development adopted, in their theories, Hall’s idea that adolescence was a necessarily stressful period. For example, Anna Freud (1969) viewed adolescence as a universal period of developmental disturbance that involved upheavals in drive states, in family and peer relationships, in ego defenses, and in attitudes and values. Similarly, Erik Erikson (1968) spoke of adolescents as enmeshed in an identity crisis. In short, scientists defined young people as “at risk” for behaving in uncivilized or problematic ways and therefore as being dangerous to themselves and to others. For much of the 20th century, most writing and research about adolescence was based on this deficit conception of young people. This language is mirrored in the “risk” factors for adolescents offered by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention in their comprehensive strategy. The failure to negotiate adolescence allegedly created “deficits.” Typically, these deficit models of the characteristics of adolescence were predicated on biologically reductionist models of genetic or maturational determination (e.g., Erikson, 1968), and resulted in descriptions of youth as

A Vision for the American Juvenile Justice System: The Positive Youth Development Perspective

“broken” or in danger of becoming broken (Benson, Scales, Hamilton, & Sesma, 2006), as both dangerous and endangered (Anthony, 1969), or as “problems to be managed” (Roth & Brooks-Gunn, 2003). For instance, Anthony (1969) noted that adolescents were “lost,” that is, unable to find a positive place for themselves in society and, as such, they were both “dangerous,” in that they did not behave in manners supporting societal institutions or the social order, and “endangered,” in that they were acting in manners that, by failing to support society, would in fact harm the viability of the very institutions that nurtured and protected them. Similarly, Anna Freud (1969) noted that the inevitable biological changes of puberty resulted in adolescents moving strongly away from (indeed even rejecting) parental attitudes and values and, in turn, adopting what she specified were the antithetical views of the peer group. As a consequence of the prevalence of these deficit conceptions, if positive development was discussed in the adolescent development literature—at least prior to the 1990s—it was implicitly or explicitly regarded as the absence of negative or undesirable behaviors (Benson et al., 2006). A youth who was seen as manifesting behavior indicative of positive development was depicted as someone who was not taking drugs or using alcohol, not engaging in unsafe sex, and not participating in crime or violence. However, by the late 1990s and early 2000s, developmental science began to give increasingly greater attention to a new, strength-based conception of adolescence labeled the positive youth development (PYD) perspective (e.g., Damon, 2004; Larson, 2000; Lerner, 2004, 2007; Lerner & Steinberg, 2009). The emergence of this view of adolescence was linked to biology and comparative psychology.

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Origins of the PYD Perspective The roots of the PYD perspective are found in the work of comparative psychologists (e.g., Gottlieb, Wahlsten, & Lickliter, 2006; Schneirla, 1957) and biologists (e.g., Novikoff, 1945a, 1945b; von Bertalanffy, 1933) who had been studying the plasticity of developmental processes that arose from the “fusion” (Tobach & Greenberg, 1984) of biological and contextual levels of organization. The ideas of fusion and of plasticity derive from what we have noted earlier in the chapter is the contemporary, cutting-edge focus of developmental theory on the relational developmental system, that is, on the mutually influential relations between the developing individual and his/her ecology (Lerner, 2006; Overton, 2006, 2010). These relations involve links between the neurological (e.g., brain) and psychological (e.g., cognitive, emotional, and motivational) facets of the person and the features of his/her natural and designed ecology (e.g., the family, school, and the institutions of civil society), the physical setting, and the historical context. Given that history (temporality) is an “arrow” that cuts through all levels that are integrated (“fused”) within the relational, developmental system, there is always a potential for systematic change (“plasticity”) in the behavior and development of the individual. Although these ideas about the importance of multiple levels of organization (those within the individual, such as physiology or cognition and those in the ecology, such as the family, educational institutions, and historical events) together acting to shape the nature and positive or negative direction of development across life arose in the study of biology and of nonhuman species (e.g., Gottlieb et al., 2006; Tobach & Schneirla, 1968), they began to impact the human developmental sciences in the 1970s (Cairns & Cairns, 2006; Gottlieb et al.,

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2006; Lerner, 2002, 2006; Overton, 2006). Examples are the theoretical papers by Overton (1973) and by Lerner (1978) that discussed the nature–nurture controversy (i.e., the debate about whether the source of development was to be found in biological or environmental influences or in some combination of the two sets of influences). These authors argued that the debate could be resolved by taking an integrative, relational–developmental systems theoretical perspective about nature (e.g., genetic) and nurture (e.g., socialization, educational) influences on human development. As we will explain in more detail below, these discussions about the systemic relations among variables from all levels of organization involving organisms (individuals) and their physical and social world have resulted in the last several decades in both the elaboration of what we have already noted to be relational developmental systems theories of human development (Overton, 2010) and, in turn, on a strength-based view of adolescence. As we shall note, if the developmental system is plastic, then a fundamental strength of any facet of the system—the individual, for instance—is that there is some potential for change in behavior across life. Therefore, given the presence of at least some plasticity across life, what one may see in a person’s behavior at one point in his or her life is not what one might necessarily see at a subsequent point, if one were to change the relations within the developmental system. Plasticity means, then, that changes in the system could be linked to the enhancement or improvement in behavior (or, if changes in the system of relations are not supportive of positive growth, then there may of course be negative changes in behavior; a system that is open, or plastic, in regard to changes for the better is also open to changes for the worse). Today, developmental science includes a range of diverse instantiations of developmental

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systems theories, ideas that are applied to individuals across the life span and to adolescents in particular (e.g., see Brandtst€adter, 2006; Bronfenbrenner & Morris, 2006; Magnusson & Stattin, 2006; Rathunde & Csikszentmihalyi, 2006; and see Lerner, 2006, and Lerner & Steinberg, 2009, for other examples). However, all instances of these models share several core ideas, which we now discuss. Defining Features of Developmental Systems Theories As we have noted already, developmental systems theories have arisen in response to conceptions of development that split apart the variables (e.g., biological and social) and levels of organization (e.g., the individual, the institutions of society, history) that comprise the ecology of human life (Bronfenbrenner & Morris, 2006; Overton, 2010). Prior to the emergence of developmental systems theories, the study of human development and, indeed, the social and behavioral sciences more generally, were dominated by conceptions framed by modern, Cartesian thinking that reduced (or split off) the complexity of the system of influences involved in human life (ranging from the inner biological to the outer physical and historical) into one variable that was “real” (e.g., a gene, socialization, or social control); other variables were regarded as epiphenomenal or derivative. Developmental systems theories “reject all splits,” and constitute an instance of postmodern thinking that views the bases (the causes) of human behavior as associated with the configuration of relations across all levels of organization within the human development system, as they exist within a specific period of time (Overton, 2006). Accordingly, within all developmental systems theories the concept of developmental

A Vision for the American Juvenile Justice System: The Positive Youth Development Perspective

regulation indicates that the character (the form or pace) of the course of development (i.e., the regulation of development) involves mutually influential relations among variables from the levels of the system, and not one variable from one level (e.g., a gene from the biological level of organization) producing change in other variables (or levels). There is, then, a bidirectional influence among levels, represented in general as Level 1 ! Level 2. When these developmental regulations involve relations between individuals and their contexts, the relation may be represented as individual ! context relations. In addition, when these developmental regulations between individuals and contexts benefit both components of the relation, when the relations are salutary for both the person and his/her setting, then adaptive developmental regulations exist. For instance, when the individual contributes to the institutions of civil society (e.g., by voting or by becoming civically engaged more generally) that, in turn, afford the person the opportunity to pursue his/her individual talents and positive interests, then an adaptive developmental regulation would exist (Lerner, 2004). We have noted that because of the integration of temporality (history—or the continuous changes associated with the “arrow of time”) within the developmental system, the developmental system is characterized by the potential for plasticity in individual ! context relations. This plasticity allows an optimistic approach to the study of human development. If developmental science can find combinations of individual and context that can capitalize on plasticity and change to better the course (the trajectory) of behavior, then all individuals have some chance for improvement in their behavior across life. The combinations of individuals and settings that could result in positive development

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constitute a virtually open set. There may be as many as 70 trillion potential human genotypes (a genotype is the set of genes that are received at conception) and—in the development of an individual (a phenotype)—each genotype may be coupled across life with an even larger number of social experiences, for example, different families, peer groups, neighborhoods, social policies, physical ecological conditions, and historical events (Hirsch, 2004). Therefore, from a developmental systems perspective, the diversity of people—the specific life paths they take and the specific outcomes of their development—becomes a prime focus for developmental research and application (Lerner, 2004; Spencer, 2006). Because of plasticity, all people possess a fundamental strength—the capacity to change—and, because of diversity, all people have an individual pathway through life that can, if conditions of person and context are adequately aligned, result in more positive behavior (Benson et al., 2006). Accordingly, ideas that seek to characterize all individuals or purported subgroups of individuals (e.g., “predator juveniles”) as the same and as not having any potential for positive change are egregiously flawed. Such ideas reflect counterfactual assertions about the nature of human development and are predicated on obsolete, split ideas that ignore the plastic and diverse character of human development. It is in the linkage between the ideas of plasticity and diversity that a basis exists for the extension of developmental systems thinking to the field of adolescence, and for the field of adolescence to serve as a “testing ground” for ideas associated with developmental systems theory. This synergy has had at least one key outcome, the forging of a new, strength-based vision of and vocabulary for the nature of adolescent development. In short, the plasticity–diversity linkage within

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developmental systems theory and method has provided the basis for the formulation of the PYD perspective. Components of the PYD Perspective Beginning in the early 1990s, and burgeoning in the first half-decade of the 21st century, a new vision and vocabulary for discussing young people has emerged. These innovations were framed by the developmental systems theories that were engaging the interest of developmental scientists. Moreover, these innovations were propelled by the increasingly collaborative contributions of researchers focused on the second decade of life (e.g., Benson et al., 2006; Damon, 2004; Lerner, 2004), practitioners in the field of youth development (e.g., Floyd & McKenna, 2003; Pittman, Irby, & Ferber, 2001), and policy makers concerned with improving the life chances of diverse youth and their families (e.g., Cummings, 2003; Gore, 2003). These interests converged in the formulation of a set of ideas that enabled youth to be viewed as resources to be developed, and not as problems to be managed (Roth & BrooksGunn, 2003). These ideas may be discussed in regard to two key hypotheses. Each

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hypothesis is associated with two subsidiary hypotheses. The first hypothesis pertains to the measurement of PYD. The second focuses on the relations between individuals and contexts that, within developmental systems models, provide the basis of human development. Hypothesis 1: PYD Is Comprised of Five Cs Based on both the experiences of practitioners and reviews of the adolescent development literature (Eccles & Gootman, 2002; Lerner, 2004; Roth & Brooks-Gunn, 2003), “Five Cs”—Competence, Confidence, Connection, Character, and Caring—were hypothesized as a way of conceptualizing PYD (and of integrating all the separate indicators of it, such as academic achievement or self-esteem). The definitions of these Cs are presented in Table 5.1. These Five Cs were linked to the positive outcomes of youth development programs reported by Roth and Brooks-Gunn (2003). In addition, these “Cs” are prominent terms used by practitioners, adolescents involved in youth development programs, and the parents of these adolescents in describing the characteristics of a “thriving youth” (King et al., 2005).

Table 5.1. Definitions of the Five Cs of Positive Youth Development Competence. Positive view of one’s actions in domain-specific areas, including social, academic, cognitive, and vocational. Social competence pertains to interpersonal skills (e.g., conflict resolution). Cognitive competence pertains to cognitive abilities (e.g., decision making). School grades, attendance, and test scores are part of academic competence. Vocational competence involves work habits and career choice explorations and entrepreneurship. Confidence. An internal sense of overall positive self-worth and self-efficacy; one’s global self-regard, as opposed to domain-specific beliefs. Connection. Positive bonds with people and institutions that are reflected in bidirectional exchanges between the individual and peers, family, school, and community in which all parties contribute to the relationship. Character. Respect for societal and cultural rules, possession of standards for correct behaviors, a sense of right and wrong (morality), and integrity. Caring (or Compassion). A sense of sympathy and empathy for others. Sources: Lerner, 2004; Lerner et al., 2005; Roth and Brooks-Gunn, 2003.

A Vision for the American Juvenile Justice System: The Positive Youth Development Perspective

Hypothesis 1A: Contribution is the “Sixth C”: A hypothesis subsidiary to the postulation of the “Five Cs” as a means to measure (operationalize) PYD is that when a young person manifests the Cs across time (when the youth is thriving), he or she will be on a life trajectory toward an “idealized adulthood” (Csikszentmihalyi & Rathunde, 1998; Rathunde & Csikszentmihalyi, 2006). Theoretically, an ideal adult life is marked by integrated and mutually reinforcing contributions to self (e.g., maintaining one’s health and one’s ability therefore to remain an active agent in one’s own development) and to family, community, and the institutions of civil society (e.g., families, neighborhoods, schools, religious groups, etc.; Elshtain, 1999; Lerner, 2004). In other words, contribution is conceived of as giving (being generous) to self and others. The contributing person keeps herself healthy and fit, so as not to be an unnecessary liability to or an unnecessary user of the resources of others and, as well, helps family members without any coercion, assists neighbors without any compensation to do so, and helps keep the institutions of civil society strong by, for instance, volunteering to help others (e.g., through food or clothing drives) and acting to support the institutions of democracy (e.g., by working to enhance voter registration, by supporting political debate, and by voting). An adult engaging in such integrated contributions is a person manifesting adaptive developmental regulations (Brandtst€adter, 2006). Hypothesis 1B: PYD and risk/problem behaviors are inversely related: A second

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subsidiary hypothesis to the one postulating the Five Cs is that there should be an inverse relation across development between PYD (e.g., the Five Cs) and behaviors indicative of risk behaviors or internalizing and externalizing problems (e.g., delinquency, substance use, depression, aggression). That is, this hypothesis suggests that as evidence for positive behavior increases, there should be fewer indications of problematic behaviors. Simply, the idea is that increases in good things are associated with decreases in what is bad. This idea was forwarded in particular by Pittman and her colleagues (e.g., Pittman et al., 2001) in regard to applications of developmental science to policies and programs. In essence, the hypothesis is that the best means to prevent problems associated with adolescent behavior and development (e.g., depression, aggression, drug use and abuse, or unsafe sexual behavior) is to promote positive development. The status of empirical support for Hypothesis 1: Findings from a national longitudinal investigation, the 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development (Lerner et al., 2005), support these hypotheses. The study, which currently includes about 7,000 youth from 41 states, involves longitudinal assessment of adolescents beginning in Grade 5 (at about age 10) and is currently designed to follow youth through Grade 12. The study provides evidence for the existence of the Five Cs of PYD, for the existence of the “Sixth C” of Contribution, and for positive relations among these

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Cs (Lerner et al., 2005). Indeed, PYD in an earlier grade predicts Contribution in subsequent grades (e.g., Jelicic, Bobek, Phelps, J. V. Lerner, & Lerner, 2007). Similarly, findings from the 4-H Study show that there are inverse relations between the Cs and the risk/problem behaviors discussed above (Jelicic et al., 2007), although this relationship is more nuanced than originally hypothesized. For example, Phelps et al. (2007) and Zimmerman, Phelps, and Lerner (2008) found that PYD and risk/problem behaviors follow different trajectories over time; that is, the patterns of change associated with these outcomes differ among individuals. Whereas some youth show inverse relations between trajectories of PYD and risk/problem behaviors, other youth show increases in both dimensions and still others show decreases in both. These findings, that youth have diverse combinations of trajectories of positive and problematic behaviors, indicate that both prevention and promotion efforts must be pursued in terms of the policy and programs directed at youth. For instance, in regard to the juvenile justice system, these findings indicate that even among youth who show a history of risk/ problem behaviors, including (within the 4-H Study data set) bullying, delinquency, or substance use, there may be substantial evidence of PYD and, as well, Contribution. Accordingly, there may be strengths—and the basis for positive change—among even those youth who show trajectories of marked risk/problem behaviors.

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Hypothesis 2: Youth-Context Alignment Promotes PYD Based on the idea that the potential for systematic intraindividual change across life (i.e., for plasticity) represents a fundamental strength of human development, the hypothesis was generated that, if the strengths of youth are aligned with resources for healthy growth present in the key contexts of adolescent development—the home, the school, and the community—then enhancements in positive functioning at any one point in time (i.e., well-being; Lerner, 2004) may occur. In turn, the systematic promotion of positive development will occur across time (i.e., thriving; e.g., Lerner, 2004; Lerner et al., 2005). Hypothesis 2A: Contextual alignment involves marshaling development assets: A key subsidiary hypothesis to the notion that aligning individual strengths and contextual resources for healthy development is that there exist, across the key settings of youth development (i.e., families, schools, and communities), at least some supports for the promotion of PYD. Termed developmental assets (Benson et al., 2006), these resources constitute the social and ecological “nutrients” for the growth of healthy youth. Hypothesis 2B: Community-based programs constitute key developmental assets: There is broad agreement among researchers and practitioners in the youth development field that the concept of developmental assets is important for understanding what needs to be marshaled in homes, classrooms, and community-based programs to foster PYD (Benson et al., 2006; Lerner, 2007). In fact, a key impetus for the interest in the PYD perspective among both researchers and

A Vision for the American Juvenile Justice System: The Positive Youth Development Perspective

youth program practitioners, and thus a basis for the collaborations that exist among members of these two communities, lies in ascertaining the nature of the resources for positive development that are present in youth programs, for example, in the literally hundreds of thousands of after-school programs delivered either by large, national organizations, such as 4-H, Boys and Girls Clubs, Scouting, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, YMCA, or Girls, Inc., or by local organizations (see Dym, Gerena, Tangvik, & Bartlett, Chapter 19, this volume). The focus on youth programs is important not only for practitioners in the field of youth development, however. In addition, the interest in exploring youth development programs as a source of developmental assets for youth derives from theoretical interest in the role of the macrolevel systems effects of the ecology of human development on the course of healthy change in adolescence (Bronfenbrenner & Morris, 2006); interest derives as well from policy makers and advocates, who believe that, at this point in the history of the United States, community-level efforts are needed to promote positive development among youth (e.g., Cummings, 2003; Gore, 2003; Pittman, et al., 2001). The status of empirical support for Hypothesis 2: Once again, findings from the 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development lend empirical support to expectations associated with Hypothesis 2. For example, Theokas and Lerner (2006), and Urban, Lewin-Bizan, and Lerner (2009) found that greater ecological assets (e.g., mentors,

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opportunities for learning and recreation, etc.) were positively related to PYD and negatively related to problem/risk behaviors, such as depression. In addition, in all settings involving youth (families, schools, and the community) the assets most associated with high levels of PYD and Contribution and with low levels of risk and problem behaviors were people: large quantities of quality time with parents; access to a competent, caring teacher; and positive and sustained relations with a mentor or significant other. Furthermore, Zarrett et al. (2009) explored the association between patterns of involvement in community-based programs and PYD. Findings from this study indicate that participation in youth development programs— marked by the presence of a positive and sustained relationship with a mentor; life skills building activities; and opportunities for youth participation in, and leadership of, valued family, school, and community activities—was related to PYD and youth contribution, even after controlling for the total time youth spent in other out-of-school time activities, such as sports (Zarrett, et al. 2009). Possible Implications for Juvenile Justice There may be several implications of the PYD perspective for juvenile justice. First, it is clear that people can make a difference in the lives of youth involved in different developmental trajectories. Therefore, programs that involve the presence of positive adults in the lives of youth (e.g., mentoring programs) may be useful. Second, it may be that strengths

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(i.e., the potential for some plasticity) exist even among youth marked by considerable engagement in risk/problem behaviors; as such, there may be merit in searching for combinations of individual attributes and contextual resources that can capitalize on these strengths to promote more positive development among such youth (see Butts, Bazemore, & Meroe, 2010). Especially if a young person spends a significant amount of time with a caring, committed, and capable adult who is inculcating life skills and youth participation and leadership in positive, valued activities, then it may be that both PYD and Contribution may be increased and risk/problem behaviors may be decreased. Although the necessary data to support these implications remain to be collected, the evidence in support of the PYD perspective suggests the potential importance of such research. Conclusions About the PYD Perspective Replacing the deficit view of adolescence, the PYD perspective sees all adolescents as having strengths (by virtue of their potential for change). The perspective suggests that increases in well-being and thriving are possible for all youth through aligning the strengths of young people with the developmental assets present in their social and physical ecology. Although still at a preliminary stage of progress, there is growing empirical evidence that, with some important qualifications, the general concepts and main and subsidiary hypotheses of the PYD perspective find empirical support (Lerner, Phelps, Forman, & Bowers, 2009; Lerner, 2005, 2009). Given this evidence, it is useful to provide some concluding comments about the links between the PYD perspective and the innovations we believe need to be made in America’s juvenile justice system.

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TOWARD A PYD FRAMEWORK VISION FOR JUVENILE JUSTICE In light of the evidence from the 4-H Study, as well as from other research pertinent to the PYD perspective (see Lerner et al., 2009, for a review), it is clear that all youth have strengths and that, by aligning their strengths with resources for healthy development found in their homes, schools, and communities, the positive development of all young people may be enhanced. We support, then, Steinberg’s (2008b) call for adopting a developmental perspective in regard to juvenile justice, but would add that such adoption should involve a strengths-based formulation, such as the PYD perspective. As evident in other chapters in this volume (e.g., Schiraldi, Schindler, & Goliday, Chapter 20, this volume), it is both important and gratifying to note that such efforts are beginning to occur in jurisdictions across the country. As we have explained, using the PYD perspective in regard to juvenile justice policies and programs would encourage policy makers to view youth as assets to be enhanced instead of viewing youth within the juvenile justice system as “problems to be managed” (Roth & Brooks-Gunn, 2003). In turn, using the PYD perspective as a lens for specific program initiatives would add credence to the recommendations of Scott and Steinberg (2008), who suggest that programs that reflect the individual ! context relational system model framing the PYD perspective are especially effective (see Butts et al., 2010). For instance, they note that programs that strengthen social supports with adults and family members and programs that take a developmental systems approach (e.g., a multisystemic therapy program) may be particularly beneficial (Greenwood & Turner, Chapter 23, this volume).

A Vision for the American Juvenile Justice System: The Positive Youth Development Perspective

In sum, consistent with the work of Steinberg and colleagues (Scott & Steinberg, 2008; Steinberg, 2008a, 2008b; Woolard & Scott, 2009), we are proposing that juvenile justice and delinquency prevention be moved from a deficit and nondevelopmental model of youth to a model based on the positive youth development perspective. Although society will continue to demand accountability for the delinquent and criminal acts committed by youth, the goal of juvenile justice should be to promote and sustain positive development of youth.

REFERENCES Addams, J. (1910). Twenty years at Hull House; with autobiographical notes. New York, NY: MacMillan. Anthony, E. J. (1969). The reactions of adults to adolescents and their behavior. In G. Caplan & S. Lebovici (Eds.), Adolescence: Psychosocial perspectives (p. 77) New York, NY: Basic Books. Benson, P. L., Scales, P. C., Hamilton, S. F., & Semsa, A., Jr. (2006). Positive youth development: Theory, research, and applications. In R. M. Lerner (Ed.), Handbook of child psychology: Vol. 1. Theoretical models of human development (6th ed., pp. 894–941). Editors-in-chief: W. Damon & R. M. Lerner. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. Brandtst€adter, J. (2006). Action perspectives on human development. In R. M. Lerner (Ed.), Handbook of child psychology: Vol. 1. Theoretical models of human development (6th ed., pp. 516–568). Editors-in-chief: W. Damon & R. M. Lerner. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. Bronfenbrenner, U., & Morris, P. A. (2006). The bioecological model of human development. In R. M. Lerner (Ed.), Handbook of child psychology: Vol. 1. Theoretical models of human development (6th ed., pp. 793–828.) Editors-in-chief: W. Damon & R. M. Lerner. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. Butts, J. A., Bazemore, G., & Meroe, S. A. (2010). Positive youth justice: Framing justice interventions using the concepts of positive youth development. Washington, DC: Coalition for Juvenile Justice. Cairns, R. B., & Cairns, B. (2006). The making of developmental psychology. In R. M. Lerner

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(Ed.), Handbook of child psychology: Vol. 1. Theoretical models of human development (6th ed., pp. 89–165). Editors-in-chief: W. Damon & R. M. Lerner. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. Csikszentmihalyi, M., & Rathunde, K. (1998). The development of the person: An experiential perspective on the ontogenesis of psychological complexity. In W. Damon (Series Ed.) & R. M. Lerner (Volume Ed.), Handbook of child psychology: Vol. 1. Theoretical models of human development (5th ed., 635–684). New York, NY: Wiley. Cummings, E. (2003). Foreword. In D. Wertlieb, F. Jacobs, & R. M. Lerner (Eds.), Handbook of applied developmental science: Promoting positive child, adolescent, and family development through research, policies, and programs: Vol. 3. Promoting positive youth and family development: Community systems, citizenship, and civil society (pp. ix–xi) Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Damon, W. (2004). What is positive youth development? Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 591, 13–24. Dean, C. W., & Reppucci, N. D. (1974). Juvenile corrections in institutions. In D. Glaser (Ed.), Handbook of criminology (pp. 75–92). Chicago, IL: Rand McNally. Dilulio, J. J. (1995). The coming of super-predators. Weekly Standard. Retrieved from www.mcsm.org /predator.html Eccles, J. S., & Gootman, J. A. (Eds.). (2002). Community programs to promote youth development/Committee on community-level programs for youth. Washington DC: National Academy Press. Elder, G. H., Jr. (1998). The life course and human development. In W. Damon (Series Ed.) & R. M. Lerner (Vol. Ed.), Handbook of child psychology: Vol. 1. Theoretical models of human development (5th ed., pp. 939–991). New York, NY: Wiley. Elshtain, J. B. (1999). A call to civil society. Society, 36(5), 11–19. Erikson, E. H. (1968). Identity, youth, and crisis. New York, NY: Norton. Feld, B. (1999). Bad kids: Race and the transformation of the juvenile court. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. Floyd, D. T., & McKenna, L. (2003). National youth serving organizations in the United States: Contributions to civil society. In R. M. Lerner, F. Jacobs, & D. Wertlieb (Eds.), Handbook of applied developmental science: Promoting positive child, adolescent, and family development through research, policies, and

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programs: Vol. 3. Promoting positive youth and family development: Community systems, citizenship, and civil society (pp. 11–26). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Fox, S. J. (1970). Juvenile justice reform: An historical perspective. Stanford Law Review, 22, 1187–1239. Freud, A. (1969). Adolescence as a developmental disturbance. In G. Caplan & S. Lebovici (Eds.), Adolescence (pp. 5–10). New York, NY: Basic Books. Gore, A. (2003). Foreword. In R. M. Lerner & P. L. Benson (Eds.), Developmental assets and asset-building communities: Implications for research, policy, and practice (pp. xi–xii) Norwell, MA: Kluwer. Gottlieb, G., Wahlsten, D., & Lickliter, R. (2006). The significance of biology for human development: A developmental psychobiological systems view. In R. M. Lerner (Ed.), Handbook of child psychology: Vol. 1. Theoretical models of human development (6th ed., pp. 210–257). Editors-in-chief: W. Damon & R. M. Lerner. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. Hall, G. S. (1904). Adolescence: Its psychology and its relations to psychology, anthropology, sociology, sex, crime, religion, and education. New York, NY: Appleton. Hirsch, J. (2004). Uniqueness, diversity, similarity, repeatability, and heritability. In C. Garcia Coll, E. Bearer, & R. M. Lerner (Eds.), Nature and nurture: The complex interplay of genetic and environmental influences on human behavior and development (pp. 127–138). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. Hirschi, T. (1969). Causes of delinquency. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. Hirschi, T., & Gottfredson, M. (1980). Understanding crime. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage. In re Gault, 387 U.S. 1 (1967). Jelicic, H., Bobek, D., Phelps, E. D., Lerner, J. V., & Lerner, R. M. (2007). Using positive youth development to predict contribution and risk behaviors in early adolescence: Findings from the first two waves of the 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 31(3), 263–273. King, P. E., Dowling, E. M., Mueller, R. A., White, K., Schultz, W., Osborn, P., . . . Scales, P. C. (2005). Thriving in Adolescence: The voices of youthserving practitioners, parents, and early and late adolescents. Journal of Early Adolescence, 25(1), 94–112. Lanza-Kaduce, L., Lane, J., Bishop, D. M., & Frazier, C. E. (2005). Juvenile offenders and adult felony recidivism: The impact. Journal of Criminal Justice, 28, 59–77.

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Larson, R. W. (2000). Towards a psychology of positive youth development.. American Psychologist, 55, 170–183. Lerner, J. V., Phelps, E., Forman, Y. E., & Bowers, E. (2009). Positive youth development. In R. M. Lerner & L. Steinberg (Eds.), Handbook of adolescent psychology (3rd ed., pp. 524–558). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. Lerner, R. M. (1978). Nature, nurture, and dynamic interactionism. Human Development, 21, 1–20. Lerner, R. M. (2002). Concepts and theories of human development (3rd ed.). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. Lerner, R. M. (2004). Liberty: Thriving and civic engagement among American youth. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Lerner, R. M. (2005, September). Promoting positive youth development: Theoretical and empirical bases. White paper prepared for the Workshop on the Science of Adolescent Health and Development, National Research Council/Institute of Medicine. Washington, DC: National Academies of Science. Lerner, R. M. (2006). Developmental science, developmental systems, and contemporary theories. In R. M. Lerner (Ed.), Handbook of child psychology: Vol. 1: Theoretical models of human development. (6th ed., pp. 1–17). Editors-in-chief: W. Damon & R. M. Lerner.Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. Lerner, R. M. (2007). The good teen: Rescuing adolescents from the myths of the storm and stress years. New York, NY: Crown. Lerner, R. M. (2009) The positive youth development perspective: Theoretical and empirical bases of a strength-based approach to adolescent development. In C. R. Snyder and S. J. Lopez (Eds.), Oxford handbook of positive psychology (2nd ed., pp. 149– 163). Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. Lerner, R. M., Lerner, J. V., Almerigi, J., Theokas, C., Phelps, E., Gestsdottir, S., . . . von Eye, A. (2005). Positive youth development, participation in community youth development programs, and community contributions of fifth grade adolescents: Findings from the first wave of the 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development. Journal of Early Adolescence, 25(1), 17–71. Lerner, R. M., & Steinberg, L. (Eds.). (2009). Handbook of adolescent psychology (3rd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. Magnusson, D., & Stattin, H. (2006). The person in context: A holistic-interactionistic approach. In R. M. Lerner & W. Damon (Eds.), Handbook of child psychology (6th ed., pp. 400–464). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

A Vision for the American Juvenile Justice System: The Positive Youth Development Perspective

Novikoff, A. B. (1945a). The concept of integrative levels and biology. Science, 101, 209–215. Novikoff, A. B. (1945b). Continuity and discontinuity in evolution. Science, 101, 405–406. Overton, W. F. (1973). On the assumptive base of the nature-nurture controversy: Additive versus interactive conceptions. Human Development, 16, 74–89. Overton, W. F. (2006). Developmental psychology: Philosophy, concepts, methodology. In R. M. Lerner (Ed.), Handbook of child psychology: Vol. 1. Theoretical models of human development (6th ed., pp. 18–88). Editors-in-chief: W. Damon & R. M. Lerner. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. Overton, W. F. (2010). Life-span development: Concepts and issues. In R. M. Lerner (Ed-in-chief) & W. F. Overton (Vol. Ed.), The Handbook of Life-Span Development: Vol 1. Cognition, Biology, and Methods (pp. 1–29). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. Phelps, E., Balsano, A., Fay, K., Peltz, J., Zimmerman, S., Lerner, R., M., & Lerner, J. V. (2007). Nuances in early adolescent development trajectories of positive and of problematic/risk behaviors: Findings from the 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development. Child and Adolescent Clinics of North America, 16(2), 473–496. Pittman, K., Irby, M., & Ferber, T. (2001). Unfinished business: Further reflections on a decade of promoting youth development. In P. L. Benson & K. J. Pittman (Eds.), Trends in youth development: Visions, realities and challenges (pp. 4–50). Norwell, MA: Kluwer. Platt, A. M. (1969). The child savers: The invention of delinquency. Chicago, IL, & London, England: University of Chicago Press. President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice (1967). The Challenge of Crime in a Free Society. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. Rathunde, K., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2006). The developing person: An experiential perspective. In R. M. Lerner (Ed.), Handbook of Child Psychology: Vol. 1. Theoretical models of human development (6th ed., pp. 465–515). Editors-in-chief: W. Damon & R. M. Lerner. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. Redding, R. E. (2005). Adult punishment for juvenile offenders: Does it reduce crime? In N. Dowd, D. Singer, & R. F. Wilson (Eds.), Handbook on children, culture and violence (pp. 374–395). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

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Roth, J. L., & Brooks-Gunn, J. (2003). What exactly is a youth development program? Answers from research and practice. Applied Developmental Science, 7, 94–111. Rothman, D. J. (1971). The discovery of the asylum. Boston, MA: Little Brown. Schneirla, T. C. (1957). The concept of development in comparative psychology. In D. B. Harris (Ed.), The concept of development (pp. 78–108). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota. Schwartz, R. G. (2003). Juvenile justice and positive youth development. In F. Jacobs, D. Wertlieb, & R. M. Lerner (Eds.), Handbook of applied developmental science: Vol. 2. Enhancing the life chances of youth and families: Contributions of programs, policies, and service systems (pp. 421–443). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Scott, E. S., & Steinberg, L. (2008). Adolescent development and the regulation of youth crime. Future of Children, 18, 15–33. Smith, G. S. (1911). Social pathology. New York, NY: Macmillan. Spencer, M. B. (2006). Phenomenological variant of ecological systems theory (PVEST): A human development synthesis applicable to diverse individuals and groups. In R. M. Lerner (Ed.), Handbook of child psychology: Vol. 1. Theoretical models of human development (6th ed., pp. 829–894). Editors-in-chief: W. Damon & R. M. Lerner. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. Steinberg, L. (Ed.). (2008a). Juvenile justice. [Special issue.] Future of Children, 18(2). Steinberg, L. (2008b). Introducing the issue. Future of Children, 18(2), 3–14. Theokas, C., & Lerner, R. M. (2006). Observed ecological assets in families, schools, and neighborhoods:Conceptualization,measurementand relations with positive and negative developmental outcomes. Applied Developmental Science, 10(2), 61–74. Tobach, E., & Greenberg, G. (1984). The significance of T. C. Schneirla’s contribution to the concept of levels of integration. In G. Greenberg & E. Tobach (Eds.), Behavioral evolution and integrative levels (pp. 1–7). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. Tobach, E., & Schneirla, T. C. (1968). The biopsychology of social behavior of animals. In R. E. Cooke & S. Levin (Eds.), Biologic basis of pediatric practice (pp. 68–82). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill. Urban, J., Lewin-Bizan, S. & Lerner, R. M. (2009). The role of ecological context and activity involvement in youth developmental outcomes: Differential impacts of asset poor and asset rich neighborhoods.

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Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 30(5), 601–614. von Bertalanffy, L. (1933). Modern theories of development. London, England: Oxford University Press. Wolfgang, M. E., Figlio, R. M., & Sellin, T. (1972). Delinquency in a birth cohort. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Woolard, J. L., & Scott, E. (2009). The legal regulation of adolescence. In. R. M. Lerner & L. Steinberg (Eds.), Handbook of adolescent psychology: Vol 2. Contextual influences on adolescent development (3rd ed., pp. 345–371). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

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Zarrett, N., Fay, K., Carrano, J., Li, Y., Phelps, E., & Lerner, R. M. (2009). More than child’s play: Variable- and pattern-centered approaches for examining effects of sports participation on youth development. Developmental Psychology, 45(2), 368–382. Zimmerman, S., Phelps, E., & Lerner, R. M. (2008). Positive and negative developmental trajectories in U.S. adolescents: Where the PYD perspective meets the deficit model. Research in Human Development, 5(3), 153–165.

Juvenile Justice: Advancing Research, Policy, and Practice Edited by Francine T. Sherman and Francine H. Jacobs Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

S ECTION II

UNDERSTANDING INDIVIDUAL YOUTH

Juvenile Justice: Advancing Research, Policy, and Practice Edited by Francine T. Sherman and Francine H. Jacobs Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

CHAPTER

6

Race, Ethnicity, and Ancestry in Juvenile Justice JAMES BELL

AND

RAQUEL MARISCAL

R

acial and ethnic disparities is one of the most intransigent and disturbing issues facing juvenile justice in the United States (Nellis & Richardson, 2010). While comprising approximately 38% of the population eligible for detention, the overrepresentation of youth of color in secure confinement has increased to almost 70% over the past decade (Mendel, 2009) (see Figure 6.1). These startling increases in disparities for youth of color occurred while arrest rates for serious and violent crimes declined by 45% (Nelson, 2008). While current data collection methods could be significantly improved, we know enough about the overrepresentation of youth

of color to be sufficiently alarmed. According to the most recent data, African American youth are treated more harshly at all stages of the juvenile justice system, resulting in a cumulative disadvantage. While only 16% of the African American youth population are of sufficient age for detention, they represent 28% of juvenile arrests, 37% of detained youth, and 58% of youth admitted to state adult prison (National Council on Crime and Delinquency, 2007; see Holsinger, Chapter 2, this volume). Although the number of cases contained in local and national data sets is a significant undercount, research reveals similar disparities for Latino youth. The National Center on

Figure 6.1 Increasing Overrepresentation of Youth of Color in Detention Centers 80 70

62 56

60 50

69

65

43

Youth of Color as a Percentage of Total U.S. Detention Population

40 30 20 10 0 1985

1995

1999

2003

2006

Sources: Census of Public and Private Juvenile Detention, Correctional and Shelter Facilities, 1985–1995; OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book, Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement Databook, 1999, 2003, and 2006.

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Juvenile Justice analyzed 2005 data from the National Juvenile Court Data Archive and was able to provide only limited data on Latino youth because only 13 of 42 jurisdictions consistently reported ethnicity data. Nevertheless, the data accounted for approximately 63% of the nation’s Latino youth population. The data revealed, in order of rising disparity, that Latino youth were 4% more likely than White youth to be petitioned; 16% more likely than White youth to be adjudicated delinquent; 28% more likely than White youth to be detained; 41% more likely than White youth to receive an out-of-home placement; and 43% more likely than White youth to be waived to the adult system (Arya et al., 2009). Although no two juvenile justice systems are exactly the same, there are several decision points within the juvenile justice process at which the overrepresentation of youth of color is commonly measured (see Holsinger, Chapter 2, this volume). Some key decision points prior to judicial appearance include “cite and release,” arrest, diversion after arrest, referral to a detention facility, and admission to detention. At each key decision point, juvenile justice professionals exercise judgments about how the young person and his or her family should be handled. Monitoring these decision points, pursuant to federal policy, reveals that youth of color are funneled deeper into the system for behaviors similar to their White counterparts, when controlling for offenses (Nelson, 2008). For example, data reveal that White youth are more likely to be diverted from formal processing than are youth of color. Additionally, more youth of color are referred and admitted to detention than are their White counterparts for similar behavior (National Council on Crime and Delinquency, 2007). In this chapter, we examine major elements of disparities by race, ethnicity, and

ancestry in the juvenile justice system, and deconstruct its drivers in order to engage appropriate responses to the way justice is lived by children, families, and communities of color. We first provide an overview of the history and current thinking about racial and ethnic disparities in the juvenile justice system, beginning with the role federal policy has played defining this issue and a summary of the literature concerning the causes of disparities. We then review the historic treatment of youth of color in the U.S. juvenile justice system, demonstrating that current disparities in treatment draw from this historical legacy. Next, we discuss how contemporary policies that purport to be race neutral actually operate to disadvantage Black and Latino youth. Finally, we examine promising policies and practices for reducing racial and ethnic disparities, demonstrating that juvenile justice systems can operate with fairness and equity for all young people.

FRAMING THE DISPARITIES DISCUSSION The modern history of identifying and analyzing disparities has largely been defined by the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act ( JJDPA, 2002). Through the JJDPA and Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) funded research and publications, the federal government has played a central role in defining the scope, reasons, and responses to race and ethnic disparities in the U.S. juvenile justice system (Pope & Leiber, 2005). Federal attention to this issue has broadened over the years, from focusing on confinement (disproportionate minority confinement, DMC) to assessing disparities at each phase of the system, or contact (disproportionate minority contact, DMC).

Race, Ethnicity, and Ancestry in Juvenile Justice

The earlier JJDPA of 1974 was designed to influence state juvenile justice policy by providing monetary incentives for compliance with federal mandates. Toward that end, it dictated two core requirements that states had to meet to receive funding: remove offenders from adult pretrial lockup and deinstitutionalize status offenders. In 1988 Congress amended the JJDPA, requiring each state to address the issue of disproportionate minority confinement in secure facilities, but the Act did not make this a core requirement. The 1992 reauthorization elevated this to a core requirement tied to future funding eligibility. In 2002, Congress amended the JJDPA once again, this time broadening the DMC core requirement. States were directed to address disproportionate contact of youth of color with the juvenile justice system, not just their confinement in secure detention (Bell & Ridolfi, 2008). This change from confinement to contact acknowledged that disparities exist at other stages of the juvenile justice system and broadened the required inquiry to all decision points, while arguably taking the focus off confinement, the most oppressive locus of disparities. While recognizing the presence of race and ethnic disparities at all stages of the juvenile justice process, our primary emphasis in this chapter is on confinement—the actions of policy makers that deprive youth of their liberty through confinement in secure facilities. As part of its effort to set policy addressing DMC, since 1993 OJJDP has funded state and federal research documenting the extent and nature of DMC and has provided tools to states seeking to address disparities. Under the JJDPA, states are required to address DMC by identifying the extent to which minority youth are confined, assessing the reasons for disproportionality, developing strategies to address the causes of disproportionality,

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and evaluating the effectiveness of these strategies as they are implemented (Pope & Leiber, 2005). To support the shift in mandate from a focus on confinement to one on contact, the 2002 reauthorization of the JJDPA also shifted the methodology for determining overrepresentation of youth of color in the juvenile justice system from the Disproportionate Representation Index (DRI) to the Relative Rate Index (RRI). While the DRI compared the percentage of youth of color at a specific decision point with a percentage of the youth of color in the general population, the RRI compares the rates of youth of color’s contact with the juvenile justice system at a particular decision point with the corresponding percentage of White youth at the same decision point. In other words, the RRI does not take into account the presence of each group of youth in the population as a whole, but rather compares White youth and youth of color at each decision point through the youth’s contact with the juvenile justice system to the percentage of White youth and youth of color at the previous decision point (Ridolfi, 2004). While the RRI provides a more detailed analysis, focusing on decision points throughout the juvenile justice process (Moriearty, 2008), because the RRI no longer considers the population of White youth and youth of color as a whole, the results can understate the social significance of the disparity. In essence, the number loses some of its context. For a clearer picture of how youth of color are experiencing detention, the rates of overall detention among White youth and youth of color should be calculated in addition to the RRI. Regardless of the methodology, most of today’s data fail to disaggregate by ethnicity, which has the unfortunate consequence of classifying Latino youth as “White” or the

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ever amorphous “Other.” This practice makes Latino youth invisible and significantly undercounts the levels of racial and ethnic disparities present in the juvenile justice system (Villarruel & Walker, 2002). Disproportionate minority confinement analysis has centered on a Black and White paradigm, suggesting to local jurisdictions they are “allowed” to address only the disparate treatment of one racial/ethnic group at a time and ignoring a massive demographic shift over the past decade, during which the number of Latino youth in this country has almost doubled (Pew Hispanic Center, 2007). Despite federal attention to race and ethnic disparities since the late 1980s, the problem persists, raising real questions about the effectiveness of federal leadership (Leiber, 2002). OJJDP’s oversight of state compliance with the DMC mandate has been inconsistent, with few states penalized for failures to comply; other states have documented disproportionality, but have failed to develop and implement remedial plans (Moriearty, 2008). Moreover, the JJDPA was last re-authorized in 2002, and its DMC provisions would benefit from amendments consistent with what has been learned in the field since that time (Nellis & Richardson, 2010). Finally, while the DMC mandate began in 1992, other federal youth policy has been inconsistent with that mandate. As this chapter shows, throughout the 1990s, while claiming concern for disproportionality through the DMC mandate, federally driven “get tough” policies such as drug-free zones and zero tolerance increased the disproportional representation of youth of color in the juvenile justice system. Explaining Disparities While the fact and extent of race and ethnic disparities through the juvenile justice system

are well established, there continues to be discussion about the cause. Two theories have been proposed over the years: differential offending and differential treatment (Bishop, 2005; Nellis & Richardson, 2010; Piquero, 2008). Differential offending considers race and ethnic disparities in the juvenile justice (and criminal justice) systems the result of different patterns and rates of offending among youth by race and ethnicity (Bishop, 2005). In contrast, differential treatment explains that disparities result from differences in the treatment of White youth and youth of color at each of the discretionary decision points within the juvenile justice system. Differential treatment, the view advanced by OJJDP (Tracy, 2005), is consistent with the way disparities increase as juveniles move deeper into the juvenile justice system. Research shows that racial differences become larger as juveniles move from arrest to detention, formal processing, out-of-home placement, and waiver into the adult system, experiencing the cumulative effect of justice system decisions (Piquero, 2008). While there may be a debate over which theory explains these disparities, it is undisputed that youth of color are present at each stage of the justice system in numbers disproportionate to their presence in the population, and these disparities increase as youth move further along the juvenile justice process (Piquero, 2008). Differential offending alone cannot explain the nature and extent of race and ethnic disparities that are welldocumented in the juvenile justice system. Studies have found that youth of color are more likely than their White counterparts to be arrested and referred by police for formal processing; be securely detained; receive harsher dispositions; and be transferred into the adult criminal justice system (see Bishop, 2005, for a review of the literature). Rates of out-of-home placement in secure facilities for

Race, Ethnicity, and Ancestry in Juvenile Justice

youth of color adjudicated for drug offenses are a case in point. An analysis of 2003 data found that 73% of adjudicated drug offense cases involved a White youth, while White youth were 58% of drug offense cases resulting in out-of-home placement and 75% of cases resulting in formal probation. In contrast, 25% of drug offense cases involved an African American youth, while African American youth were 40% of adjudicated drug offense cases resulting in out-of-home placement and 22% of drug offense cases receiving formal probation (National Council on Crime and Delinquency, 2007). Steen, Bond, Bridges, and Kubrin’s (2005) qualitative studies of court officials’ perceptions of similarly situated White and Black youth suggest that officials’ race-based biases are a factor contributing to disparities. Based on an examination of court records, they found that court officials had different perceptions and explanations for the motivations of Black and White youth in court. They were more likely to explain the delinquent behavior of Black youth by internal factors, such as having a lack of meaningful life goals or needing to be held accountable, while similar behavior of White youth was explained in relation to external factors such as having a difficult family life. Thus, the Black youth himself was perceived more negatively than the White youth (Bridges & Steen, 1998; Steen et al., 2005). Bishop (2005) notes that while race and ethnic disparities exist in the adult criminal justice system, they are more pronounced in the juvenile justice system where social factors, along with traditional criminal justice factors such as offense and offense history, are part of the decision-making process at every stage except adjudication. In this chapter we show that since before its official start in 1899, the juvenile justice system’s social

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welfare mission has been a pillar of structural racism. The history of disparities in the juvenile justice system illustrates a progression of policies and practices that has resulted in embedded racial and ethnic inequities. Indeed, the trend in the United States has been to criminalize the very nature of adolescence, in the name of social welfare, with youth of color bearing the brunt of what is actually social control (see Boundy & Karger, Chapter 14, this volume; Jacobs, Miranda-Julian, & Kaplan, Chapter 10, this volume; Vaught, Chapter 15, this volume).

A HISTORICAL LEGACY OF DISPARITIES Disparate treatment of young people of color has deep historical roots in our nation, and contemporary disparities are a clear extension of those early roots. From the earliest days, structural de jure race-based policies and practices significantly influenced the treatment of children (Bell & Ridolfi, 2008). Simply put, many key policies and practices, and the assumptions about youth that undergird them, are racialized; understanding that historical legacy is critical to improving the current system. The Early 1800s to Early 1900s In the early 1800s, the number of people living in cities doubled as the U.S. economy transitioned from subsistence farming to wage labor. The poverty faced by many Americans during this time proved an inescapable reality for untold thousands of youth living in America’s rapidly expanding cities. Children who previously were responsible only for household chores on farms were now expected to help their parents survive, leading them to struggle

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in factories or leave home entirely and make their own way (Grossberg, 2002). Increased mobility, disease, and weakening familial networks contributed to delinquency, as youngsters turned to petty crime as a means of financial support (Feld, 1999). Local governments reacted with harsh penalties and began establishing structures to manage the arrest, detention, and “treatment” of wayward youth, forming the early elements of the modern juvenile justice system (Krisberg, 1993). Concerned citizens began a campaign aimed at fighting the rising numbers of homeless and wayward youth across the nation. Their efforts were formalized as early as 1817, with the founding of the Society for the Prevention of Pauperism (Krisberg, 2005). However, creating a community organization to prevent pauperism was not intended to “lift all boats.” Indeed, scholars have observed that “the motivation of the reformers of the 19th century, whatever they overtly stated or implied, was one of social control of deviant elements of the increasingly heterogeneous society” (Frey, 1981, p. 10). This effort was led by men of high social status whose primary motivations were to prevent social disorder, protect their class status, and maintain what they believed to be the “moral health of the community” (Krisberg, 1993). This attitude led to New York City’s enactment of legislation regarding “children who beg.” This new legislation empowered officials to apprehend any child under 15 years of age who was found “soliciting charity” (Laws of New York, Ch. CCCXXXI, 1824). Almost immediately after passage of this legislation, the first juvenile institution in the country was opened in New York City. The New York House of Refuge opened its door with six White boys and three White girls. Soon, other cities would follow, including Boston and Philadelphia. Immediately

after the establishment of Houses of Refuge, a pattern of racial exclusion emerged when a separate “colored section” of the New York House of Refuge was created. Exclusion of Black children from such services was justified under the rationale that expenditures on Black children wasted resources and “it would be degrading to the White children to associate them with beings given up to public scorn” (Mennel, 1973, p. 17). When a Mississippi legislator proposed opening a reform school for Black children, the bill lost on the grounds that “it was no use trying to reform a Negro” (Oshinsky, 1996, p. 47). The prevailing sentiment was that “white taxpayers refused to ‘waste’ money on the needs of ‘incorrigible’ young blacks” (Oshinsky, 1996, p. 47). When Houses of Refuge begrudgingly began to admit children of color, services proved meager and insufficient. As a result, African American children were disproportionately confined in adult jails and prisons. Indeed, in just a short time, 60% of the children (under 16) being held at the Maryland penitentiary in Baltimore were African American. Similarly, approximately 50% of children in the Providence jail were African American, and all children under 16 in the Washington, DC, penitentiary were African American (Curry, 1981). A similar pattern emerged within institutions designed to serve Mexican American youth. While officials recognized that most Spanish-speaking youth had not attended school beyond the primary grades, they were reluctant to provide these youth with the educational skills necessary to improve their life chances. Mexican American youth were relegated to segregated Mexican schools, “designed to keep backward, over-age, and undereducated Spanish-speaking youth among their own kind” (Chavez-Garcia, 2006). While the attitudes expressed above reflected bias and bigotry, they did not have the

Race, Ethnicity, and Ancestry in Juvenile Justice

force of law. However, soon thereafter, the Ex parte Crouse decision in 1838 gave legal sanction to institutionalizing young people as an instrument of social control. Mary Ann Crouse’s mother placed her in the Philadelphia House of Refuge claiming that Mary’s confinement was warranted because her “vicious conduct rendered her beyond [her mother’s] power” (Ex parte Crouse, 1839). Mary’s father sued, seeking his daughter’s release on the basis that detention of a minor without a trial by jury violated the Constitution. The court denied her release, holding that “The House of Refuge is not a prison, but a school. Where reformation, and not punishment, is the end, it may indeed be used as a prison for juvenile convicts who would else be committed to a common goal” (Ex parte Crouse, 1839). The holding emphasized the legal doctrine of parens patriae, Latin for “parent of the country.” The court posed the rhetorical question, “May not the natural parents, when unequal to the task of education, or unworthy of it, be superseded by parens patriae, or common guardian of the community?” (Ex parte Crouse, 1839). Underscoring state supremacy over and above the rights of parents, the court held that when the parents are “unsuitable,” their natural parental rights are revocable (see Sherman & Blitzman, Chapter 4, this volume). Then, as now, Ex parte Crouse would have a devastating effect on all children, and particularly children of color. For example, in Native American communities traditional justice sought to instill a sense of harmony and reconciliation to the misbehaved child and to the victim using a restorative approach (Poupart, Redhorse, Peterson-Hickey & Martin, 2005). Typically, family meetings were held with the perpetrators and victims in order to balance victim compensation, perpetrator punishment, and community stability.

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As a result, restorative justice reconciled victims’ rights and community safety, and promoted personal relationships. Using Ex parte Crouse as authority, officials derided and dismissed restorative justice traditions and replaced them by subjecting Native youth to long hours of labor and prison as a consequence for wrongdoing (Poupart et al., 2005). The doctrine of parens patriae continues to be a justification for misuse of the juvenile justice system purportedly to meet the needs of youth (Bell, Lacey, Ridolfi, & Finley, 2009; Nellis & Richardson, 2010). The Juvenile Court Era The rehabilitation versus punishment debate as framed by Crouse continued into the 1900s with the formation of the juvenile court. The foundation for the development of the country’s first juvenile court was laid by the creation of Hull House in Chicago, Illinois, by Jane Addams in the late 19th century. Hull House was established as a humane response to the existing houses of refuge, and represents a defining moment for rehabilitation as the guiding principle of the juvenile system. On April 14, 1899, the Illinois legislature enacted “An Act for the Treatment and Control of Dependent, Neglected and Delinquent Children,” and the first juvenile court opened on July 3, 1899, without a courthouse, detention center, or public funds for salaries (Tanenhaus, 2002). Under the Juvenile Court Act, a court separate from the adult system would hear the cases of delinquents under the age of 16. This court would stress “the child’s need and not the deed,” and the goal would be to rehabilitate rather than punish the child (Spring, 1998). However, then as now, there has never been a clear definition of what is considered “rehabilitation” or what is considered “punishment.” Consistently, juvenile

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justice professionals have been given authority and discretion to make decisions about children, youth, and families measured by illdefined principles. From the very beginning of the juvenile court era, juvenile justice practitioners continued to confine Black children in adult prisons, and excluded them from the protections extended to White juveniles in the juvenile court. By 1910, the proportional representation of Black male juveniles doubled (27.5%) while the representation of Black girls nearly tripled (39%) (Ward, 2001). Latinos did not fare well in the juvenile court era either. In fact, Los Angeles newspapers negatively portrayed Mexican American youth, and police were quick to target them as gang members, placing them in institutions in large numbers (Sherman, 1943). In looking back on the first portion of the 20th century, the old adage “be careful what you wish for” aptly summarizes the progression of the juvenile court system. While created to protect children from the adult criminal system, its perception as a milder intervention meant that more children entered its sphere. As the juvenile justice system progressed from mere idea to full-fledged bureaucracy, over time the distinction between rehabilitation and punishment blurred. The seminal Supreme Court decision of In re Gault (1967) addressed abuses in the juvenile justice system and began a critical examination of the juvenile court. In Gault, the Supreme Court found a significant gap between the rehabilitative rhetoric of the juvenile court and its practical reality. Although not willing to discard the juvenile court experiment, the Supreme Court held that the Constitution required significantly enhanced procedural protections for juveniles, including a right to counsel, protection against self-incrimination, and the right to cross-examine witnesses (see

Sherman & Blitzman, Chapter 4, this volume). Feld (2005) describes the court prior to Gault as a “nominally rehabilitative social welfare agency” (p. 123), which the Supreme Court’s procedural decisions began to transform into a more formal structure. In 1974 Congress passed the JJDPA, which prohibited detention of youth with adults, prohibited detaining status offenders in secure facilities with delinquent youth, and established alternatives to detention. The JJDPA and OJJDP supported research and stimulated state reform consistent with the rehabilitative vision of the juvenile justice system. Gault began a period of rehabilitation and expanded procedural safeguards for young people. During this period, the system served mostly White youth, whose numbers greatly increased with the inclusion of status offenses in data collection (i.e., truancy, curfew violators, and runaways). With the growth of White youth in the system, youth of color represented a smaller proportion of the overall juvenile justice population (U.S. Department of Justice, 1987). This focus on rehabilitation prompted by Gault and the JJDPA would be short lived. The move away from the child-oriented rehabilitative approach in juvenile justice began in the early 1980s, when the public feared an epidemic of ruthless youth criminal activity. During a time when overall crime rates were dropping, violent youth crime spiked for a short period, inspiring a few influential academics like James Q. Wilson and John Dilulio to incorrectly predict that we would soon be facing a population surge of “superpredators,” youth of color with no moral conscience who believe committing a crime is a rite of passage and who would not fear the stigma of arrest or the pain of imprisonment (Deitch, Barstow, Lukens, & Reyna, 2009). Policy makers and the media picked up this notion.

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These dire and inaccurate predictions were strikingly racialized, with James Allan Fox noting that the population growth among White youth would be modest, while the population growth among Black youth would be much more significant (Soler, Schoenberg, & Schindler, 2009). Although juvenile crime declined beginning in 1995 (Nelson, 2008), these false predictions and the attendant media frenzy resulted in the enactment of “get tough” policies in states throughout the country. It is no coincidence that this attempt to respond to “public safety” has resulted in a greater impact on youth of color. While these policies and practices, embedded in federal, state, and local laws, appear to be race neutral, they are discriminatory in effect, driving youth of color into the juvenile justice system.

THE MYTH OF RACE NEUTRALITY IN POLICY AND PRACTICE A few policies notable for their impact on youth of color are drug-free zone laws, antigang laws, zero tolerance in schools, and transfer of youth to adult court. All of these policies are the result of legislation during the late 1980s and through the 1990s that either created the policies (zero tolerance) or modified existing policies (transfer to adult court) to increase their discriminatory effect while appearing race neutral. These policies are formalized in state law and have become accepted practice, with sweeping ramifications for the juvenile justice process and its youth. Drug-Free Zones In the 1980s, states began increasing penalties for drug offenses committed in prohibited zones surrounding schools and other public

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and quasipublic locations (Gaudio, 2010). Legislatures imposed these enhanced penalties for activities in areas ranging from 300 feet to 3 miles surrounding schools or other public locations (e.g., public housing), regardless of whether schoolchildren were involved in, or the target of, the drug offense. The enforcement of drug-free zones in densely populated urban areas, which are disproportionately populated by youth of color and where much of the residential area is within a school or public housing zone, resulted in a large increase in youth of color in the juvenile justice system (Greene, Pranis, & Ziedenberg, 2006). Thus, drug-free zone legislation had the effect of both increasing the perception of being “tough on crime” and increasing racial and ethnic disparities within the juvenile justice system. In fact, racial and ethnic disparities in drug arrests are well established beyond those associated with drug-free zones and have been attributed to a number of enforcement strategies, such as an enforcement focus on lowlevel drug dealers within minority communities and the relative visibility of drug activity in urban neighborhoods of color (Bishop, 2005). This differential enforcement has been attributed to the media-fueled perception that drug crime is focused in urban African American communities. A related illustration of how legal reforms in drug enforcement and transfer have a discriminatory impact occurred in Chicago in the 1990s when the Illinois legislature amended its transfer law, making adult prosecution of 15- to 16-year-olds charged with drug crimes within 1,000 feet of public housing mandatory. Like the research on the impact of drug-free school zones, a study of the resulting transfers over one year found that all of the transferred youth were African American (Bishop, 2005; Clarke, 1996). A 2006 Justice Policy Institute (JPI) report found that across three states that had

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implemented drug-free zone laws, urban communities of color were disproportionately affected by prohibited zones, and enforcement of the laws had little or nothing to do with protecting children. A case in point is Massachusetts’s drug-free zone statute. Research on the implementation of Massachusetts’s statute, enacted in 1989, found the following: &

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Seven out of 10 drug-free zone incidents occurred when school was not in session. Less than 1% involved sales to youth. Eighty percent of defendants who received mandatory, enhanced sentences under the statute were Black or Latino, even though 45% of those arrested were White. While roughly 80% of all arrests took place within a school zone, only 15% of Whites were charged with an eligible offense compared to 52% of non-White defendants. In a state where Whites comprise 80% of the resident population, Blacks and Latinos comprise nearly 80% of those convicted of drug-free zone violations (Greene, Pranis, & Ziedenberg, 2006).

Moreover, JPI’s analysis suggested sharp disparities affecting both youth and adults of color in the way drug-free zone laws were enforced (Greene et al., 2006). The seemingly race-neutral intent of the laws, that is, protecting children from drug-related activities, disproportionately affected youth of color. Gangs Another contributor to the current overrepresentation of youth of color in confinement was the proliferation in the 1990s of anti-“gang”

legislation. Although gangs pose a public safety issue for those communities that experience them, antigang laws cast a wide net and often criminalize the very nature of youth behavior. Young people “hang out” or socialize in groups with peers who might be friends, family, or extended family. Stereotypes about which youth are associated with gangs can affect police decisions about who to stop and who to arrest (Villarruel & Walker, 2002). For example, familia and extended families are very important in the Latino culture, where it is not uncommon for a young person who is not a member of a gang, or affiliated with a gang, to have a cousin or friend who may be a gang member. A study of Latino youth in California found that 84% of youth reported having family, friends, or acquaintances in gangs, even though only 10% of youth personally reported being in a gang or “crew” themselves (Arya et al., 2009). In many jurisdictions the mere act of two youth being out and about together can easily result in their being stopped, photographed, and identified as “gang associates” by the police. In many states the information gathered from law enforcement’s gang profiling is entered into “gang databases.” The criteria for being placed on these lists are often vague, including criteria like “hangs around with gang members” (Villarruel & Walker, 2002). Moreover, living in the same barrio as a suspected gang member can lead to being labeled as an “associate.” Youth and families of color are often segregated in neighborhoods of concentrated poverty that are characterized by high unemployment, poor schools, and deliberate disinvestment. This disadvantage is compounded when they are more likely to have their behavior criminalized because of their race, ethnicity, and place of residence. For these reasons and a complex of others, youth of color are particularly at risk of being

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classified as gang members. Results from the 2001–2004 National Youth Gang Center’s annual survey showed that law enforcement agencies reported gang members being 35.7% African American, 48.2% Latino, and 9.5% White. By contrast, results of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, found that 42% of White youth, 27% of African American youth, and 24% of Latino youth reported being gang involved (Greene & Pranis, 2007). The contrast between law enforcement data showing the greatest gang involvement among youth of color and the youth self-report data showing the greatest gang involvement among White youth, highlights the problem with relying exclusively on law enforcement data and may speak to how bias, stereotyping, and intolerance of adolescent behaviors leads to the categorization of youth of color as gang members. Zero-Tolerance School Policies Like enforcement of drug-zones and gang laws, youth of color comprise a disproportionate share of public school students referred to the juvenile justice system under zero-tolerance policies [American Psychological Association (APA), 2008; see Boundy & Karger, Chapter 14, this volume; Vaught, Chapter 15, this volume]. Zero tolerance describes harsh, predefined mandatory consequences, such as suspension or expulsion, imposed by schools for a violation of school rules, without regard to the seriousness of the behavior, mitigating circumstances, and without consideration of context. Zero-tolerance rhetoric became widespread in the 1990s. It was initially a response to drug enforcement and then became more widespread in reaction to media reports about gangs and school shootings, even though school crime rates were stable or declining by the time these

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policies were implemented (APA, 2008; Peterson & Schoonover, 2008). One initial appeal of zero tolerance was the perception that because these laws were objective and therefore apparently race neutral, they might be fairer to youth of color and other students, who had been overrepresented in school disciplinary proceedings. However, a decade of research reflects the opposite result. African American students have been consistently overrepresented among students who are suspended and expelled, a finding that cannot be entirely explained by economic disadvantage. Nor are there data supporting the assumption that African American students exhibit higher rates of disruption or violence that would warrant higher rates of discipline. Rather, African American students may be disciplined more severely for less serious or more subjective reasons such as lack of teacher preparation in classroom management, or lack of teacher cultural competence, or racial stereotyping (APA, 2008; see Boundy & Karger, Chapter 14, this volume). The lack of a single definition of zero tolerance illustrates the ad hoc nature of these policies, which are codified as federal law but have the ability to change at the state or school district level. For instance, the Gun-Free Schools Act of 1994 (Gun Free Schools Act, 20 U.S.C. §7151, GFSA) required schools to expel any student who brings a firearm to school for a calendar year. Subsequent changes in many state laws and local school district regulations broadened the GFSA focus on firearms to many other kinds of “weapons,” such as a fourth grader who brought a twoinch Lego “weapon,” along with his Lego policeman to school. The principal considered the toy worthy of suspending the student, although the local Department of Education advised that the toy need only be confiscated

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and returned to the child’s parents at the end of the day (Padnani, 2010). Schools’ reliance on zero tolerance has resulted in an increased connection between schools and the juvenile justice system, including increased police presence in schools and increased referrals to the juvenile justice system for infractions that were once handled in school (Skiba et al., 2006; Wald & Losen, 2003; see also Boundy & Karger, Chapter 14, this volume; Vaught, Chapter 15, this volume). The result is what has been called the school-to-jail pipeline, which has a disproportionate impact on youth of color (Wald & Losen, 2003; see also Boundy & Karger, Chapter 14, this volume). U.S. Department of Education data indicate that Black students are suspended at higher rates than White students. In 2006, approximately 15% of Black students were suspended as compared with 5% of White students, and approximately 0.5% of Black students were expelled compared with 0.1% of White students (Planty et al., 2009). Juvenile justice practitioners and reformers throughout the country offer plentiful case data of youth of color referred to the juvenile justice system for school-based misbehaviors that have historically been handled by school personnel. Stories in the media abound about the abuses of zero-tolerance policies. Like many of the reforms beginning in the 1990s, zero tolerance is an expedient, seemingly race-neutral way for schools to wash their hands of any trouble, real or perceived, large or small. Youth of color face disparities in referral to the juvenile justice system through policies like zero tolerance, while at the same time this “get tough” attitude is mirrored in the courts through the expansion of legislative and prosecutorial transfer laws once youth enter the juvenile justice the system.

Transfer to Adult Court The last two decades have seen a continued criminalization of delinquency, including expanding the ways youthful offenders are tried and punished as adults in the criminal justice system. Over this time, there has been an expansion of legislative and prosecutorial transfer, approaches that take the decision about whether to try and treat a youth in the juvenile justice system out of the hands of the courts where individual and contextual circumstances can be considered. We have also seen reductions in the age at which youth can be tried as adults in many states (see Sherman & Blitzman, Chapter 4, this volume). Against this backdrop, national and jurisdictionspecific data demonstrate that youth of color are transferred to adult courts far in excess of their proportion of the overall cases processed by juvenile systems (Burgess-Proctor, Holtrop, & Villarruel, 2007). In 2002, three out of four of the 4,100 new admissions of children under 18 years of age to adult prison were youth of color (National Council on Crime and Delinquency, 2007). In 2005, of those youth transferred to adult court through judicial waiver, 39% were Black youth, who comprise 58% of juveniles admitted to adult prisons and 28% of youth arrests. Disparities among Black youth become greater further into the criminal justice system, and even at arrest, they far exceed the 16% that they comprise in the youth population nationwide (Arya, Augarten, & Shelton, 2008). Latinos are over 40% more likely than White youth to be waived to the adult criminal justice system and nearly twice as likely to be waived to the adult system for an offense against a person. A significant percentage of Latino youth are at risk of being tried as adults or are being held in an adult jail by virtue of where they live. Thirty-seven percent of

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Latino youth ages 10–17 live in one of the 13 states where the maximum age of juvenile jurisdiction is 16 or 17, in contrast to the majority of the country where juvenile jurisdiction ends at 18. In these 13 states, regardless of how minor the crime, the young person will automatically be prosecuted in the adult criminal justice system (Arya et al., 2009; see Sherman & Blitzman, Chapter 4, this volume). State data are even more striking. According to a 2007 report, in California, Black youth are 4.7 times and Latino youth are 3.4 times as likely to be transferred into the adult system as White youth. In Connecticut, youth of color are less than 30% of the population but 80% of young men in adult corrections; in Wisconsin, youth of color are approximately 15% of the state population but are 7 out of 10 youth in adult jails and prisons (Campaign for Youth Justice, 2007). These statistics reflect policies and practices that hearken back to the 19th century when Black youth were placed in the adult criminal justice system as intentional segregation from their White peers in the juvenile justice system. Today, the overrepresentation of youth of color in youth justice systems is the result of deliberate policy decisions often supported by weak science and anecdote. These inequities result from structural components in our schools, communities, and justice systems, and reflect conscious decisions about who will “suffer abuse and who will be shielded from harm.” The Role of Local Practice The history of change in the juvenile justice system suggests that racial and ethnic inequities are by design and not accident. The inequities are the result of a legacy of structural elements, rather than individual bias and racism. While shifts in policies and practices may appear in

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the guise of race neutrality, the shifts and their target—youth of color—were intentional. Indeed, Michelle Alexander, in The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (2010), explores the role of the criminal justice system in creating and perpetuating a racial hierarchy in the United States. Structural elements, similar to those that influence national policy, also influence local policies and practices in the juvenile justice system. Within each local juvenile justice continuum, there is a wide range of daily discretionary decisions that are formalized and highly influential to the future of youth. They include, for example, local decisions about when to detain youth for placement failures, warrants, or violations of probation (W. Haywood Burns Institute, 2009). In making these local decisions, systems often fail to consider the racial, cultural, or geographic contexts for youth of color and their families, and that failure can lead to local practices that drive youth of color into detention systems disproportionately, unfairly, and contrary to the stated goals of local systems. A typical example of local practice having a discriminatory effect is as follows: A youth is released at intake on the condition that she or he report to a youth-serving program on a daily basis. The young person has no transportation to the program and would have to walk through a couple of neighborhoods to get to there. One neighborhood in particular is a little rough, with a reputation for confronting anyone who is an “outsider.” Because the youth fears for her or his safety, the young person decides not to report to the program. Program staff immediately report the youth as AWOL, and the youth is subsequently picked up by his or her probation officer and held in secure detention for placement failure. In this case, failing to consider the geographic reality of a seemingly race-neutral policy

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results in a differential impact on poor youth of color, propelling them deeper into the system. Unabated and ill-conceived policies and practices continue to be implemented both nationally and locally in response to adolescent misbehavior. This familiar pattern of criminalizing kids for typical adolescent behavior affects youth of color disproportionately, perpetuating the myth of race neutrality in policy and practice. Taking responsibility for racial equity means being willing to acknowledge that our nation’s enduring patterns of racial disparity are inconsistent with our ideals and thus unacceptable. It also means demonstrating the will to challenge norms or values that may seem to be “normal” or “race neutral” in our culture and political economy (Lawrence, Sutton, Kubish, Susi, & FulbrightAnderson, 2004).

THE URGE TO PROVIDE AND PROTECT: LOW-RISK, HIGH-NEED YOUTH The juvenile justice system has become the default system—the warehouse—for low-risk, high-need youth whose needs should have been served, or should currently be served, by other public systems (see also Beyer, Chapter 1, this volume). This structural failure drives many youth of color into the juvenile justice system (see Ross & Miller, Chapter 17, this volume; Schiraldi, Schindler, & Goliday, Chapter 20, this volume). We know that up to 70% of youth in the juvenile justice system have a mental health disorder, while more than 20% have a serious mental illness (see Braverman & Morris, Chapter 3, this volume; Boundy & Karger, Chapter 14, this volume). Rates of posttraumatic stress are high among detained youth (Rich et al., 2009), and many youth in the juvenile justice system have

substance abuse issues, often in combination with mental health issues (see Braverman & Morris, Chapter 3, this volume). School failure and its consequences in terms of suspension, expulsion, and dropping out represent another pervasive need among youth in the justice system (see Boundy & Karger, Chapter 14, this volume; Vaught, Chapter 15, this volume). When these needs go unmet in the community, there is evidence that youth of color are referred to the justice system (Bell et al., 2009). A 2007 study by the American Psychological Association (Pottick, Kirk, Hsieh, & Tian, 2007) found that youth of color were often given diagnoses that led to confinement. The report found a disparity in clinicians’ judgments of mental disorders between minority and nonminority youth. Controlling for context and clinicians’ characteristics, clinicians were less likely to identify a mental health disorder in Black or Latino youth than in White youth. One possible explanation was that when clinicians were faced with antisocial behavior, they were diagnosing White youth with mental disorders and directing them to treatment, while diagnosing minority youth with behavioral issues and directing them to the juvenile justice system. Improving the capacity of the juvenile justice system to deliver mental health services is not a legitimate solution because the juvenile justice system is not an appropriate venue for delivering mental health services to youth (Grisso, 2008). Similarly, the juvenile justice system alone is not equipped to respond to the needs of low-risk youth with substance abuse issues. In 2006, nearly 10% of youth 12–17 reported being actively engaged in drug use. Research shows that there is a direct connection between drug and alcohol abuse among youth and trouble with the law for youth who are disproportionately from low-income

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communities and communities of color. In 2008, more than 23.1 million people ages 12 or older needed treatment for a drug or alcohol problem. Of these, only 2.3 million (0.9% of persons aged 12 or older and 9.9% of those who needed treatment) received treatment at a specialty facility (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2009). Many of these are youth who ended up in detention. Similarly, differential treatment has been observed in physical health care. Trauma, or as John Rich describes it—adversity—is one health issue that impacts justice system involvement (Rich et al., 2009; see Braverman & Morris, Chapter 3, this volume). Dr. Nadine Burke posits that the clinical effects of childhood trauma need to be given more attention as a serious medical epidemic and significant contributor to overincarceration of youth of color (N. Burke, personal communication). The preceding discussion documents the presence, extent, and some of the reasons for racial and ethnic disparities in juvenile justice systems. Overcoming these dynamics necessarily involves confronting the structural nature of race, ethnicity, and institutional inertia. We know from innovative work around the country in a variety of jurisdictions that progress can be made—that systems can be operated fairly and equitably while maintaining public safety (Nellis & Richardson, 2010). A Positive Future In spite of the structurally biased nature of the juvenile justice system, both systemic and programmatic reforms that promote equity are being implemented throughout the country. Sites throughout the country have established that these reforms have effectively reversed the traditional practice of reliance

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on detention, demonstrated that detention and equity reforms are effective public safety strategies, and provided empirical evidence that the existence of racial and ethnic disparities is not an intractable fact of life (Bell et al., 2009; Mendel, 2009; Nellis & Richardson, 2010). Fundamental to successful system reform are collaborative and data-driven strategies to change the way adults in the juvenile justice system operate—that is, collaboratively utilizing data to conduct critical self-examination of policies and practices and how they impact youth of color. Developing objective decision making along the juvenile justice continuum is an essential component of reform, as is the need for intentional and determined leadership to level the playing field for youth of color. Similarly, successful programs demonstrate racially and culturally responsive components that promote opportunities for positive youth development and that strengthen families and communities. The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative For almost two decades, the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) has worked with jurisdictions throughout the nation to safely reduce reliance on secure detention. As of 2009, approximately 110 local jurisdictions in 27 states and the District of Columbia were implementing JDAI’s core strategies to establish more effective, efficient, safe, and equitable systems (see Schiraldi, Schindler, & Goliday, Chapter 20, this volume). A recent evaluation of JDAI documents its progress making fundamental changes to juvenile justice systems through alternative policies, practices, and programs (Mendel, 2009; Nellis & Richardson, 2010).

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JDAI’s theory of change is based on eight core strategies, including: collaboration, collection and utilization of data, objective admission screening, alternatives to secure detention, case processing reforms, flexible policies and practices to address “special detention cases” (e.g., violations of probation, writs/warrants, and awaiting placement), ensuring safe and appropriate conditions of confinement, and strategies and innovations to reduce racial and ethnic disparities. Working on implementing the eight core strategies through a racial and ethnic lens to identify and analyze points of disparities, JDAI sites were among the first in the country to demonstrate reductions of racial and ethnic disparities (Hoytt, Schiraldi, Smith, & Ziedenberg, 2002). This was accomplished through the implementation of systemic and programmatic changes targeted at reducing the reliance on secure detention for youth of color. JDAI jurisdictions making significant gains demonstrate that no specific strategy is more important than the tangible commitment, political will, and leadership of system personnel to achieving racial and ethnic equity. Results include significant and measurable outcomes in the safe reduction of detention admissions, average daily population (ADP), and average length of stay (ALOS), as well as increased use of alternatives to detention for youth of color (JDAI Results Reports, 2009; JDAI site quarterly reports, unpublished data). W. Haywood Burns Institute for Juvenile Justice Fairness and Equity (BI) Another organization that has achieved positive, measurable results reducing disparities is the W. Haywood Burns Institute for Juvenile Justice Fairness and Equity (BI). BI’s methodology brings officials from law enforcement, legal systems, and child welfare together with community leaders, parents, and children, and

takes them through a data-driven, consensusbased approach to change policies, procedures, and practices in the juvenile justice system that result in the disproportionate detention of youth of color and poor children. BI’s work in more than 40 jurisdictions throughout the United States provides empirical evidence that solving disparities and disproportionality is possible. BI has achieved measurable reductions in disparities by fashioning institutional responses to policies and practices impacting youth of color such as zero tolerance, “failures to appear,” warrants, and inordinate lengths of stay in detention (Hernandez, 2006). Models for Change DMC Action Network The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Models for Change initiative is another national initiative working on racial and ethnic disparities. Through improved data and intentional and targeted interventions, Models for Change states are working to promote fair and unbiased juvenile justice systems that treat youth, sharing knowledge and accelerating progress in the reduction of racial and ethnic disparities in the juvenile justice system. The Models for Change DMC Action Network was launched in 2007 to bring together teams from select local jurisdictions, expose them to the latest thinking among national experts, and give them an opportunity to learn from one another about effective ways to reduce the disproportionate contact of minority and ethnic youth with the juvenile justice system. Each site is implementing at least two “strategic innovations” that are likely to have an impact on reducing the disproportionate contact of minority youth locally. Sites will track their implementation experiences, and results will be shared with their colleagues

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and the field. Strategic innovations include: (1) improvements in the tracking and reporting of data, (2) enhanced cultural competency and community responsiveness of staff, (3) diverting preadjudicated youth, and (4) expanding postdisposition culturally relevant alternatives to incarceration.

CONCLUSION Over two centuries ago, German philosopher Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller introduced his immutable law of events, stating “into today already walks tomorrow.” As professionals, scholars, practitioners, and community members vested in the future of the next generation, we cannot allow the overincarceration of youth of color to go unchecked. Our mandate must be to create fair, equitable, and humane approaches for children in trouble with the law, which have positive, serviceoriented interventions and consequences, and maintain public safety. Civil rights leader Cesar Chavez once said that “the love for justice that is in us is not only the best part of our being but it is also the most true to our nature.” Justice demands that we be ever vigilant about who suffers and who is shielded from harm. All young people deserve to be treated equally and fairly by the systems that mean to serve and protect them. It is everyone’s job to work tirelessly to achieve this goal.

REFERENCES Alexander, M. (2010). The new Jim Crow: Mass incarceration in the age of colorblindness. New York, NY: New Press, 2010. American Psychological Association Zero Tolerance Task Force. (2008). Are zero tolerance policies

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effective in schools? An evidentiary review and recommendations. American Psychologist, 63(9), 852–862. Arya, N., Augarten, I., & Shelton, H. (2008). Critical condition: African-American youth in the justice system. Washington, DC: Campaign for Youth Justice. Accessed online at www.campaign4youthjustice .org/documents/CFYJPB_CriticalCondition.pdf Arya, N., Villarruel, F., Villanueva, C., Augarten, I., Murgia, J., & Sanchez, J. (2009). America’s invisible children, Latino youth and the failure of justice. Washington, DC: Campaign for Youth Justice. Accessed online at www.campaign4youthjustice.org /documents/CFYJPB_InvisibleChildren.000.pdf Bell, J., Lacey, C., Ridolfi, L., & Finley, M. (2009). The keeper and the kept, reflections on local obstacles to disparities reduction in juvenile justice systems and a path to change. San Francisco, CA: W. Haywood Burns Institute. Bell, J., & Ridolfi, L. (2008). Adoration of the question, reflections on the failure to reduce racial & ethnic disparities in the juvenile justice system. San Francisco, CA: W. Haywood Burns Institute. Bishop, D. M. (2005). The role of race and ethnicity in juvenile justice processing. In D. F. Hawkins & K. Kempf-Leonard (Eds.), Our children, their children (pp. 23–82). Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Bridges, G. S. & Steen, S. (1998). Racial disparities in official assessments of juvenile offenders: Attributional stereotypes as mediating mechanisms. American Society Review, 63, 554–570. Burgess-Proctor, A., Holtrop, K., & Villarruel, F. (2007). Youth transferred to adult court: Racial disparities. Washington, DC: Campaign for Youth Justice. Available at www.campaign4youthjustice.org/ Downloads/KeyResearch/MoreKeyResearch/ AdultificationPolicyBriefVol2.pdf Campaign for Youth Justice. (2007, March). The consequences aren’t minor: The impact of trying youth as adults and strategies for reform. Available at www .campaign4youthjustice.org/documents/CFYJNR_ ConsequencesMinor.pdf Chavez-Garcia, M. (2006). Youth, evidence, and agency: Mexican and Mexican American youth at the Whittier State School, 1890–1920. Journal of Chicano Studies, 31(2), 55–83. Clarke, E. E. (1996). A case for reinventing juvenile transfer. Juvenile and Family Court Journal 47, 3–22.

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Curry, L. P. (1981). The free Black in urban America, 1800– 1850: The shadow of the dream. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Deitch, M., Barstow, A., Lukens, L., & Reyna, R. (2009). From time out to hard time: Young children in the adult criminal justice system. Austin: University of Texas at Austin, LBJ School of Public Affairs. Available at www.utexas.edu/lbj/news/images/ file/From%20Time%20Out%20to%20Hard%20 Time-revised%20final.pdf Ex parte Crouse, 4 Whart 9 (1839). Feld, B. (2005). Race and the jurisprudence of juvenile justice: A tale in two parts, 1950–2000. In D. F. Hawkins & K. Kempf-Leonard (Eds.), Our children, their children (pp. 12–163). Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Feld, B. C. (1999). Bad kids: Race and the transformation of the juvenile court. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. Frey, C. (1981). The House of Refuge for Colored Children. Journal of Negro History, 66(1), 10. Gaudio, C. M. (2010). A call to congress to give back the future: End the “war on drugs” and encourage states to reconstruct the juvenile justice system. Family Court Review, 48(1), 212–227. Greene, J., & Pranis, K. (2007). Gang wars: The failure of enforcement tactics and the need for effective public safety strategies. Washington, DC: Justice Policy Institute. Available at www.justicepolicy.org/images/upload /07-07_REP_GangWars_GC-PS-AC-JJ.pdf Greene, J., Pranis, K., & Ziedenberg, J. (2006). Disparity by design: How drug-free zone laws impact racial disparity—and fail to protect youth. Washington, DC: Justice Policy Institute. Available at www.justice policy.org/images/upload/06-03_REP_Disparityby Design_DP-JJ-RD.pdf Grisso, T. (2008). Adolescent offenders with mental disorders. The Future of Children, 18(2), 143–165. Available at http://futureofchildren.org/futureof children/publications/docs/18_02_07.pdf Grossberg, M. (2002). Changing conceptions of child welfare in the United States, 1820–1935. In M. K. Rosenheim, F. E. Zimring, D. S. Tanenhaus, & B. Dohrn (Eds.), A century of juvenile justice. (pp. 3–41). Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Gun Free Schools Act of 1994 (20 U.S.C. §7151) (2002). Hernandez, G. (2006). Implementing the Burns Institute Model to reduce DMC: Pima County. Unpublished report, W. Haywood Institute, San Francisco, CA.

Hoytt, E., Schiraldi, V., Smith, B., & Ziedenberg, J. (2002). Pathways to juvenile detention reform: Reducing racial disparities in juvenile detention. Baltimore, MD: Annie E. Casey Foundation. In re Gault, 387 U.S. 1 (1967). Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative JDAI Results Reports. (2009). Unpublished data. Baltimore, MD: Annie E. Casey Foundation. JDAI site quarterly reports. Unpublished data. Baltimore, MD: Annie E. Casey Foundation. Juvenile Justice Delinquency and Prevention Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C. 5611 et seq.) (2002). Krisberg, B. (1993). Reinventing juvenile justice. London, England: Sage. Krisberg, B. (2005). Juvenile justice: Redeeming our children. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Lawrence, K., Sutton, S., Kubisch, A., Susi, G., & Fulbright-Anderson, K. (2004). Structural racism and community building. Washington, DC: Aspen Institute Roundtable on Community Change. Available at www.aspeninstitute.org/sites/default/files/content /docs/roundtable%20on%20community%20change /aspen_structural_racism2.pdf Laws of New York, Ch. CCCXXXI, 1824, 1824 Law Establishing County Poorhouses in New York. Available at www.poorhousestory.com/1824_law .htm Leiber, M. (2002). Disproportionate minority confinement (DMC) of youth: An analysis of state and federal efforts to address the issue. Crime & Delinquency, 48(1), 3–45. Mendel, R. (2009). Two decades of JDAI: A progress report, from demonstration project to national standard. Baltimore, MD: Annie E. Casey Foundation. Mennel, R. M. (1973). Thorns and thistles: Juvenile delinquents in the United States, 1825-1940. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, p.17. As cited in Ward, G. K. (2001). Color lines of social control: juvenile justice administration in a racialized social system, 1825–2000. Dissertation Abstracts International, 2002 62(10), 3582-A. (UMI No. DA3029453). Moriearty, P. L. (2008). Combating the color-coded confinement of kids: An equal protection remedy. New York University Review of Law and Social Change, 32, 285–343. National Council on Crime and Delinquency. (2007). And justice for some: Differential treatment of youth of color in the justice system. Accessed online at www.nccdcrc.org/nccd/pubs/2007jan_justice _for_some.pdf

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Nellis, A., & Richardson, B. (2010). Getting beyond failure: Promising approaches for reducing DMC. Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice, 000(00), 1-11. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177 /1541204009361180 Nelson, D. W. (2008, June). A road map for juvenile justice reform. Baltimore, MD: Annie E. Casey Foundation. Available at http://datacenter.kidscount.org/ db_08pdf/2008_essay.pdf Oshinsky, D. M. (1996). Worse than slavery: Parchman Farm and the ordeal of Jim Crow justice. New York, NY: Free Press. Padnani, A. (2010, February 3). Big brouhaha over New Dorp boy’s tiny toy gun. Staten Island Real-Time News. Retrieved from www.silive.com/news/index.ssf /2010/02/big_brouhaha_over_tiny_toy_gun.html Peterson, R. L., & Schoonover, B. (2008). Fact sheet #3: Zero tolerance policies in schools, Muncie, IN: Consortium to Prevent School Violence. Retrieved from www.preventschoolviolence.org/resources _assets/CPSV-Fact-Sheet-3-Zero-Tolerance.pdf Pew Hispanic Center. (2007). Tabulations of 2000 Census (5% IPUMS) and 2007 American Community Survey (1% IPUMS). Available at http://pew hispanic.org/files/factsheets/hispanics2007 Piquero, A. R. (2008). Disproportionate minority contact. Future of Children, 18(2), 59–79. Planty, M., Hussar, W., Snyder, T., Kena, G., Kewal Ramani, A., . . . Dinkes, R. (2009). The condition of education (2009) (NCES 2009-081). Washington, DC: National Center for Educational Statistics, Institute of Educational Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. Pope, C., & Leiber, M. J. (2005). Disproportionate minority confinement/contact (DMC): The federal initiative. In D. F. Hawkins & K. KempfLeonard (Eds.), Our children, their children (pp. 351–389). Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Pottick, K. J., Kirk, S. A., Hsieh, D. K, & Tian, X. (2007). Judging mental disorder: Effects of client, clinician, and contextual differences. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 75, 1–8. Poupart, J., Redhorse, J., Peterson-Hickey, M., & Martin, M. (2005). Searching for justice: American Indian perspectives on disparities in Minnesota criminal justice system. Saint Paul, MN: American Indian Policy Center. Rich, J., Corbin, T., Bloom, S., Rich, L., Evans, S., & Wilson, A. (2009). Healing the hurt: Trauma informed

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approaches to the health of men and boys of color. Philadelphia, PA: Drexel University School of Public Health. Ridolfi, L. (2004, July 16). internal memo. San Francisco, CA: W. Haywood Burns Institute. Sherman, G. (1943, June 2). Youth gangs leading cause of delinquencies. Los Angeles Times. Skiba, R., Reynolds, C. R., Graham, S., Sheras, P., Conoley, J. C., & Garcia-Vasquez, E. (2006). Are zero tolerance policies effective in schools? An evidentiary review and recommendations. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Soler, M., Shoenberg, D., & Schindler, M. (2009). Juvenile justice: Lessons for a new era. Georgetown Journal of Poverty Law & Policy, 16, 483–541. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2009). Results from the 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: National Findings (Office of Applied Studies, NSDUH Series H-36, HHS Publication No. SMA 09-4434). Rockville, MD. Spring, M. E. (1998) Comment: Extended jurisdiction juvenile prosecution: A new approach to the problem of juvenile delinquency in Illinois. 31 J. Marshall L. Rev.1351. Steen, S., Bond, C. E. W., Bridges, G. S., & Kubrin, C. (2005). Explaining assessments of future risk: Race and attributions of juvenile offenders in presentencing reports. In D. F. Hawkins & K. Kempf-Leonard (Eds.), Our children, their children (pp. 245–269). Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Tanenhaus, D. S. (2002). The evolution of juvenile courts in the early twentieth century: Beyond the myth of immaculate construction. In M. K. Rosenheim, F. E. Zimring, D. S. Tanenhaus, & B. Dohrn (Eds.), A century of juvenile justice (pp. 42– 73). Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Tracy, P. E. (2005). Race, ethnicity, and juvenile justice: Is there bias in post-arrest decision making? In D. F. Hawkins & K. Kempf-Leonard (Eds.), Our children, their children (pp. 300–347). Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. (1987). Census of Public and Private Juvenile Detention, Correctional, and Shelter Facilities, 1986–1987: [UNITED STATES] [Computer file]. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research. doi: 10.3886/ICPSR08973

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Villarruel, F., & Walker, N. (2002). Donde esta la justicia? A call to action on behalf of Latino and Latina youth in the U.S. justice system. Building Blocks for Youth. Accessed online at www.buildingblocksforyouth .org/Full%20Report%20English.pdf Wald, J., & Losen, D. F. (2003). Defining and redirecting a school-to-prison pipeline. New Directions for Youth Development, 99, 9–15.

Ward, G. K. (2001). Color lines of social control: juvenile justice administration in a racialized social system, 1825–2000. Dissertation Abstracts International, 62(10), 3582-A (UMI No. DA3029453). W. Haywood Burns Institute. (2009). Successful strategies to reduce racial/ethnic disparities in JDAI jurisdictions. Training curriculum, available at www.burnsinsti tute.org.

Juvenile Justice: Advancing Research, Policy, and Practice Edited by Francine T. Sherman and Francine H. Jacobs Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

CHAPTER

7

The Role of Gender in Youth Systems: Grace’s Story F R A N C I N E T. S H E R M A N

AND

J E S S I C A H. G R E E N S T O N E

O

ver the past two decades, the proportion of girls in the juvenile justice system has steadily increased; from 1999 to 2008, arrests of girls decreased less than their male counterparts in almost every offense category, and for some crimes, arrests of girls increased while those of boys decreased (Puzzanchera, 2009). Reacting to this growth and to the recognition that juvenile justice systems were designed for male offenders, since 1992 the Juvenile Justice Act has mandated that jurisdictions examine their systems and develop plans for providing needed gender-specific services to address the prevention and treatment of delinquency in this growing female population. This federal call to action has prompted research leading to a much deeper understanding of girls’ developmental needs, the circumstances that bring girls into contact or render them at risk of being in contact with the juvenile justice system, and how these needs and circumstances influence girls once they are in the system (Acoca, 1999; Bloom & Covington, 2001; Cauffman, 2008; Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention [OJJDP], 1998; Sherman, 2005). We now can identify a constellation of developmental and societal factors pushing girls into the juvenile justice system. We are also learning that public systems play an

inadvertent role in criminalizing girls’ behavior, and can work against girls’ successful reentry into the community and independent adult life (Sherman, 2005). This chapter examines a “typical” case of a multisystems-involved teenage girl, “Grace,” considering the role gender-responsive principles played in case decisions and services in the child welfare, delinquency, and legal systems. By examining how the respective players in Grace’s case viewed her and reached decisions in her case, and how Grace herself views these decisions, we hope to shed light on how systems might understand and implement gender-responsive principles so as to improve their structure and services for girls. We begin with a review of the literature describing the social characteristics of girls in the juvenile justice system and the ways these factors predict their system entry, including the role system practices and policies play in girls’ entry and course of stay in the juvenile and criminal justice systems. Next, we describe our case study methodology, including the gender-responsive principles that frame our analysis. We then introduce Grace and analyze the interview data from Grace’s case study using the framework provided by literature on gender responsiveness.

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SYSTEM-INVOLVED GIRLS: CHARACTERISTICS AND PREDICTORS OF SYSTEM INVOLVEMENT The literature on the role gender plays in youth system involvement describes disparities in the degree and way girls and women are affected by particular social circumstances or problems (Mead, 2001).1 It demonstrates how risk factors and difficult life circumstances are often interrelated (Ravoira, 2005), with these variables continuing to influence one another throughout the life span. In this review we focus on family discord, victimization, mental health problems, and risky sexual behaviors because delinquent girls are disproportionately affected by these problems. We also examine the quite extensive literature suggesting that girls are differentially affected by some of the structures, policies, and practices common in youth-serving systems; the literature concludes, as do we, that gender-responsive programs, services, and policy reform are critical to achieving better outcomes for these girls. Family Discord While there is a tendency for family distress to be present in the lives of both female and male delinquent youth, female delinquent youth are more likely to come from family environments characterized by strife (Lederman, Dakof, Larrea, & Li, 2004; Timmons-Mitchell et al., 1997). Tension in parent–child relationships that sometimes becomes violent can result in girls being arrested for assault or domestic battery (Sherman, 2009; Zahn, Brumbaugh, et al., 2008), or for status offenses such as running away (Acoca, 1999; Chesney-Lind 1

Portions of this section originally appeared in Jacobs, Oliveri, and Greenstone (2009).

& Okamoto, 2001). Family-based risk factors may also include lack of communication (Bloom, Owen, Deschenes, & Rosenbaum, 2002ab), experiencing the death of a parent or sibling, and lack of stability leading to foster care or other arrangements (Acoca, 1999). Conversely, one study identified family strengths, such as good communication and structure, as a major protective factor for girls (Bloom et al., 2002b). As a result of living in these homes, girls are likely to enter the child protection system, which can be a pathway into the delinquency system. In their study of the links between foster care and detention, Conger and Ross (2001) found that youth in foster care in New York were more likely to be detained by the juvenile court than nonfoster youth, after controlling for offense and demographics. This “foster care bias” was significantly more pronounced and more difficult to remedy for girls than boys, so that 20% of the girls detained during the study were in foster care as compared with 10% of the boys. The researchers attribute this to girls frequently going AWOL from foster placement, leading them into detention, due to both a lack of appropriate alternatives and laws allowing secure detention for violations of a valid court order in a status offense case (Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act [JJDPA], 2002). Even detention decisions based on more objective risk assessment instruments can be biased against girls who are given additional points for histories of running away and resulting warrants, making it more likely that they will be detained (Sherman, 2005). Victimization While there has been a good deal of variance in empirical findings of the proportion of delinquent and system-involved girls who

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have suffered sexual abuse and resulting trauma, the evidence is unequivocal that a history of abuse and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects a significant number of girls in this population (Chesney-Lind & Okamoto, 2001; Lederman et al., 2004; see also Braverman & Morris, Chapter 3, this volume) and is often a catalyst for their interactions with the criminal justice system (Acoca, 1999; Chesney-Lind & Okamoto, 2001). Early sexual abuse is common among girls victimized by commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC), the subject of significant federal and state attention since 2000. In 2008, girls comprised 76% of juvenile prostitutionrelated arrests (Puzzanchera, 2009), and girls victimized by CSEC are routinely detained in the juvenile justice system despite general recognition of their victimhood and the trauma associated with detention (Lynch & Widner, 2008; Sherman, 2005). Juvenile justice system involvement in these cases results from the lack of alternatives, an overemphasis on law enforcement, fear for the welfare of girls who are victims of CSEC, and the failure of systems to collaborate toward cross-system, gender-responsive solutions (see Sherman & Goldblatt Grace, Chapter 16, this volume). Zahn, Hawkins, Chiancone, and Whitworth, (2008) contend that while girls are more likely to have experienced sexual assault, rape, or sexual harassment, suffering neglect or physical or sexual abuse is a risk factor for delinquency for both boys and girls. Some find, though, that a history of abuse during childhood or adolescence is a more powerful predictor of delinquent behavior for females (Cauffman, 2008). Abuse histories in girls may be linked to mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety disorders (Bloom, Owen, & Covington, 2003; Goodkind, Ng, & Sarri, 2006; Sherman, 2005), or may manifest in girls as externalizing disorders

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such as aggressive behavior (Sherman, 2005). Abusive experiences in the past may also affect girls’ emotional adjustment and their ability to trust others, and may be a factor in substance abuse (Bloom et al., 2002b). Victimization and trauma is also a major catalyst leading girls to run away from home, which is a frequent cause of arrest for female delinquents (Bloom & Covington, 2001; Chesney-Lind & Okamoto, 2001); some claim, indeed, that the system is punishing girls for being victims of abuse (Goodkind et al., 2006). Victimization in the home has become a pathway into the delinquency system for girls as an unintended result of changes in law enforcement practices for domestic violence. Zahn, Brumbaugh, and colleagues (2008) attribute the increase in girls’ arrests for assaults over the last decade in part to this change in law enforcement practices. From 1999 through 2008, girls’ arrests for assault increased 12%, while boys’ arrests declined 6%, and girls’ arrests for aggravated assault declined 17%, while boys’ arrests declined 22% (Puzzanchera, 2009). While same-sex peers are the most common victims of both girls’ and boys’ aggression, family members are the second most common victims of girls’ aggression, confirming that much of girls’ violence occurs in the context of a chaotic home. At the same time, many jurisdictions require arrest or detention when police are called to a home for domestic violence, and many in law enforcement report arresting teenage girls involved in home violence rather than arresting the mother, who has responsibility for other children. These reports are confirmed by detention data that show girls comprising a larger proportion of detentions for domestic violence and assaults than of detentions overall (Sherman, 2009). Through these mechanisms, girls’ victimization is criminalized, driving them into the juvenile justice system.

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Mental Health Problems

Risky Sexual Behavior

Multiple studies conclude that mental health problems are central in the lives of a large segment of the female delinquent population. Mirroring the general population, females involved in the juvenile justice system are more likely than their male counterparts to be affected by psychological illness (Alemagno, Shaffer-King, & Hammel, 2006; Cauffman, Lexcen, Goldweber, Shulman, & Grisso, 2007; Sherman, 2005; Teplin, Abram, McClelland, Dulcan, & Mericle, 2002; Timmons-Mitchell et al., 1997; see also Braverman & Morris, Chapter 3, this volume), and this disproportion is significantly exacerbated in the juvenile justice population (Cauffman et al., 2007). Girls are especially affected by internalizing disorders such as depression and particular anxiety disorders (Corneau & Lanctot, 2004; Lederman et al., 2004; Teplin et al., 2002; Zahn, Hawkins, et al., 2008). Unlike trends in the nondelinquent population, female offenders also outnumber male offenders in rates of externalizing disorders (Cauffman, 2008). A high incidence of comorbidity of mental health disorders has been found in several studies (see Braverman & Morris, Chapter 3, this volume). The presence in the delinquency system of significant numbers of youth, and particularly girls, with mental health disorders is associated, in part, with the failures of child welfare, mental health, juvenile justice, and public health systems to identify and treat these youth in their communities. Those failures have been linked to inadequate state Medicaid plans (Rosie D. v. Romney, 2006), poor mental health screening (see Braverman & Morris, Chapter 3, this volume), and an ongoing failure of youth-serving systems to cross traditional agency lines to develop comprehensive care plans and wraparound community-based services for youth (see Ross & Miller, Chapter 17, this volume).

Girls in the delinquency population often engage in risky sexual behavior that may be explained in part by their high rates of sexual abuse (Bloom et al., 2002b; Goodkind et al., 2006; Kelly, Owen, Peralez-Dieckmann, & Martinez, 2007). Girls’ first and subsequent sexual interactions are often with an older male partner (Acoca & Dedel, 1998; Guthrie, Hoey, Ravoira, & Kintner, 2002; Lederman et al., 2004). Sexual debut may also occur at young ages among system-involved girls; in one study involving girls ages 12–18 who were at risk for recidivism, the mean age for first sexual intercourse was 13.9 years (Guthrie et al., 2002). Evidence on safe sex practices and rates of sexually transmitted diseases is inconclusive, yet these issues are undoubtedly a major concern among youth in this population (Lederman et al., 2004). Race and Class Incarcerated girls and their male and adult counterparts are disproportionately people of color, especially African American and Hispanic (Acoca, 1999; Bloom & Covington, 2001; Chesney-Lind & Okamoto, 2001; see also Holsinger, Chapter 2, this volume) and frequently come from high-poverty backgrounds and communities (Bloom & Covington, 2001). Thus, the role of race and class in girls’ pathways into the juvenile justice system is important to consider.

GRACE’S CASE STUDY Case study analysis investigates, in depth, a contained example, or examples, of a phenomenon of interest to understand characteristics and processes that might pertain

The Role of Gender in Youth Systems: Grace’s Story

beyond that example; cases that are considered “typical” are commonly chosen (Stake, 1995; Yin, 1994). Consistent with this principle, Grace was chosen because her story reflects many of the elements and predictors of system involvement described in the literature. This was a mixed-methods case study utilizing legal and state agency records and qualitative interviews as data. Agency, court, and attorneys’ records were reviewed to construct a timeline of the major events in Grace’s case. The records provided historical data and baseline knowledge about the case, and allowed us to develop preliminary hypotheses regarding the relevance of Grace’s gender in various case components. However, records alone would not have provided sufficient material for this study because we were interested in the role of gender, which was not an explicit focus of the records (Hodder, 2003). In addition, Grace’s voice was not chronicled in written records, and her subjective experiences as a system-involved girl were essential to our study of the role of gender and gender-responsive principles in her case (Mason, 2002). In addition to Grace, four key players in Grace’s case were invited to participate in semi-structured interviews, the protocols for which were informed by the records as well as the literature on gender-responsive principles. Interviewees reflected on past experiences, and in the process of doing so engaged in a reinterpretation of those experiences through their current knowledge (Lawler, 2002). Interviews with Grace developed her personal narrative, her views of the system and its representatives with whom she interacted, and the role of gender-responsive principles in her case. Through interviews with Grace’s caseworkers from the juvenile justice and family service systems, a juvenile justice system administrator at the time of her case, and one

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of her attorneys, we sought to gain insight into whether and how gender-responsive principles were incorporated into decisions made in her case and what might have been improved. In total, seven interviews with six individuals were conducted between July and September 2009. We used qualitative data analysis software to code interview transcripts and aid in theory building (Weitzman, 2003), identifying themes, and conducting interpretive analyses of the connections among the themes and the links within these themes across data sources (Ryan & Bernard, 2003). Within this chapter, we present quotes from our interviews as examples of those themes (Ryan & Bernard, 2003) we consider representative of the viewpoints expressed by study participants (Mason, 2002). Grace’s Story Grace is, in many ways, typical of girls described in the literature. She is African American and lived as a young girl with her family in a housing project in a large northeastern city. Her father was not named on her birth certificate and not involved in her childhood, although she knows who he is. Her family is close-knit, comprised of her mother, two sisters, an aunt and uncle, a grandmother, and cousins, all of whom live in close proximity to one another. Those who have worked with Grace have described her as intelligent, outspoken, and caring. Her family and friends look to her as a support and confide in her. She is the first to identify and speak out against injustice, and despite the difficulties she presented as a client, her caseworkers remember her fondly and describe her as kind, engaging, and resilient. Her childhood with her mother—who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, abused drugs, and neglected her daughters—was

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marked by chaos and violence. Many reports of abuse and neglect were filed with the state Department of Family Services2 (DFS) and social services were provided to the family. When Grace was 11 years old, she and her sisters were removed from her mother’s custody and given to their maternal grandmother, who had a drinking problem and was later arrested for assaulting Grace with a hammer. A report of abuse was filed, and shortly thereafter they were removed from her home. They were often placed in separate foster homes. For the next 2 years, Grace and her sisters moved in and out of foster care and their grandmother’s home. Their mother had little to do with them during this period. Grace, who has since been clinically diagnosed with a mental health issue, became identified for her difficult behaviors by the agency and courts. She was moved among foster homes in part because her behaviors were difficult for foster parents to manage. When Grace turned 14, she was placed in foster care in a city 2 hours distant from her family home. She perceived this placement, far from her family, as punishment, and began to have more serious behavioral problems. Shortly after this placement, she was charged with assault and battery on a public employee and disturbing school assembly. It was her first, and would be her only, delinquency or criminal charge. She was expelled from school and, following an incident in which she stepped in front of a bus, was placed in a psychiatric hospital for evaluation. Grace was placed on probation and moved back to her home city, living in a series of foster homes, emergency shelters, and residential placements. She received education in the residential placements but not when she was 2

The agency names, like the parties’ names, have been changed to preserve anonymity.

in the community. Grace would frequently run from her foster homes to her grandmother’s home. During this time, she became pregnant and miscarried. The case began to focus more on her mental health as her behaviors became more clearly dangerous to herself. Because her probation conditions were to comply with DFS, the court found her in technical violation of probation and committed her to the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ). Grace was now 16 years old. For the next 18 months, DFS and DJJ struggled over control of Grace’s case. Grace continued to be placed in a series of foster homes and residential placements, but now she was also placed in secure detention when she technically violated her release conditions by running away or breaking curfew. Despite this, she continued to run to her grandmother’s home with the resulting warrants and detention. During the 2 years from ages 15 to 17, Grace was placed 44 times and spent 426 days—over half that period—in detention. During this time, the agencies made sporadic efforts to enroll her in education or career training programs and otherwise direct her toward a productive future. She was enrolled in an alternative school from which she was regularly suspended for “ . . . unsafe behavior, verbal inappropriateness, refusal to follow directions, and creating an unsafe environment . . . ” (DFS records). She was also seen by a psychiatrist and placed on medication for depression, which was becoming more acute. Seven months before she turned 18, Grace attempted suicide and, at her request, was placed in a hospital psychiatric unit where she remained until her 18th birthday. During these 7 months, DFS and DJJ were joined by the hospital and the Department of Mental Health staff in the struggle over Grace. Upon her hospitalization, a law school clinical

The Role of Gender in Youth Systems: Grace’s Story

program also began representing her to seek education services and plan for her transition to adulthood. At age 18, Grace “aged out” of the system but agreed to post-18 services with DFS. Although she was seeking funding for independent living, she was placed in a foster home with conditions, and 6 months later DFS terminated her over-18 services for an alleged violation of those conditions. Grace is now 24 years old. She has two children and lives with them in an apartment in her home city. The children attend day care when Grace is attending a trade school, where she is doing well in her studies. Her mother and sisters are a regular feature in her life and continue as both a source of support and a drain on her limited resources.

GENDER-SPECIFIC AND GENDER-RESPONSIVE: GUIDING PRINCIPLES The terms gender-responsive and gender-specific are often used interchangeably in the literature and, at a basic level, describe services that strive to satisfy girls’ unique developmental needs, personal characteristics, and life circumstances.3 In the case of delinquent girls, this includes understanding their pathways into the system, the multiple risk factors associated with their system involvement, and how these factors interact with one another (Bloom & Covington, 2001; Bloom et al., 2003; Morgan & Patton, 2002; OJJDP, 1998; Ravoira, 2005; Sherman, 2005). Programs defined as genderresponsive are not only characterized by serving a population that is all female or by having female staff (Acoca & Dedel, 1998; Ravoira, 3

Portions of this section originally appeared in Jacobs, Oliveri, and Greenstone (2009).

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2005; San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women, 1999); they also recognize unique experiences associated with being a female in the juvenile justice and related youth systems and deliberately use this knowledge to inform all components of the program (Bloom et al., 2003; Morgan & Patton, 2002; OJJDP, 1998; San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women, 1999). Services are delivered with empathy for the past and current challenges faced by participants, with an emphasis on the importance of relationships for girls (Bloom et al., 2003). Although somewhat diluted in the 2002 reauthorization, since 1992 Congress has endorsed the need for gender-responsive approaches through the JJDPA (2002). Core Considerations in Girl-Targeted Programs and Practices There are several overlapping principles for gender-responsive practices and programming in the juvenile justice population, some of which derive from empirical studies or observations emerging from applied work (see, for example, Acoca, 1999; Bloom, Owen, Deschenes, & Rosenbaum, 2002a; Mead, 2001; Ms. Foundation for Women, 2000, 2001; Ravoira, 2005; San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women, 1999; Wheeler, Oliveri, Towery, & Mead, 2005). Others are rooted in theoretical perspectives related to female development (see Bloom & Covington, 1998; Bloom & Covington, 2001; Goodkind, 2005; Maniglia, 1996). Still others are drawn from secondary analyses of empirical data collected by other researchers. Gender-responsive principles for girls’ services in the juvenile justice system include safety and safe spaces, attention to relationships, and a collaborative approach wherein power is shared across systems and with the girl. These

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are the gender-responsive principles about which we asked research participants when thinking about their agency’s involvement in Grace’s case. Safety and Safe Spaces Creating safe and supportive spaces is a key dictate of girlfocused programs and services, but how safety is defined varies. One dimension of safety is physical (Bloom & Covington, 1998, 2001; Bloom et al., 2003; Mead, 2001; Morgan & Patton, 2002). Women and girls are subjected to various forms of male violence in private and public spaces (Mead, 2001), including unwanted sexual contact (Alemagno et al., 2006). Considering the prominence of abuse victimization and trauma among system-involved girls, it is especially important that features of juvenile justice treatment programs, services, and practices do not mimic or perpetuate qualities of abusive relationships or conditions that many young female delinquents have experienced in their lives (Acoca 1999; Bloom et al., 2003; Goodkind, 2005; Sherman, 2005). Same-sex staff and supervision are important elements to consider in creating a safe environment for female offenders (Sherman, 2005). Emotional and intellectual safety should also be considered. Within the program environment and the system, participants should feel comfortable expressing their emotions, beliefs, goals, and fears, contributing their ideas and exploring new points of view and areas of interest. Safe and nurturing environments allow opportunities for building skills that are consistent with girls’ interests, but that are not limited to those traditionally associated with being a girl. Female-focused programs and services can then encourage individual growth and development instead of being driven by stereotypes (Levick & Sherman, 2003).

Attention to Relationships Developmental research on girls has emphasized the role of relationships and care in girls’ perspectives on what is important in life and the choices they make at critical moments. Due partly to their socialization into caretaking roles, research suggests that women tend to protect their bonds with others, choosing connection over independence (see, for example, Brown & Gilligan, 1992; Chodorow, 1974; Gilligan, 1982). In their recommendations for genderresponsive programming and practices, many refer to this research, urging that programs for girls and juvenile justice system practices consider the centrality of relationships in girls’ lives by providing opportunities for connection with adult individuals and services in the program context itself, and in girls’ communities (Bloom & Covington, 2001; Bloom et al., 2002a, 2003; Hubbard & Matthews, 2008; Maniglia, 1996; Morgan & Patton, 2002; San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women, 1999; Sherman, 2005). These may be lacking if girls’ family lives are chaotic or troubled (Alemagno et al., 2006; San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women, 1999). Collaboration and Shared Power The principle of collaboration and shared power applies both to sharing power with youth and to collaboration across systems. Regarding collaboration with youth, this principle includes allowing girls to participate in program design and leadership—indeed, having their input guide its course (Denner & Griffin, 2003; Mead, 2001; Morgan & Patton, 2002; Ms. Foundation for Women, 2001; Wheeler et al., 2005). Bloom and Covington (2001) contend that gender-responsive programs should aim to empower their participants. Goodkind and colleagues (2006) recommend programs to help girls not only

The Role of Gender in Youth Systems: Grace’s Story

cope with the negative effects of trauma, but also develop a sense of agency and control over their lives. Correspondingly, Sherman (2005) and Goodkind (2005) argue that such programming should be strengths focused, not deficits focused. This can include the active involvement of girls in decision making about their treatment course (Sherman, 2005), so that girls act in collaboration with staff to determine appropriate services. Collaboration and shared power across systems is important in girls’ cases because many are simultaneously involved with more than one youth-serving system, having a set of needs that cross traditional agency lines. Bloom and colleagues (2003) also encourage partnerships with community organizations to provide multilevel support to female offenders aimed at their life circumstances and challenges, which is critical to their successful reentry and longterm success in their communities. Given girls’ multiple needs, the failure to work across systems has been shown to result in detention of girls disproportionate to their male counterparts and to their conduct (Conger & Ross, 2001). While service delivery across systems and in collaboration with communities is difficult (see Farrell & Myers, Chapter 21, this volume; Ross & Miller, Chapter 17, this volume), states’ recent use of Medicaid support for juvenile justice–related evidence-based practices that involve multiple state and county agencies seems promising (Hanlon, May, & Kaye, 2008).

GENDER-RESPONSIVE PRINCIPLES IN GRACE’S CASE This section examines the role of genderresponsive principles in Grace’s case. Specifically, the themes of safety, relationships, and collaboration and shared power are discussed.

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Quotations from Grace’s interviews organize our analysis. Safety: “You Really Do Lose Yourself Through All the Chaos” The system representatives interviewed about Grace’s case, including DFS, DJJ, detention, and her lawyer, each underscored ensuring Grace’s safety as a guiding principle in their decision making, but in their emphasis on her physical safety as opposed to emotional safety, they differed from Grace. She defined safety: Like a shield of protection obviously, that’s what safety is I guess. You don’t have to worry about being alone or being scared, if you are scared, there’s someone to speak to. . . . Moreover, although system informants expressed concern with Grace’s emotional safety—that she feel safe—their understanding of what feeling safe meant to her was limited. Physical Safety Informants agreed that the greatest risks to Grace’s physical safety were her running away, hurting herself (self-cutting or suicide attempts), and sexual exploitation. Although Grace did not perceive these factors to be risks at the time, in retrospect she acknowledges them and even credits DJJ with pulling her back from the brink: “DJJ keeping me off the streets was a big plus because I was aiming to die.” DFS and DJJ tightened rules and used detention in an effort to keep Grace physically safe, trying to “keep her close and being a little more strict” (DJJ caseworker). Both the DFS and DJJ caseworkers described their agencies’ reactions to Grace’s safety risks similarly, conflating caring for her with being tough and strict. The DFS caseworker stated:

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Due to her serious history with regards to risky behaviors and things like that, the system always wanted to react in a way that really, you know, came down hard on her, sheltered her or made rules for her that she had to follow. Similarly, the DJJ caseworker stated: I think we were hard on Grace because of the worry we had with her safety, so we had higher expectations for her. So a girl who was a runaway, who doesn’t have the cutting or the suicide and those things going on, you’re gonna . . . consider them a runaway with emotional issues, but her, we tried to keep, I remember, as tight of a rein as possible because [of] being concerned about everything from pregnancy to possible prostitution. This focus eclipsed all other case goals, fed a crisis mentality in Grace’s case management, and restricted forward movement in her education and her ability to exercise autonomy in decision making. For example, DJJ placed Grace in a DJJ school located in its day reporting center, although Grace wanted to enroll in the public school. The DJJ caseworker described the decision as a reaction to concerns over Grace’s physical safety. Although the system was trying to protect her, Grace felt increasingly vulnerable and powerless in the face of what she saw as arbitrary system restrictions. Her explanation for running away, a behavior perceived as dangerous by the system and one that caused escalating restrictions, illustrates this: Why did they move me all the way to [a city two hours from my home]?

That’s how I felt, you just up and snatched me one day and moved me away. I didn’t get any warning or anything, I had to just completely separate from my family, like even if they weren’t the greatest family, they’re still my family and I wanted to stay closer to them than some strange new place because it felt like forever to get there and then, I don’t know, I never saw it as a safety concern, but now, it’s like I’m an adult and it’s like, anything could have happened to me. But I still always ran away. For Grace, emotional safety and physical safety cannot be disentangled, but neither was stable, and emotional safety in particular was largely absent during her teens. Her feelings of isolation and vulnerability colored her experiences, dictating much of her behavior. Although her early childhood at home clearly played a role, Grace blamed system practices for her feelings of lack of safety. Emotional Safety Grace’s definition of safety is informed by her experience as a foster child: You really do lose yourself through all the chaos. I say chaos because you’re jumping from one place to another, you’re sleeping in one bed to another bed. Then you have, you know, one DFS [placement] to another DFS [placement], one judge to another judge, one court system to another court system, and then you’re locked up. It’s dizzy[ing]. Have you ever been in a fight, and you don’t even know you’re fighting? . . . My life went so fast, and it could have went a little

The Role of Gender in Youth Systems: Grace’s Story

slower, if someone had stopped and slowed me down a little bit. Those frequent moves frightened her because they were unpredictable; they separated her further from her family; and many of the foster parents did not provide emotional nurturance when Grace needed it. She describes the impact of these frequent and unpredictable residential moves on her sense of well-being: . . . it’s like now you’re feeling lonely, you’re just, I don’t know, you’re a feather in the wind, wherever you land for that moment is where you stay until the wind blows again. You’re on the go, you have no idea where you’re going, and you have no idea how long you’re gonna be there, but you’re there until it’s time to go. Because it’s always time to go. . . . Although she acknowledges that hers “weren’t the best family,” and that living with her mother could be dangerous, she wanted to be with her family and, as a system-involved teen, ran to her grandmother or to be closer to her sisters. Despite their limitations, she felt safe with her family because they were a known quantity and she could be herself with them: I would prefer to be with my family more than a foster home. I mean you could sleep easy, not feeling like someone is gonna do something, or you don’t know what is gonna happen next, and plus you know what to expect from your family, aside from someone new you’re like, “Oh God, I have to start all over.”

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When she expressed vulnerability or asserted herself, Grace describes her foster parents and the family services system as rejecting her. Thus, she could not express the feelings of loneliness and depression she was having for fear of additional placements. “I’ve been in foster homes where I cut myself and they’re like, ‘Oh no, you can’t stay here.’ And it’s like, ‘next.’ So I just ran away. They didn’t care, not the foster parents anyway.” Showing her real personality as an outspoken teenager seemed to lead to problems as well. I got kicked out of her foster home. This is when I was supposed to be taking college courses. My plan was to go to [name of college]; I had straightened up. This was after I asked to go to the hospital; usually they have to fight me to go. I asked to go, I spent all these months in the hospital, I get out, I’m doing the right thing, I’m taking my medication, I just got a job at Walgreens, I’m not smoking weed. I’m doing the right thing. But because all of us girls are so scared, everyone has a voice but everyone is scared to confront the foster mother. So, me, I’m the leader, I’m gonna say it, because I’ve been going through this long enough, you know. So I speak up, she calls the DFS worker, which I didn’t even know changed. I get kicked out of the foster home. Grace came to believe that her changes in placement were prompted by her selfexpression, whether of sadness or independence, and this further threatened her feelings of emotional safety as well as prompted insecurity about her identity. She felt punished for speaking out or expressing her fear and

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sadness, as it always seemed to result in a placement change. Grace’s description of the system personnel with whom she felt safe highlighted the value she placed on authenticity and on people who took the time to understand who she really was. Here, she describes a nurse in the psychiatric hospital: I forgot her name, I just still call her the army nurse because she never cracked a smile and I wrote a few composition notebooks back to back, what was gonna be my book, and it was like maybe five composition notebooks that I just wrote, and she was the only one that read it . . . because they didn’t have a therapist there at the hospital at the time, and she looked at me when my sisters came and she’s like, ’cause I had to give them money to come see me at the hospital basically, and she’s like, don’t let the way other people are change who I am. Now mind you, she never smiles or says anything to anyone, it’s “If I say get in the room, get in the room, or you’re going down.” She had no problems doing restraints, but I felt safe with her. Similarly, though she says her commitment to DJJ was a bad experience because it resulted in months of lost time in detention, she says she felt safe in detention because she did not face rejection from the staff for being herself, and did not have to conceal her identity with girls who shared her experiences. . . . when you’re locked up, you have no choice but to be you. I mean if you want to spaz out then go for it, you know you’re just going to be

restrained . . . and then they talk you back down. DFS, on the other hand, you spaz out, you’re gone. There is no one to rub your back or try to understand or help you understand what’s going on with you, I mean you’re just gone. And you’re in the next place, no one goes over what just happened and you’re in the next place. The director of detention saw that Grace was struggling without an outlet for her feelings but was constrained because, although Grace spent many months in detention, the facility was not designed for treatment: . . . she kind of conformed, but I think as she wasn’t really addressing what was really going on with her or the system in general wasn’t really addressing it, and detention isn’t the place to address that, I mean we’re not treatment, that’s not our service. She started to struggle more and more. Although DFS, DJJ, and her attorney recognized that Grace did not feel safe, they could not appreciate the enormity of her fears and the many ways in which fear influenced her behavior. Her attorney recognized that Grace’s traumatic family experiences continued to affect her deeply: Grace is still grieving the loss of her family and nobody got that. It never was about Grace having been taken from her mother and then taken from her grandmother and all of the losses she had experienced, and separated from her sisters, and it was all about her deficits. So I think that somebody who was more connected to . . . her

The Role of Gender in Youth Systems: Grace’s Story

community could have, there’s no guarantee, but could have been able to see her assets and try to build on those assets. Her DJJ caseworker connected her need for emotional safety to her need for stability, particularly a stable placement. She believed Grace would find that stability only with her family but was constrained by DFS (which did not support family placement) and the housing authority (which prohibited Grace from living with her grandmother in subsidized housing). The DFS caseworker also saw Grace’s need for nurturing and saw that as a particularly strong need for girls. She believed that the system did not provide it because they viewed Grace as a criminal (despite her minor delinquency). Despite that view, however, the caseworker did not connect her need for a nurturing relationship to her feeling unsafe. The disparity between the system’s primary focus on physical safety and Grace’s primary focus on emotional safety led to neither being sufficiently addressed, and to system measures that led Grace to perpetuate the very behaviors the system aimed to thwart, such as running away and self-harm. These measures also alienated Grace, making her feel vulnerable to rejection and unable to be herself, feelings that fueled dissatisfaction with system decisions, and tensions in her relationships with system representatives. Relationships: “It Felt Like the Whole World Just Left Us Naked” Relationships play a central role in Grace’s system experiences and are closely associated with her struggles with identity and emotional safety. The central role of relationships in

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Grace’s life may be rooted in the early loss of her mother and family and her moves in and out of foster homes and detention. Those in the system who worked with Grace recognized the centrality of relationships for her, and for girls generally, yet the system’s judging and rule-bound approach to services made it difficult for individuals working with her to form relationships that Grace saw as authentic and valuable. The systemic challenges to authentic relationships were unfortunate, both because they proved counterproductive to Grace’s success and because, at least in Grace’s case, those relationships would have been relatively easy to establish and nurture: All our informants seemed genuinely to like her for her many endearing qualities as well as her strength of personality and apparent resilience. It is as though the system got in the way of these individual relationships rather than having facilitated them. Loss of Family Relationships Grace’s own accounts, as well as those of her agency workers and her attorney, suggest that her experience of abandonment by her mother and later her grandmother, and the instability of her family life, were replicated throughout her system involvement, as she was moved from placement to placement in the system. Grace describes the early underpinnings of her need for supportive and reliable relationships: . . . that’s where the depression came from, feeling like I was lonely. . . . You lose hope really easy when you don’t have someone. I mean your first love is your mother’s, I mean that’s where you spend your first nine months . . . same heartbeat, you’re sharing it all. When your mother gives up on you at such a young age, it’s like a chicken, you know

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the baby chicken, you don’t have fur at first, it’s like you’re naked to the world. Your mother’s wings are supposed to keep you warm and protected until you, you know, develop those feathers. It felt like the whole world just left us naked. Through Grace’s frequent moves within the system, she repeatedly relived this loss, loneliness, and experience of abandonment. From Grace’s perspective, these moves were the result of foster parents and caseworkers seeing her as flawed or at fault, a notion that was largely corroborated by those who worked with Grace during her system involvement. Her DFS caseworker remembered: . . . she would say that she wants to go to [a job training program] and everyone would get behind it and there were allsortsoflogisticalthingsthatneededto be worked out and we’d work really hard on itand then I thinkshewould just change her mind or she would call one day and be like, “That’s not what I want anymore. Now I want to do this.” And she was a little bit scattered about it, and so that made the system sort of react, “Oh now we did all this work and now you’regonnachangeyour mindafterwe did all that.” You know what I mean? That’s what ended up happening to her a lot, so I think in the end, it just became about safety. It just became about her following the rules and if she didn’t, she was out, that type of thing. In a similar vein, her attorney described: . . . [Grace] exhausted people and they got fed up with dealing with her contentiousness if they knew

her or not. I think they would, you know, collaterals would hear from the DMH worker [who] I’m sure got an earful from the caseworker who maligned Grace for her demands, so nobody took the time, nobody who might have stepped out to the plate, took the time to kind of get to know her, I felt, and advocate for her. Institutional Obstacles Institutional obstacles to effective relationship building were apparent in Grace’s case as well. For one, the regulatory nature of most relationships Grace had with individuals in the system compromised their genuineness. There was no one whose role it was simply to build a relationship with her, mentor her, or provide her emotional support; rather, every relationship was characterized by unequal power, wherein significant consequences loomed when she disobeyed system rules. As explained by Grace’s DFS caseworker: . . . all of her connections were about people that set rules for her and it was whether or not she followed those rules. I mean she had a DJJ worker, a DFS worker, all these different foster homes, or all these different staff members at programs, and I remember her trying to foster relationships and she’d try to foster relationships with people and, you know, someone had to come down hard on her and tell her that she broke a rule and sort of tighten up the system on her. It was never an authentic thing. Grace suffered in this void of genuine personal connections, of relationships that were unconditional, wherein she would not

The Role of Gender in Youth Systems: Grace’s Story

face rejection for not following rules that seemed to her to be unduly punitive or to present her with unfair choices. Her overarching characterization of the agency representatives she encountered throughout her system involvement was that of a lack of effort or interest in knowing the “real” her but, rather, an effort to change who she was. Within these relationships, she felt misunderstood and sometimes voiceless. She stated: . . . try to understand this part of me, please hear what I’m not saying, not try to put your interpretation of what you want me to be inside my head. Let me tell you who I am because I’m forgetting who I am because you’re moving me around too much, I don’t know. Grace rarely saw her DFS caseworkers. The role had high turnover, and Grace says she was often not informed when her caseworker changed. One caseworker with whom Grace did have a longer-term relationship, who was interviewed for this study, went on maternity leave at a critical juncture in Grace’s case, when she was turning 18 and would “age out” of the system. In retrospect, everyone agreed this was a significant setback for Grace, who may have weathered the transition better had this caseworker been available to her. As her attorney explains: Grace gets a new caseworker, and I don’t know the level of experience this caseworker had, but she was going by the book and Grace doesn’t do things by the book, and so that was a critical event that really set Grace up to have the voluntary [post-18 services] fall apart. I mean that was certainly one piece of it.

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There were other things, too. Where she was placed was not a great foster home for her. You know, the truth is she needed a lot more support than she thought she needed and that she wanted to have, and part of it was resources, what the department has to offer. Throughout her system involvement Grace rarely felt there was a good fit between her and the adults responsible for her. According to Grace, decisions made in her case were channeled through the foster parents with whom she was placed, rather than through her caseworkers. Due to her lack of connection to, and negative feelings about, the majority of her foster placements, this contributed to feelings of powerlessness and vulnerability; Grace felt like things were being done to her, without an opportunity to influence decisions that were made about her life. Positive Relationships in the System Although Grace’s relationships with system representatives were often contentious, she also seemed to inspire in many of these same adults feelings of empathy and a belief in her potential to succeed, and motivation to help her. Her DJJ caseworker recalled: I remember I worried about her a lot, like she was one of those girls you think about when you go home. You think about all of them, but you think about her because of her ability to be warm and friendly, and also care about you as a person. You know, generally some kids hate their caseworkers. She cared about me, like she’d always ask about my daughter, things like that.

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Study informants described Grace as a young woman who clearly sought personal connections with others. She had stories to tell, and wanted someone to listen to, and help her work through, the emotions they surfaced. Her attorney reflected that when she first met Grace, Grace shared with her that she had miscarried twins. This immediately forged a personal dimension in their relationship. Her attorney explained: I mean I think she wanted me to react to her pain. She wanted me to be sympathetic to it and I was. I mean it was, I was thinking, “Oh my God. Thank God” that she wasn’t pregnant with twins and that was adding to the list of the things that she had to deal with. She was telling me about it because people around her weren’t grieving with her, so yeah, definitely. I think that was true with Grace in every interaction. It was first about the emotional; it was first about “This is what’s happened to me. I am so upset.” And it was always important for my first response to her to be “Oh Grace, I am so sorry,” and then “what happened?” And not just “I’m so sorry” and get down to business. We needed to really talk and process this, and I was willing to do it. Caseworkers also found themselves naturally inclined to provide her with emotional support and guidance. Finding this balance was complicated both for Grace, due to the conditional nature of these relationships, and for these agency representatives, and there was no consensus on what an appropriate interpersonal relationship with a client should look like. All our informants strove for a balance between respect for professional boundaries

and support in their relationships with Grace. The former director of detention struggled with aspects of the relationship between Grace and her DJJ caseworker. She perceived the caseworker as: . . . trying to befriend, more than be the person of the rational decision making, or the person that a client can bounce an idea off and sort of get an answer that has some structural reasoning to it or play the devil’s advocate, you know those kinds of things, that sort of talking, communication, and interaction because even not being able to say no or not being able to set limits with clients, especially with a client like Grace, I think is as detrimental as anything else. While this particular relationship seemed problematic from an administrator’s viewpoint, Grace describes it as one of the most trusting and positive relationships she had during her system involvement. Not surprisingly, Grace enjoyed relationships in which individuals stuck by her despite her imperfections, taking this as an indication that they accepted her for who she was, including her troubled parts. About the DFS caseworker with whom she had the longest relationship, she said: I’m almost getting ready to turn 18. I’m like “Thank you.” Because she was hard, but she didn’t leave us. Everyone else did. There were caseworkers that left and didn’t even say anything. You didn’t even know that you had a new caseworker ’cause they never met with you, and I’m like seriously, honestly, that happened so

The Role of Gender in Youth Systems: Grace’s Story

many times I can’t even count ’cause I never even met them, they just passed through. But the ones that stuck around sometimes were okay, some good, some not so great, most not so great, but [DFS caseworker] in the end, I had to give it to her, like, “Okay, I applaud you ’cause you stuck it through. You cared.” Sort of like a test. Grace considered this caseworker’s dedication atypical, compared to her experiences with other caseworkers and with foster parents: I was in a foster home and I used to cut myself. When she came upstairs and she saw the cuts on my arms she says, “Okay we gotta figure something out.” I’m believing this lady cares about me and that she’s gonna try to help me and make it better, so I get sent to DJJ, and my freedom was taken because I was a depressed child. . . . She calls me and says, “Oh honey, I’m sorry,” and I’m like it’s because I’m not who she wanted me to be, the foster kid who doesn’t give her a problem. Not only did Grace feel that she could not count on foster parents to stick by her through the tough times, but she felt they rejected her and punished her because of her mental health challenges. The message to Grace seemed to be that regardless of her life circumstances, there was no room for error within this system. Grace deeply valued authenticity in relationships with system adults, which she defined as “being real” with her and allowing, even demanding, her to be real with them.

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Whereas with others in the system the conditional nature of the relationship was at the forefront, exacerbating Grace’s feeling that she could not express her true self, the individuals that Grace viewed as authentic made her feel that she could be herself without risk of rejection or desertion. Some of the staff members whom she remembered particularly fondly are also those she described as being tough with her, forcing her to consider the potential consequences of her actions: It felt real. The conversation was always real, it wasn’t sugarcoated or “Oh, I feel bad for you.” You know, it’s “Okay. Let’s work on this. This is what we have to do now ’cause you don’t want to end up dead, do you?” And it’s like a reality check and sometimes you listen, sometimes you don’t. . . . However, she also appreciated when these individuals acted in ways she considered to be exceptional: When I ran away, [the DJJ supervisor] gave me two days to come back. Now mind you, I already should’ve been back and I should’ve been locked up. He goes to my grandmother’s house, off record, because he wants to bring me in his self, he doesn’t want the police to come and get me. He wants him and [the DJJ caseworker] to be the ones to come and get me. . . . In the preceding quote, Grace describes an instance in which a staff member went out of his way to treat her with dignity. Other examples include staff members visiting her when she was receiving care in a psychiatric hospital, taking her out to eat when she was pregnant,

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or giving her their own money to buy herself clothing. These acts signaled to Grace that they saw her as a person, not just a case, and that they genuinely cared about her. She says of her attorney: . . . she brought my son before he was born so many boxes of things, and this was her money. This isn’t, this isn’t somebody else’s money, so you know other people care about you. Because you don’t have to do it but you do it, and I never felt like I was looked at like a charity case. Examining the role of relationships in Grace’s case underscores the importance of deliberate and thoughtful systemic attention to positive, stable relationships for girls. The quality and benefit of the relationships Grace had with agency representatives seemed entirely dependent on the individual working directly with her and, thus, that individual’s own beliefs about the importance of their relationships with young clients and the scope of her/his role, as well as her/his personal biases about Grace. Collaboration and Shared Power: “When I’m Complaining, I’m Not Cooperating” Grace’s experience with the systems was characterized more by friction and disempowerment than by collaboration and shared power. Collaborating and Sharing Power With Grace Grace felt that all the decisions in her case were made for her and happened to her, out of her control and without her input. She felt stripped of any agency or power over her life, and she explains her running away, in part, as a way of taking back some control.

Grace told us that she felt that DFS and DJJ regarded her as: . . . a lost ship in the system, in the computer system. Once you’re in, you’re the enemy. Even if it’s not your fault, I mean the things that happened to me with my mother, you know, the abuse that I took, I was 8, you know; it wasn’t my fault. But, growing up, DFS they didn’t look at it like that. Everything my sisters did, everything we did was a problem. The DFS caseworker agreed that the system’s lack of trust in Grace, whether warranted or not, made it impossible to share power with her: It was always a setup to ask her to comply with all these probation rules because she was just emotionally not able to do it, you know, she had been so sort of traumatized, she had a hard time complying with rules 100%. She would really try, but she’d end up in these crazy situations that got her into trouble. It’s almost like, you get the label of being on probation, and then you’re a rule violator for probation, but you’re in DFS custody and then you’re not following the rules of placement. It all snowballs, and she just got the reputation of being a kid that just broke rules. It is striking that though Grace has many positive things to say about many people in the system, when she is asked about whether they shared power with her or collaborated with her on decisions, her answer is unequivocally negative:

The Role of Gender in Youth Systems: Grace’s Story

I don’t think that they would be happy with that, not just because, you know, being a female, but just being a child in general. Why would they want to give you that power? They make the better decisions, you don’t. They know what’s good for you. The absence of any power or control over decisions in her life contributed to her feeling detached from what was happening, and left with unanswered questions all these years later: I honestly just went through DFS. I just, what happened during the process is just like a raindrop falling on the ground. It’s there, it dissolves there, you know, and then there’s another drop here, and then there’s another drop here. It’s just, there’s drops all over the place. The dried-up part is just you leaving that part alone, it’s over now, it’s a new drop. But you don’t get a full understanding of why you stayed there, I don’t know how to explain it. You know, like you don’t get a full understanding of why it happened. Although Grace has a mental health diagnosis that required treatment over the years, she viewed mental health intervention suspiciously, as she did most other system interventions. To her, use of psychiatric medication was another way the system tried to quiet her down and avoid engaging her in meaningful ways: . . . psychiatrists was just giving me medications. DFS was my legal guardians, they had to say yes or no, so I’m guessing they said, “Yeah, drug her up,” whatever is going to keep her

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quiet so we don’t have to keep running back to the foster homes, do it. Her lawyer shared Grace’s view of the autocratic system decision making and attributes it to a punitive mind-set and the inability of individuals in the system to step back and act with professional distance. The lawyer describes the system approach to offering services as . . . grudging. I just can’t even emphasize that enough. All of these meetings were designed to say, “We don’t like you, we don’t think that you’re gonna do what we expect you to do, but here, this is the agreement, so let’s see how you do because we don’t have any confidence that you can actually succeed.” Grace’s attorney continues, . . . any young woman who speaks her mind, expressing herself, and you know sometimes it’s not infrequently about unhappiness about their situation, that’s not encouraged. I mean you can do it, if you do it in a oneon-one with the caseworker and the caseworker feels that you have been assuaged by her comforting words or whatever. But if that doesn’t really satisfy you, they don’t really want to hear from you. The last thing that I saw in that meeting to hammer out the [post-18] voluntary services agreement was collaboration. It was all about “This is what we offer; this is the best we can do. This is what we offer everybody, and you’re not gonna get anymore, so just take it or leave it.” Basically, that was very much their

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approach to it, and shared power, this was all about Grace being brought to her knees and being told, “If you want this, this is what we’ll give you. But don’t expect us to bend on this.” The dynamic in those meetings were (sic) all “dump on Grace” meetings. It was one person after another just sort of listing all of the things Grace hadn’t done and never any discussion of why she hadn’t done them. If she hadn’t done them, what else could she do, what else could be offered to her that might make it possible for her to succeed? There was no collaboration at all, and that’s where her frustration came over years of not having her voice heard. I just don’t think that’s the model. The DFS and DJJ caseworkers said they valued the gender-responsive element of shared power and collaboration, but approached it in a somewhat unilateral way, reporting having tried unsuccessfully to have Grace “buy in” to decisions they made. The DJJ caseworker stated: So we would always kind of say, “Well these are the things you want, this is what you’re gonna have to do to get them,” and we’d try to help her through it. . . . I think Grace personally didn’t feel like we were on the same page as her. And maybe I’m wrong, maybe I’m not, I think she every day kind of felt a little differently about what our role was and how we were trying to help her. I definitely recall her one day trusting us and wanting us to help her, and then another day not. And I don’t think that’s just the bipolar thing, I think it’s in general, any kid in a system like that, you’re trying to set

these goals and you have these people that actually also have the authority to bring you into custody, it’s like kind of that awkward balance. Despite their intentions, the caseworkers report, Grace’s inability to stick to a plan and the many small setbacks along the way inevitably derailed progress. It is clear, however, that there was no formal mechanism for making collaborative decisions with her. The extent to which Grace participated in decisions about her case was contingent on the personalities and philosophies of the individuals involved. Not surprisingly, in contrast to her general view of system decision making, Grace felt that having a good lawyer was empowering: [My attorney] cares so she’s fighting for me and I’m just sitting there with happy tears in my eyes, I’m so happy someone is sticking up for me. It’s not just my voice that’s being blocked, you know like I’m not being heard. . . . And to have someone that’s by your side telling you you’re worth it and it’s not right . . . who’s doing it for free, and they’re really fighting like they’re getting paid for it, it’s like wow. Collaborating and Sharing Power Across Systems Grace, like many girls in the juvenile justice system, was under the jurisdiction of more than one state system simultaneously. She was in the custody of DFS as a result of a child protection case, committed to DJJ as a result of delinquency, for a year she was under the supervision of the Probation Department, and she was also placed in a Department of Mental Health (DMH) facility briefly as a result of her bipolar disorder. These agencies

The Role of Gender in Youth Systems: Grace’s Story

each had responsibility for a portion of the services, and so their ability to collaborate was critical to effective service delivery (see also Farrell & Myers, Chapter 21, this volume; Ross & Miller, Chapter 17, this volume). However, during Grace’s teens, these agencies fought among themselves over who had responsibility for her placements, and this contributed to Grace spending a total of 264 days over 2 years in secure detention, although after her first offense she was never charged anew. This lack of cross-system collaboration and shared power appeared to be the result of (a) a lack of clarity among the caseworkers about who was legally responsible for which portion of services; (b) poor interpersonal relationships among the responsible agency caseworkers and supervisors, resulting in staff personalizing decisions; (c) limited resources; and (d) a lack of mechanisms for information sharing. Indeed, when Grace discussed the two primary systems in her life, DFS and DJJ, she was almost like a child of bickering parents, having to choose a favorite, suffering a loss of confidence and trust in them as a result. In Grace’s view, DJJ was generally in the right and DFS was in the wrong, making it even more difficult for her to trust DFS’s decisions in her case: The DJJ system, I feel like they cared a lot more than DFS, and that’s a little weird because you’re confined with DJJ, you’re locked away. But they cared more. DJJ fought with DFS to find me placements because sometimes, if DFS couldn’t find me a placement, they’d just throw me in DJJ custody. Regardless of whether Grace’s understanding of responsibilities across the agencies

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was accurate, their public disputes and her caseworkers’ willingness to blame the other agencies seemed to contribute to Grace’s mistrust of the system and feelings of powerlessness and lack of safety. Agency informants in this study differed in their views of who had responsibility for finding Grace placements. The attorney, DJJ, and Grace thought DFS was responsible, and DFS and the judge (who was not involved in Grace’s case but was rather commenting on the general rule) thought the primary responsibility fell to DJJ. It is likely that both DJJ and DFS had responsibility at different points in the case, but the lack of clarity among the line staff and supervisors about each agency’s responsibility could only have contributed to the difficulties they had collaborating across systems. In addition, agency policies made crosssystem collaboration more difficult in ways large and small, all of which appeared to hurt Grace. The DFS caseworker stated: The clothing money? It was supposed to be paid out from the DFS system. We’re supposed to be supporting the child, so we’re supposed to pay for their clothing and their birthday money, and the child has a legal right to that money under the state law and there is no way to pay between the DFS system and the DJJ system. . . . So she would miss all these payments, which was sort of the sad thing about her case is she never had clothes, she never had her hair done, she never had all these things that would make a young woman successful. And that’s sort of what I meant in the beginning about they didn’t really take care of her, nurture her like a girl.

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Different agencies’ foci and the degrees of discretion allowed among caseworkers may have also contributed to conflicts. DJJ informants said they may have considered a placement with Grace’s family, but DFS, which was involved as a direct result of Grace’s family’s inability to care for her, would not consider it. The agencies did not negotiate through these differences. Along with different foci, the agencies often also operated with different information. Even within DJJ there was little information sharing, so the detention facility knew little about Grace, although the DJJ case file likely contained much more (see Schneider & Simpson, Chapter 22, this volume). This lack of information sharing contributed to disjointed case planning. The former director of detention explained: In detention, you go with very little information. You can go with a lot of self-disclosed information from the client in terms of what Grace tells us basically, but you also get a “Mit” [custody order from the court] and it says something on it like “assault and battery,” and that’s all you have; you don’t have what the circumstances were. There’s always more information than what you get, and so you go with that and trying to get to a point where we understand that there was a history of mental health in her family. I don’t think that’s something we ever knew until the very, very end. The absence of shared power and collaboration in the decision-making process was a striking feature of the years Grace spent involved with DFS and DJJ and was the result of the mutual lack of trust between Grace and these systems as entities, a rigid “take it or

leave it” approach to service provision, and an overall accountability approach to case planning that blamed Grace for her failures and used those failures as a reason not to share power with her. There was also a lack of collaboration across systems, marking Grace’s case with cross-system squabbles about who was responsible for various pieces of her case, limiting the resources available to her, and putting her in the middle of system turf disputes and conflicting policies.

CONCLUSION Juvenile justice policy should not be made on the basis of any single case. However, case study analysis can deepen our understanding of how individuals interpret a shared experience, and that understanding, in turn, can form the basis for further study and analysis with individuals in similar circumstances. Through this process, it is our hope that Grace’s case study, along with others like it, might lead to policies more connected to the young women the youth systems are meant to serve. Over the past decade, a consensus has begun to emerge about the particular needs and pathways of girls in the juvenile justice system and the gender-responsive approach to services and systems that might address those needs. Three core gender-responsive elements—physical and emotional safety, relationships, and collaboration across systems and with young women—are acknowledged in the literature as central to effective programs and policies for system-involved girls. We chose to tell Grace’s story with reference to these gender-responsive elements because they facilitated the narration and highlighted themes in Grace’s experience to which policy makers should attend.

The Role of Gender in Youth Systems: Grace’s Story

Though this case study suggests many profitable areas for further research and policy reform, there are a few core, overarching findings. Most broadly, it is clear that however well-meaning adults in the system are, the girls involved will make their own meaning of their experiences, reflecting their preferences about process and solutions. Their perspectives are critical to successful policies. Second, Grace’s story highlights the importance of a developmental focus, emphasizing girls’ needs and strengths rather than focusing on their crimes and misbehavior. Finally, Grace’s story is a poignant reminder that regardless of our adult view of the quality of girls’ families, young women in Grace’s situation seek and need family connection, and the systems charged with their care must find ways to support them in that quest. Grace was in the custody of the youth systems from 1999 to 2003, and policies related to much of what characterized her tour through the systems are beginning to evolve. In 2011 there is increasing attention to placement instability and its profound impact on youth in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. There is also movement toward reducing reliance on detention and increasing reliance on community-based programming (see Schiraldi, Schindler, & Goliday, Chapter 20, this volume). There is a growing emphasis on positive youth development (see Lerner et al., Chapter 5, this volume) and intensive, individualized services in juvenile justice and child welfare systems, which might have removed the negative quality of so many of Grace’s system interactions (see Beyer, Chapter 1, this volume). These are reasons to hope that the system experiences of girls today might be improved from those experienced by Grace.

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Chodorow, N. (1974). Family structure and feminine personality. In M. Z. Rosaldo & L. Lamphere (Eds.), Woman, culture, and society (pp. 43–66). Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. Conger, D., & Ross, T. (2001). Reducing the foster care bias in juvenile detention decisions: The impact of Project Confirm. Retrieved from Vera Institute of Justice Web site: www.vera.org/download?file ¼177/Foster%2Bcare%2Bbias.pdf Corneau, M., & Lanctot, N. (2004). Mental health outcomes of adjudicated males and females: The aftermath of juvenile delinquency and problem behaviour. Criminal Behavior and Mental Health, 14, 251–262. Denner, J., & Griffin, A. (2003). The role of gender in enhancing program strategies for healthy youth development. In F. A. Villarruel, D. F. Perkins, L. M. Borden, & J. G. Keith (Eds.), Community youth development: Programs, policies and practices (pp. 118–145). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Gilligan, C. (1982). In a different voice: Psychological theory and women’s development. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Goodkind, S. (2005). Gender-specific services in the juvenile justice system: A critical examination. Affilia, 20(1), 52–70. Goodkind, S., Ng, I., & Sarri, R. C. (2006). The impact of sexual abuse in the lives of young women involved or at risk of involvement with the juvenile justice system. Violence Against Women, 12(5), 456–477. Guthrie, B. J., Hoey, E., Ravoira, L., & Kintner, E. (2002). Girls in the juvenile justice system: Leave no girl’s health un-addressed. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 17(6), 414–423. Hanlon, C., May, J., & Kaye, N. (2008). A multi-agency approach to using Medicaid to meet the health needs of juvenile justice-involved youth. Retrieved from National Academy for State Health Policy Web site: www .nashp.org/sites/default/files/Multi_Agency_NASHP .pdf Hodder, I. (2003). The interpretation of documents and material culture. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), Collecting and interpreting qualitative materials (2nd ed., pp. 155–175). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Hubbard, D. J., & Matthews, B. (2008). Reconciling the differences between the “gender responsive” and the “what works” literatures to improve services for girls. Crime & Delinquency, 54(2), 225–258.

Jacobs, F., Oliveri, R., & Greenstone, J. H. (2009). Massachusetts health passport project evaluation final report. Medford, MA: Tufts University. Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1992, 42 U.S.C. 5601 et seq. (2002). Kelly, P. J., Owen, S. V., Peralez-Dieckmann, E., & Martinez, E. (2007). Health interventions with girls in the juvenile justice system. Women’s Health Issues, 17, 227–236. Lawler, S. (2002). Narrative in social research. In T. May (Ed.), Qualitative research in action (pp. 242–258). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Lederman, C. S., Dakof, G. A., Larrea, M. A., & Li, H. (2004). Characteristics of adolescent females in juvenile detention. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 27, 321–337. Levick, M. L., & Sherman, F. T. (2003). When individual differences demand equal treatment: An equal rights approach to the special needs of girls in the juvenile justice system. Wisconsin Women’s Law Journal, 18(1), 9–50. Lynch, D., & Widner, K. (2008). Commercial sexual exploitation of children in Georgia. Atlanta, GA: Barton Child & Policy Clinic, Emory University School of Law. Maniglia, R. (1996). New directions for young women in the juvenile justice system. Reclaiming Children and Youth, 5(2), 96–101. Mason, J. (2002). Qualitative researching. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Mead, M. (2001). Gender matters: Funding effective programs for women and girls. Accessed online at www .chambersfund.org/documents/gender-matters.pdf Morgan, M., & Patton, P. (2002). Gender-responsive programming in the juvenile justice system— Oregon’s guidelines for effective programming for girls. Federal Probation, 66(2), 57–65. Ms. Foundation for Women. (2000). The new girls movement: Charting the path. Electronic reference format. Accessed online at www.ms.foundation.org/user -assets/PDF/Program/HGHW.pdf Ms. Foundation for Women. (2001) The new girls’ movement: Implications for youth programs. New York, NY: Author. Available from www.ms.foundation.org /user-assets/PDF/Program/hghw_girlsmovement. pdf Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). (1998). Guiding principles for promising female programming: An inventory of best practices. Washington,

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DC: U.S. Department of Justice. Available from http://ojjdp.ncjrs.org/pubs/principles/contents.html Puzzanchera, C. (2009). Juvenile arrests 2008. Juvenile justice bulletin. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice: Office of Justice Programs: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Ravoira, L. (2005). Portrait of risk. Jacksonville, FL: PACE Center for Girls. Rosie D. v. Romney, 410 F. Supp. 18 (D. Mass, 2006). Ryan, G. W., & Bernard, H. R. (2003). Data management and analysis methods. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), Collecting and interpreting qualitative materials (2nd ed., pp. 259–309). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women. (1999). A gender analysis: Implementing the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). San Francisco, CA: San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women and CEDAW Task Force. Available at www.sfgov .org/site/cosw_page.asp?id¼10860 Sherman, F. T. (2005). Detention reform and girls: Challenges and solutions (13). Baltimore, MD: Annie E. Casey Foundation. Sherman, F. T. (2009). Reframing the response: Girls in the juvenile justice system and domestic violence. Juvenile and Family Justice Today, 18(1), 16–20. Stake, R. E. (1995). The art of case study research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Teplin, L. A., Abram, K. M., McClelland, G. M., Dulcan, M. K., & Mericle, A. A. (2002). Psychiatric disorders in youth in juvenile detention. Archives of General Psychiatry, 59, 1133–1143.

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Timmons-Mitchell, J., Brown, C., Schulz, S. C., Webster, S. E., Underwood, L. A., & Semple, W. E. (1997). Comparing the mental health needs of female and male incarcerated juvenile delinquents. Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 15, 195–202. Weitzman, E. A. (2003). Software and qualitative research. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), Collecting and interpreting qualitative materials (2nd ed., pp. 310–339). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Wheeler, K. A., Oliveri, R., Towery, I. D., & Mead, M. (2005). Where are the girls?: The state of girls’ programming in Greater Boston. Accessed online November 1, 2006, at www.girlscoalition.org / uploads/pdf/COPY%20FOR%20PRINTING— Where%20Are%20the%20Girls%20report%2012 .29.05%20FINAL.pdf (no longer available). Yin, R. K. (1994). Case study research design and methods (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Zahn, M. A., Brumbaugh, S., Steffensmeier, D., Feld, B. C., Morash, M., Chesney-Lind, M., & Kruttschnitt, C. (2008). The Girls Study Group: Violence by teenage girls: Trends and context. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Zahn, M. A., Hawkins, S. R., Chiancone, J., & Whitworth, A. (2008). The Girls Study Group: Charting the way to delinquency prevention for girls. Retrieved from Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention: www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/ojjdp /223434.pdf

Juvenile Justice: Advancing Research, Policy, and Practice Edited by Francine T. Sherman and Francine H. Jacobs Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

CHAPTER

8

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Youth and the Juvenile Justice System LAURA GARNETTE, ANGELA IRVINE, CAROLYN REYES,

M

ost youth, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, are supported by their families and peers as they progress through the series of developmental changes that mark adolescence (Erikson, 1968), including the establishment of gender identity and the exploration of sexuality (Silbereisen, Eyferth, & Rudinger, 1986). Unfortunately, many lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth experience social stigma and abuse from their families and peers, interrupting normative development and threatening mental and physical health. This social stigma and abuse leads to a series of negative outcomes for some LGBT youth: school failure and truancy, family conflict, placement in group and foster homes, homelessness, and involvement in the juvenile justice system. Indeed, LGBT youth in the juvenile justice system are more likely than their heterosexual and gender-conforming peers to have been abused and neglected by family members, to have been placed in out-ofhome care, to have run away from placement, and to have been detained for running away (Irvine, 2009). This chapter provides a framework for understanding healthy adolescent development, the ways that social stigma and abuse

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can derail healthy adolescent development, and the harmful effects of detention. It presents new research on the links between social stigma and abuse and juvenile detention. It also provides policy and programmatic recommendations for meeting the needs of this vulnerable and mostly invisible population.

THE DEVELOPMENT OF SEXUAL ORIENTATION AND GENDER IDENTITY IN ADOLESCENTS Adolescence is the transition from childhood to adulthood and is marked by profound social, emotional, and physical changes (Lerner & Steinberg, 2009; see Beyer, Chapter 1, this volume; Lerner et al., Chapter 5, this volume). The development of healthy sexuality and integration of a positive gender identity are among the critical developmental tasks youth must undertake during this time (Christopher, 2001; Gagnon & Simon, 1973; Impett & Tolman, 2006). Creating an environment in which youth feel safe exploring and disclosing their emerging sexuality and gender identity promotes well-being, positive self-esteem, and self-care, all of which are essential components 156

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in reducing risk and increasing healthy behaviors (Wilber, Ryan, & Marksamer, 2006). Sexual orientation and gender identity are distinct aspects of an individual’s identity. Sexual orientation refers to a person’s enduring emotional, romantic, sexual, or affectional attraction to members of the same or different sex. It exists on a continuum, from exclusively heterosexual (attraction to members of a different sex) to exclusively homosexual (attraction to members of the same sex), with degrees of bisexuality (attraction to same-sex or other-sex people) in-between (American Psychological Association, 2009). Gender identity refers to a person’s internal, deeply felt sense of being male, female, or something other or inbetween (Eckes & Traunter, 2000). Every person has a gender identity. Typically, one’s gender identity is consistent with his or her anatomical sex. However, transgender individuals have a gender identity that is different from their assigned birth sex. The term transgender also describes people whose gender expression does not conform to societal norms, though not all gender-nonconforming individuals identify as transgender. Child and adolescent development research indicates that gender identity is firmly established in early childhood (Brill & Pepper, 2008; Wilber et al., 2006). Just as genderconforming youth have strong gender identities before starting kindergarten, some youth self-identify as transgender as early as preschool (Mallon & DeCrescenzo, 2006; Wilber et al., 2006). Sexual orientation is similarly established at a young age (Ryan & Diaz, 2005). Like heterosexual youth, lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth usually become aware of their sexual orientation based on their thoughts and emotions long before they have their first sexual encounter. Recent research shows that children are “coming out” (disclosing their sexual

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orientation to others) at younger ages than in previous generations (Ryan & Diaz, 2005). Ryan and Diaz (2005) found that many youth report awareness of their sexual orientation by age 5, while the average age of first awareness of same-sex attraction is about 10 years and of self-identification as gay or lesbian is about 13 years. Although a considerable debate exists about the origin of sexual orientation, the prevailing scientific understanding is that it is the result of a complex interaction of biological and environmental factors and is an inherent part of a person’s being (American Psychiatric Association, 2009; American Psychological Association, 2009; Frankowski, 2004). Even though some people may choose not to act on their feelings or to self-identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual, experts agree that individuals with same sex attraction cannot change their sexual orientation any more than heterosexual people can change theirs (American Psychological Association, 2004). Similarly, consensus exists among the health professions that a person’s gender identity is a deep-seated, inherent aspect of human identity; efforts to change gender identity are ineffective and likely to cause significant harm (Israel & Tarver, 1997; Mallon, 1999). Some professionals have tried unsuccessfully to “cure” individuals using techniques designed to alter their cross-gender identification. These techniques are sometimes referred to as reparative therapies or aversion techniques. However, the medical and psychological professions view efforts to alter a person’s core gender as both futile and unethical (Israel & Tarver, 1997; Mallon, 1999). There is clear consensus among all mainstream health and mental health professionals that LGBT identity represents a normal aspect of human experience (Klein, 2000; Mallon & DeCrescenzo, 2006; Wilber et al., 2006).

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Over 35 years of scientific research demonstrates that lesbian, gay, and bisexual identities fall within the range of normative sexual development and are not associated with mental disorders or emotional or social problems; nor are they caused by prior sexual abuse or other trauma (American Psychological Association, 2004; Herek & Garnets, 2007). According to the American Psychiatric Association, childhood sexual abuse does not appear to be more prevalent among children who grow up to identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB) than it is among their heterosexual counterparts (American Psychiatric Association, 2009). Even though LGB youth are no more likely to experience childhood sexual abuse than their heterosexual peers, many LGBT adolescents do experience sexual abuse and trauma after coming out to individuals in their families, communities, schools, and other institutions (Earls, 2002; Savin-Williams, 1994). Research similarly confirms that no inherent connection exists between a person’s sexual orientation and the likelihood of sexual offending (Goldman, 2008; Jenny, Roesler, & Poyer, 1994; McConaghy, 1998). Studies using a variety of psychological measures indicate that gay individuals are not more likely than heterosexuals “to possess any psychological characteristics that would make them less capable of controlling their sexual urges, refraining from the abuse of power, obeying rules and laws, interacting effectively with others, or exercising good judgment in handling authority” (Herek, 2009). Additionally, transgender individuals in general do not have serious underlying psychopathology that causes or influences their transgender identity. Studies have documented that the incidence of reported mental health problems for transgender individuals undergoing treatment is similar to that in the general

population (Brown, 2007; Cole, O’Boyle, Emory, & Meyer, 1997). The research is clear: Though faced with challenges rooted in stigma that are not experienced by most of their nonLGBT counterparts, LGBT youth are in no way “sick,” “damaged,” or “depraved.”

SOCIAL STIGMA AND ASSOCIATED RISKS TO WELL-BEING FOR LGBT YOUTH LGBT youth reach the same developmental milestones as their heterosexual and gender normative counterparts, but face additional challenges associated with living with a stigmatized identity. They must cope with familial, social, educational, and community environments in which victimization and harassment are common. LGBT-related stigma has social, behavioral, and health-related consequences that can increase risk behaviors, such as substance abuse and unprotected sex, and intensify psychological distress and risk for suicide (Ryan & Futterman, 1998). Juvenile justice professionals working with LGBT youth must be aware of these unique contextual issues in order to provide appropriate, individualized services to these youth. Social Stigma Despite the gains made by LGBT individuals in the area of civil rights and increased visibility in the media, there is still profound societal stigma associated with LGBT identities. Society continues to uphold heterosexuality and gender-conforming behavior as “normal” and label all other human expressions as inferior, at best. In an environment in which same-sex attraction and gender-nonconforming behavior is heavily

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Youth and the Juvenile Justice System

pathologized, children learn at a young age which behaviors are acceptable and rewarded and which ones are best hidden or repressed. This is the context in which adolescents are expected to work toward creating a stable identity and becoming healthy and productive adults. This type of social stigma makes these already difficult developmental tasks seem insurmountable to many LGBT youth (Hill & Willoughby, 2005; Martin, 1995). Morrow and Messinger (2006) explain that Developing a positive identity within a heterocentric social environment can be especially challenging for LGBT youth in that there are often severe social penalties, such as ostracism, taunting, even violence, for not conforming to socially approved dating practices and gender expression norms. (p. 178) Harassment at School Many LGBT youth do not find acceptance, or even safety, in schools. A 2003 national survey of self-identified LGBT youth aged 13 through 20 (Kosciw, 2004) found that 90% of respondents heard homophobic remarks in their schools frequently or often; approximately 20% heard homophobic remarks from faculty or staff at least some of the time; three quarters of youth felt unsafe in their schools, primarily because of their sexual orientation or gender expression; approximately 20% experienced physical assault because of sexual orientation; more than 10% experienced physical assault because of their expressed gender identity; and over half of the students reported that their property had been deliberately damaged or stolen in the past year. Similarly, the National School Climate Survey

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(Kosciw, Diaz, & Greytak, 2007) indicated that 86.2% of respondents experienced harassment at school in the past year and 60.8% felt unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation. An extensive state survey of high school students found that LGBTyouth are more than twice as likely to report having been in a physical fight at school in the previous year and 3 times more likely to report having been injured or threatened with a weapon at school in the past year than their non-LGBT peers (Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, 2006). Failure to intervene to protect LGBT students who experience abuse and harassment on school campuses leads to higher rates of truancy and school failure. LGBT youth are more likely than non-LGBT youth to skip school because they feel unsafe; and 19% of LGBT students reported that they had missed school in the past month because they felt unsafe, compared to 5.6% of non-LGBT students (Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, 2006). LGBT youth who are victimized in school are also at risk of school failure and dropping out of school, which significantly increases their chances of becoming involved in the juvenile justice system and negatively affects their prospects for a successful transition to adulthood. In fact, research conducted by the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University, and released in October 2009, has identified a series of employment, earnings, income, and social difficulties faced by the nation’s young adults lacking regular high school diplomas or their equivalent. The researchers found that 1 in 10 male high school dropouts were in juvenile detention or jail as compared to 1 in 35 high school graduates (Sum, Khatiwada, McLaughlin, & Palma, 2009).

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Family Rejection Many LGBTyouth find little, if any, sanctuary from societal condemnation in their homes. Parents are often upset when their child discloses that he or she is lesbian, gay, or bisexual or behaves in a manner that is gender nonconforming (Clatts, Davis, Sotheran, & Atillasoy, 1999; Hyde, 2005; Owen, Heineman, & Gerrard, 2007; Ray, 2007; Robson, 2001). Negative responses vary widely, from disapproval to abuse (Cochran, Stewart, Ginzler, & Cauce, 2002; Saewyc, Pettingell, & Skay, 2006; Valentine, 2008; Witbeck, Chen, Hoyt, Tyler, & Johnson, 2004). One study found that 45% of parents were angry, sick, or disgusted when first learning of their child’s sexual orientation or gender identity (Martin, 1996). Many parents compare the sense of loss and devastation they feel upon learning their child is LGBT to mourning their child’s death (Ryan & Futterman, 1998). Another study showed that approximately 30% of LGBT youth in foster care have been physically abused by family members as a result of their sexual orientation or gender identity (Sullivan, Sommer, & Moff, 2001). Researchers Ryan and Diaz (2005) from the Family Acceptance Project—the first major study of LGBT adolescents and their families—have documented the impact of family responses to children’s emerging LGBT identities on the young people’s health and mental health. Not surprisingly, they found that family acceptance is an important protective factor, and family rejection has serious negative outcomes for LGBT youth. LGBT young people whose families rejected their sexual orientation or gender identity during adolescence were much more likely to experience significantly higher rates of depression, suicidality, substance abuse, and risk for HIV infection than their peers with

accepting families. Family acceptance and rejection also had a significant impact on self-esteem, access to social support, and life satisfaction (see Baker, Cunningham, & Harris, Chapter 11, this volume). Because families play such a critical role in child and adolescent development, it is not surprising that negative reactions from parents and caregivers in response to their children’s LGBT identity would have such a harmful impact on their children’s risk behaviors and health status as young adults (Ryan, Huebner, Diaz, & Sanchez, 2009). In contrast, family support, along with self-acceptance, has been found to mediate the impact of the victimization on mental health and suicidality of lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth (Hershberger & D’Augelli, 1995). Homelessness As a result of being forced out of their homes due to conflict related to their sexual orientation or gender identity, LGBT youth are disproportionately represented in the homeless youth population (Cochran et al., 2002; Milburn, Rotheram-Borus, Rice, Mallet, & Rosenthal, 2006; Ray, 2007; Solorio, Milburn, Anderson, Trifskin, & Rodriguez, 2006; Sullivan et al., 2001; Van Leuwen et al., 2006). The National Network of Runaway and Youth Services estimates that between 20% and 40% of homeless youth are LGBT (Woronoff, Estrada, Sommer, & Marzullo, 2006). These young people may be on the run from abusive families and/or foster care placements where they experienced verbal and physical abuse because of their real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. Once on the street, LGBT youth have limited resources for help or protection. For example, New York City has approximately 7,000 homeless LGBT youth but only 26 beds specifically allocated to LGBT

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Youth and the Juvenile Justice System

individuals (Guzder, 2005). Many shelters exclude LGBT youth. Other shelters enroll LGBT youth in programs that attempt to change their sexual orientation or gender identity. Staff in some shelters have physically threatened or sexually assaulted LGBT youth. One third of LGBT youth who are homeless or in the care of social services experienced a violent physical assault when they came out to staff (Ray, 2007). With extremely limited resources, LGBT youth who are homeless often commit “survival crimes,” such as prostitution, theft, or drug sales, in order to gain adequate housing and food (Anderson, Freese, & Pennbridge, 1994; Cochran et al., 2002; Gaetz, 2004; Majd, Marksamer, & Reyes, 2009; National Alliance to End Homelessness, 2009; Ray, 2007; Van Leuwen et al., 2006). Homelessness also exposes LGBT youth to increased risk of victimization, including assault, robbery, and rape. Among high-risk homeless youth, LGBT homeless youth report the highest rates of victimization, risk, and health concerns (Cochran et al., 2002). The Child Welfare System Given high rates of child abuse and neglect among LGBT youth, the child welfare system assumes custody of many of these youth (Berberet, 2006; Mallon, 1992; Ray, 2007; Sullivan et al., 2001; Thompson, Safyer, & Pollio, 2001; Van Leuwen et al., 2006). Unfortunately, child welfare officials often categorize LGBT youth as “difficult to place” because many group and foster homes refuse to house and care for LGBT youth (Sullivan et al., 2001). Transgender youth, in particular, have difficulty accessing placements and are especially vulnerable to abuse when in placement (HCH Clinicians’ Network, 2002). If placed, many LGBT youth are subject to the

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same disapproval, abuse, and neglect they endured in their families and in homeless shelters. In response, these youth find themselves back on the street and vulnerable to incarceration for running away, theft, and prostitution. LGBT YOUTH AND THE JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM LGBT youth enter the juvenile justice system for numerous reasons, many of which are unrelated to their sexual orientation or gender identity. However, as with all youth, it is important to understand the ways in which the social context of individual LGBT youth—one marked by societal, familial, and peer rejection—may impact the youth’s pathway into the juvenile justice system (see Beyer, Chapter 1, this volume). While the marginalization of LGBT youth has been documented in the family, schools, and child welfare system, until recently researchers have failed to link these experiences to incarceration. Making these links has been difficult because juvenile justice systems do not collect data on the sexual orientation or gender identity of the youth they serve (see Holsinger, Chapter 2, this volume; Schneider & Simpson, Chapter 22, this volume). New research provides empirical data documenting how the rejection and abuse experienced by LGBT youth in their families, schools, shelters, and group and foster homes ultimately leads them to become involved in the juvenile justice system (Irvine, 2010). New Data on LGBT Youth in the Juvenile Justice System A recent study provides quantitative data on how many LGBT youth are in the juvenile

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justice system and whether LGBT youth have different patterns of incarceration when compared with heterosexual youth (Irvine, 2010). Irvine (2010) distributed 2,300 surveys to youth detained in juvenile facilities in the western, southern, and midwestern regions of the United States. Twenty-one hundred surveys were returned (a 91% response rate). Respondents varied in age, and race and ethnic identity. The age of respondents ranged from 11 to 21, with a mean age of 16 years. Within the sample, 34% (n ¼ 665) of respondents identified as African American; 30% (n ¼ 575) of respondents identified as Hispanic, Latino, Chicano, Mexican, or Mexican American; 18% (n ¼ 345) of respondents identified as White or Caucasian; 4% (n ¼ 76) of respondents identified as Native American; 1% (n ¼ 27) of respondents identified as Japanese, Chinese, Samoan, or Pacific Islander; and 13% (n ¼ 245) of respondents identified with multiple racial or ethnic categories or a racial or ethnic category other than those reported above (Irvine, 2010). Respondents also varied by sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. Eighty-five percent of respondents reported heterosexual sexual orientations and gender conformity. Of respondents, 15% reported having lesbian, gay, or bisexual sexual orientations, questioning their sexual orientations, having a transgender gender identity, or having a nonconforming gender expression (Irvine, 2010). These findings varied across respondents who identify as boys and girls. Compared with 11% of boys, 27% of girls reported being LGBT (Irvine, 2010). The disclosure of sexual orientation also varied across race and ethnic identity. This variation provides evidence that dispels a common myth among juvenile justice professionals. While many juvenile justice professionals assume that most LGBT youth are White and

middle class, the data from this survey show that of youth in the juvenile justice system, an equal proportion of White, Latino, and African American youth are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or questioning: Ten percent of White, Latino, and African American respondents are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or questioning. An even higher proportion of Asian, Native American, and youth with multiple ethnic or race identities disclosed that they were lesbian, gay, or bisexual or questioned their sexual orientation: Twelve percent of Asian, 24% of Native American, and 18% of respondents with mixed race or “other” race and ethnic identities identified themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or questioning. The proportion of LGBT youth in the juvenile justice system may surprise many justice professionals. LGBT youth remain largely hidden within the juvenile justice system because most LGBT youth conform to gender norms and secure detention is not seen by youth as a “safe place” to disclose their sexual orientation. Sexual orientation and gender identity interact in very complex ways. A girl may have a lesbian sexual orientation, but may wear her hair, dress, and behave in a way that is considered feminine and that follows gender norms for girls. Another girl might have a heterosexual sexual orientation, but may wear her hair, dress, and behave in a way that is considered masculine and different from gender norms for girls. The research findings (Irvine, 2010) show that 85% of youth have heterosexual sexual orientations and are gender conforming; 3% of youth have heterosexual sexual orientations and behave in gender-nonconforming ways; 3% of youth have lesbian, gay, or bisexual sexual orientations and behave in gendernonconforming ways or question their sexual orientations; and 9% of youth have lesbian, gay, or bisexual orientations or question their

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Youth and the Juvenile Justice System

sexual orientations and behave in genderconforming ways. In other words, there are youth who have heterosexual sexual identities but appear in gender-nonconforming ways. These youth probably experience varying degrees of mistreatment within the juvenile justice system because of the way they look. At the same time, the majority of LGBTyouth in the juvenile justice system wear their hair, dress, and behave in ways that are consistent with the norms of the gender assigned to them at birth. Because their appearance and behavior are consistent with the expectations of juvenile justice professionals, many of these youth remain “invisible” to the juvenile justice system unless they disclose their sexual orientation or gender identity. The findings from this new research reinforce the existing literature on school bullying, family rejection, homelessness, and involvement in the child welfare system by demonstrating that, when compared with heterosexual and gender-conforming youth, LGBT youth in the juvenile justice system are twice as likely to have a history of home removal, twice as likely to have a history of living in foster and group homes, twice as likely to have a history of homelessness, and twice as likely to be detained in a secure juvenile facility for running away (Irvine, 2010). However, while existing research studied LGBT youth who have disclosed their sexual orientation or gender identity and have accessed social

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services, this new study surveyed many LGBTyouth who continue to hide their sexual orientation and gender identity. Table 8.1 presents findings from this new survey. Among heterosexual and genderconforming youth in the juvenile justice system, 11% have been removed from their home by a social worker, compared with 24% of LGBT youth in the juvenile justice system. Among heterosexual and genderconforming youth in the juvenile justice system, 18% have lived in a group home or foster home, compared with 33% of LGBT youth in the juvenile justice system. Among heterosexual and gender-conforming youth in the juvenile justice system, 17% have been homeless, compared with 37% of LGBT youth in the juvenile justice system. All three differences are statistically significant. Data from the surveys also document different detention patterns for LGBT youth when compared with heterosexual and gender-conforming youth. Table 8.2 on the following page reports the percentage of heterosexual and gender-conforming and LGBT youth detained for eight different types of offenses: violent offenses; weapon offenses; property offenses; drug and alcohol offenses; running away; prostitution; and truancy, warrants, or probation violations. These data show that the juvenile justice system detains heterosexual and

Table 8.1. Home Removal, Group Foster Home Placement, and Homelessness Among Detained Youth

Outcome

Heterosexual and Gender-Conforming Youth

LGBT Youth

Statistically Significant Differences

11% 18% 17%

24% 33% 37%

YES (p < .000) YES (p < .000) YES (p < .000)

Have you ever been removed from your home by a social worker? Have you ever lived in a group home or foster home? Have you ever been homeless after being kicked out of home or running away? Data Source: Annie E. Casey LGBT Youth Survey, 2008 (A. Irvine, Principal Investigator).

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Type of Offense Violent Weapon Property Alcohol/drug Running away Prostitution Truancy, warrant, or violation of probation

Heterosexual and Gender-Conforming Youth

LGBT Youth

Statistically Significant Differences

17% 14% 24% 22% 12% 1% 11%

21% 17% 27% 21% 30% 9% 18%

NO NO NO NO YES (p < .000) YES (p < .000) YES (p < .013)

Data Source: Annie E. Casey LGBT Youth Survey, 2008 (A. Irvine, Principal Investigator).

gender-conforming and LGBT youth at similar rates for violent, weapon, property, and drug- and alcohol-related offenses. However, the juvenile justice system detains LGBTyouth much more frequently for running away; prostitution; and truancy, warrants, and probation violations. Among heterosexual and gender-conforming youth in the juvenile justice system, 12% are detained for running away, compared with 30% of LGBT youth in the juvenile justice system. Among heterosexual and gender-conforming youth, 1% are detained for prostitution, compared with 9% of LGBT youth. Among heterosexual and gender-conforming youth in the juvenile justice system, 11% are detained for truancy, warrants, or probation violations, compared with 18% of LGBT youth in the juvenile justice system. Thus, the juvenile justice system detains LGBT youth for nonviolent offenses at twice the rate of their heterosexual and gender-conforming peers. These data help paint a picture of a typical path from home to detention. As LGBTyouth are removed or ejected from their homes, they are often placed in group or foster homes not equipped to meet their needs. The initial placement is followed by a cycle of placement failures, running away, homelessness, and survival crimes that make these youth even more

susceptible to punishment from law enforcement agencies. Detention for these particular offenses punishes LGBTyouth for the conflict they experience at home, in group and foster home placements, at school, and in homeless shelters.

HARMFUL POLICIES AND PRACTICES DIRECTED AT LGBT YOUTH IN THE JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM Whether or not they are physically identifiable, LGBTyouth in the juvenile justice system are subject to harmful practices at every stage of the delinquency process. LGBT youth who are gender nonconforming or open about their gay or lesbian identities often face discriminatory practices and abuse. LGBT youth who do not disclose their identity, or are not perceived to be LGBT, are also harmed by the juvenile justice system through inaccurate risk assessments and homophobic policies and practices. In fact, policies and practices that marginalize or penalize LGBT youth harm all youth by tacitly discouraging them from exploring their own emerging identities and by conveying the message that being different is unacceptable.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Youth and the Juvenile Justice System

Risk Assessments at Arrest When a youth is suspected of committing a delinquent act and is arrested, the police officer can release the youth to a parent or guardian or deliver the youth to secure custody. In most jurisdictions, once the young person arrives at the detention center, institution staff determine whether the youth remains in secure confinement or is released. Best practice for secure detention facilities is the use of a validated, objective risk instrument to assist in making this determination (Stanfield, 1999; Steinhart, 1999). The risk instrument assesses many domains of the youth’s life to determine whether he or she is at risk of harming someone in the community or failing to appear in court. Two critical elements of a risk assessment are home and school functioning. These sections document relationships between youth and their family members or guardians, academic performance, and school attendance—precisely the areas in which many LGBTyouth experience the most conflict (Estrada & Marksamer, 2006; Irvine, 2009; Valentine, 2008). Consequently, LGBTyouth with low criminality are more likely to be held in secure detention because of family discord and poor school attendance (Irvine, 2010). At booking into detention, LGBT youth are often reluctant to disclose the true reasons for their difficulty at home and at school, making them more vulnerable to secure confinement even when they pose no objective risk to public safety. A common juvenile justice system response to a youth with low criminality who is unable to return to his or her parents or caregivers—either because of refusal on the part of the caregiver or because the home lacks the appropriate support or protection—is placement within the child welfare system. Although this response is a

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well-intentioned effort to allow the youth to remain in a less restrictive environment than secure detention, it does not address the core problem of family turmoil over the youth’s sexual orientation or gender identity. The recent findings from the Family Acceptance Project demonstrate that a family’s acceptance or rejection of its LGB child serves as a significant indicator of the youth’s future physical and mental health (Ryan et al., 2009). Critically important for professionals working with LGB youth, the research also shows that caregivers who are ambivalent or conflicted about their LGB children’s identity are receptive and interested to learn how their words, actions, and behaviors affect their children’s health (Ryan et al., 2009). This research suggests that with proper training, professionals working with this population can have a profound effect on family functioning by educating caregivers on the significant physical and mental health risks to their child that are directly associated with family rejection. Progressive reforms in juvenile justice systems uniformly support working closely with families to repair conflicts in the home and improve the youth’s prospects upon release from the system. The research from the Family Acceptance Project underscores the importance of working closely with the families of LGB youth. Detention Juvenile detention facilities are required to meet certain minimum standards regarding the care of youth in their facilities. Under the United States Constitution, youth in the care and custody of the state have an affirmative right to safety, which imposes a corresponding duty on the state to provide protection from harm (Alexander S. v.

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Boyd, 1995). Incarcerated youth also have the right to be free of unreasonably restrictive conditions of confinement (Milonas v. Williams, 1982). Facilities may not subject detained youth to practices that “amount to punishment” (Bell v. Wolfish, 1979, p. 535) or that “substantially depart from accepted professional practice” (Youngberg v. Romeo, 1982, p. 314). In addition to constitutional requirements, state statutes and regulations govern policies and practices in detention facilities, and often subject facilities to licensing standards and periodic monitoring. Professional standards, including the standards promulgated by the National Commission on Correctional Health Care (2004) and the American Correctional Association (2007), provide further guidance on generally accepted professional practices. LGBT youth are vulnerable in secure detention (Valentine, 2008). Findings from the first National Survey of Youth in Custody (NSYC), representing approximately 26,550 adjudicated youth held nationwide in stateoperated and large locally or privately operated juvenile facilities, revealed startling results. In the first national survey on sexual victimization among youth in juvenile facilities, an estimated 12% of youth in state juvenile facilities and large non-state facilities (representing 3,220 youth nationwide) reported experiencing one or more incidents of sexual victimization by another youth or facility staff in the past 12 months or since admission, if less than 12 months. Youth with a sexual orientation other than heterosexual reported significantly higher rates of sexual victimization by another youth (12.5%) compared to heterosexual youth (1.3%) (Beck, Harrison, & Guerino, 2010). LGB youth who have disclosed their sexual orientation or youth whose appearance or expression does not conform to gender norms are often subject to ridicule, harassment,

differential treatment, and sexual and physical assault (Majd et al., 2009). Moreover, recent surveys of juvenile justice professionals indicate that many facilities “manage” LGBT youth by isolating them from the general population— either to protect LGBT youth from their peers or to protect the youth in the general population from contact with LGBT youth (Majd et al., 2009). Child advocates working with LGBT youth in custody have exposed these practices through lawsuits and system reform efforts (Estrada & Marksamer, 2006). In a recent case, R.G. v. Koller (2006), filed on behalf of three LGBT youth detained in the Hawai’i Youth Correctional Facility (HYCF), the plaintiffs alleged that they were subjected to constant verbal, physical, and sexual harassment by their peers and facility staff. They further alleged that the facility staff responded to this behavior by isolating the LGBT youth. The federal court determined that HYCF officials acted with deliberate indifference and violated due process by failing to intervene to protect the youth and by permitting the abuse to continue. The court further found that use of isolation to “protect” LGBT wards violated acceptable professional standards and constituted unconstitutional punishment (R.G. v. Koller, 2006). Whether or not they disclose their sexual orientation or gender identity, LGBTyouth are subject to high levels of stress. They must either hide their sexual orientation or gender identity in an effort to blend in with peers ordisclose their identities and risk harassment, isolation, and even physical harm. Even in a program as successful and progressive as the Center for Young Women’s Development in San Francisco, it typically takes approximately 4 months for a young woman to disclose her lesbian or bisexual identity to staff (M. Sanchez & L. Garnette, personal communication, February 2005). The preadjudication period can be

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Youth and the Juvenile Justice System

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MARK’S STORY Mark is a gay young man who spent most of his adolescence in the juvenile justice system in California. By his 18th birthday, Mark had served more than two years of cumulative time in the local detention center. Even though he spent much of his formative adolescent years with the detention staff, he never disclosed his gay identity. In 2004, as a 25-year-old man, Mark shared his experience with juvenile justice professionals from across the country at an Annie E. Casey Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative national conference in San Francisco. When describing why he denied his true identity while involved in the system, he said, “It’s just not cool to be gay in this environment. . . . It’s not an open, free-thinking, comfortable, nurturing place to be. It is one that encourages stereotypes and macho-ism. And what more intimidating place to be for those who want to keep a secret” (JDAI All-Site Conference, 2004).

especially daunting for LGBT youth. If they decide not to disclose their sexual orientation or gender identity, it is impossible to have an open relationship with their defense attorney, probation officer, or custodial staff. The professionals working with these youth make recommendations and decisions, which often have a significantand lasting impact on ayoung person’s life, based on partial or inaccurate information. Disposition Disposition in the juvenile system is equivalent to sentencing in the adult system. Some youth are sentenced to secure detention. Other youth are placed on probation. Although probation is an alternative to secure confinement, the youth is responsible for meeting the terms of probation that have been set by the juvenile court. If the youth violates any terms of his or her probation, he or she may be returned to detention. There are several ways that standard dispositions adversely affect LGBT youth. Primary terms of probation, among other orders, normally require youth to obey all laws, follow their parents’ directives, participate in counseling, and attend school. Yet LGBT youth in the juvenile justice system are more likely to be bullied and harassed at school and experience conflict at home. Court orders that mandate

staying at home and attending school as conditions of probation place LGBT youth in an untenable position, forcing them to choose between remaining in an unsafe environment or violating a court order. These probation conditions also place LGBT youth at higher risk of secure detention because LGBT and gender-nonconforming youth are more likely to be detained for running away and truancy than their heterosexual, gender-conforming peers (Irvine, 2010). LGBT youth are more likely to be inappropriately classified as sex offenders than are their heterosexual and gender-conforming counterparts. For example, some courts have ordered LGBT youth with no sex offense history to submit to risk assessments designed to predict the likelihood of future sex offending or undergo sex offender treatment even when no indications of risk exist (Majd et al., 2009). These dispositional orders likely stem from the misconception that all LGBT youth are predatory. Other courts order LGBT youth to undergo counseling to address or change their sexual orientation or gender identity. Although every major health and mental health organization has condemned “reparative therapy” as ineffective and harmful, many case plans still contain some provision aimed at “curing” LGBT youth (Majd et al., 2009).

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Postdisposition If LGBT youth in the juvenile justice system are not flourishing in their homes or schools, the court is likely to order placement in an alternative school or home setting. On the surface, this may seem like an appropriate option for a struggling teen. Indeed, positive alternatives often allow youth to make better choices, create new interests, develop positive peer relationships, and redefine themselves in prosocial ways. Problems arise, however, when postdispositional alternatives are not competent to serve LGBTyouth. The lack of competent postdispositional alternatives often results in placement of LGBT youth in settings that are more restrictive than their offense history justifies. Many of these youth languish in detention for no legitimate reason, awaiting placement in an appropriate program that may not even exist. Prolonged detention is harmful to youth in many ways. Detained youth are at heightened risk of abuse, injury, and suicide and are cut off from prosocial connections to the community (Majd et al., 2009). Detained youth are also less able to assist in preparing for trial, less likely to make a positive impression on the judge, and more likely to receive harsher dispositions than nondetained youth (Holman & Zeidenberg, 2006; Majd et al., 2009). Of even greater consequence is the fact that the most significant correlate for future criminal behavior is prior detention, and youth who are incarcerated are more likely to recidivate than youth who are supervised in a community-based setting, or not detained at all (e.g., Holman & Ziedenberg, 2006). A study of youth incarcerated in Arkansas (replicated numerous times) found not only a high recidivism rate, but that the experience of incarceration is the most significant factor in increasing the odds of recidivism (Benda & Tollet, 1999).

RECOMMENDATIONS Social scientists have documented a pernicious cycle of abuse, neglect, and sexual exploitation experienced by many LGBT youth. School victimization, family rejection, and homelessness are all by-products of LGBT-related social bias and stigma. Any of these experiences can contribute to the involvement of LGBT youth in the juvenile justice system. Cumulatively, these experiences deepen and unnecessarily prolong the involvement of LGBT youth in the system, and contribute to the disproportionate number of LGBTyouth in the system. Understanding the context for LGBT youth should help juvenile justice professionals assess behaviors of individual LGBTyouth and assist in creating individualized dispositional plans that include recommendations that correspond with the needs of the youth. The following policy and programmatic recommendations are addressed to juvenile justice personnel and programs, and are drawn from experience, research, and existing literature on LGBT youth in the justice system. &

Group or foster homes, schools, detention facilities, and treatment programs serving juvenile justice youth must create and maintain an inclusive culture that accepts and nurtures youth of different race, ethnicity, ability, language, immigration status, gender expression, gender identity, and sexual orientation. Creating this environment requires leadership from managers and supervisors; reinforcement in individual supervision, staff meetings, and agency materials; appropriate intervention when staff or youth violate these principles; and respectful behavior between adult peers and between adults and youth.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Youth and the Juvenile Justice System

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GIRLZPACE One program that has excelled in inclusiveness of LGBT youth is “GirlZpace,” administered through the Santa Cruz, California, Juvenile Probation Department. The program is funded with federal Title II funds that pass through the state to address gender-specific issues. GirlZpace has created three neighborhood based “safe spaces” in the form of evening programming for girls on probation or at risk of being involved in the juvenile justice system. The staff mirrors the demographic makeup of the youth, including lesbian staff who are open about their sexual orientation. In one area of the county, the girls voted to allow gay-identified boys to participate in the program. All forms that youth fill out to participate in GirlZpace have demographic questions that include sexual orientation and gender identity. All staff assigned to this program receive extensive training in work with diverse populations.

&

Programs serving youth should: Display signs and art in all areas where youth convene showing all types of family structures and youth. & Create and implement a written policy, which youth read and sign, stating there will be an inclusive atmosphere for all youth. & Facilitate group sessions for youth focused on sexual orientation and gender identity. Examples used in the group should be diverse, either scenarios the youth can relate to or that challenge the youth to empathize with peers who are struggling with these issues. Juvenile justice agencies and the juvenile court should develop and implement formal policies that prohibit discrimination against youth in the system based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. Line workers should ensure that all youth in the system receive a copy of the policy in a form that they can understand. The policy should also include specific guidelines for working with transgender youth, addressing issues such as hormone treatment, grooming, name and pronoun use, and privacy.

&

&

&

&

Probation departments should revise terms of probation to avoid unnecessarily subjecting LGBT youth to incarceration when the youth are unsafe at home or in school. Probation departments or courts should offer youth, parents, and caregivers counseling with a provider experienced working with LGBTyouth to reduce family discord (Majd et al., 2009). Juvenile justice agencies and juvenile courts should work together to develop and provide training to all bench officers, court staff, probation staff, attorneys, detention personnel, and community partners providing prevention programs and alternatives to detention. Training should include a review of vocabulary and definitions relevant to LGBT youth, an exploration of myths and stereotypes regarding LGBT youth and adults, developmental issues and adaptive strategies for LGBTyouth, promoting positive adolescent development and a review of the coming-out process, a discussion of how stigma related to sexual orientation and gender identity can be related to the reason youth are involved in the juvenile justice system, issues and challenges unique

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&

to transgender youth, approaches to working with the families of LGBT youth, and community resources available to serve LGBT youth and their families (Wilber et al., 2006). Courts and probation departments should develop subcontracts with service providers to ensure safe environments that include language specifically setting forth the agency’s expectations and requiring the contractor to maintain and report outcome data. Reports from contractors should include who was referred to the program and which youth were successful or unsuccessful, disaggregated by gender, ethnicity, age, and sexual orientation, when possible. Contracts should convey the clear expectation that the treatment provider is responsible for the youth’s success in the program. Agencies should specifically prohibit the use of reparative therapy or aversion techniques with LGBT youth.

CONCLUSION While most youth are supported by their parents and friends as they navigate through adolescence, many LGBT youth experience social stigma, abuse, and neglect within their families and peer groups. This isolation can lead to negative outcomes for LGBT youth such as school truancy, dropping out of high school, placement out of the family home, running away from home or placement, homelessness, and survival crimes such as prostitution. As such, social stigma creates a pipeline from home into the justice system and secure detention for LGBTyouth. In fact, 15% of youth in the juvenile justice system

are LGBT, a statistic that is the same for White, African American, and Latino youth. Notably, most of these LGBTyouth behave in gender-conforming ways and are, therefore, invisible to juvenile justice professionals unless youth disclose their gender identity or sexual orientation. Unfortunately, LGBT youth are often mistreated at various points within the juvenile justice system, creating additional layers of trauma for detained youth: LGBT youth are often inaccurately assessed for risk in areas tied to school and home functioning, harassed and abused by institutional staff and peers, rejected by parents and forced into out-of-home placements, and placed in alternatives to detention and out-of-home placements that are not competent to serve LGBT youth. This ongoing mistreatment and rejection also creates a cycle of detention when LGBT youth are harassed and abused, run away multiple times, are assigned to higher level out-of-home placements, or sentenced to longer periods of detention. This harmful cycle can be interrupted by following a number of best practices. Juvenile justice systems can foster an inclusive culture and develop formal policies that clearly prohibit discrimination and outline equitable treatment practices. Systems can also provide training for juvenile justice stakeholders such as probation officers, judges, public defenders, district attorneys, and community-based organizations in order to reinforce the importance of the equitable and inclusive treatment of LGBT youth. Over time, jurisdictions will ideally recognize how LGBT youth have been driven into the juvenile justice system and, in response, create a broad spectrum of services that help them move beyond the social stigma they have experienced in most realms of their lives.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Youth and the Juvenile Justice System

REFERENCES Alexander S. v. Boyd, 876 F. Supp. 773, (D.S.C. 1995). American Correctional Association. (2007). Agency manual of accreditation. Retrieved from www.aca .org/standards/pdfs/AccreditationPolicyProcedure .pdf American Psychiatric Association. (2009). Gay/lesbian/ bisexuals. Retrieved from http://healthyminds.org /More-Info-For/GayLesbianBisexuals.aspx American Psychological Association. (2004). Sexual orientation and homosexuality. Retrieved from www .apa.org/helpcenter/sexual-orientation.aspx American Psychological Association. (2009). Answers to your questions for a better understanding of sexual orientation and homosexuality. Retrieved from www.apa .org/topics/sexuality/sorientation.pdf Anderson, J. E., Freese, T. E., & Pennbridge, J. N. (1994). Sexual risk and condom use among street youth in Hollywood. Family Planning Perspectives, 26, 22–25. Beck, A. J., Harrison, P. M., & Guerino, P. (2010). Sexual victimization in juvenile facilities reported by youth 2008–09. United States Department of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, NCJ 228416. Retrieved from http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov /index.cfm?ty¼pbdetail&iid¼2113 Bell v. Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520, 525 (1979). Benda, B. B., & Tollet, C. L. (1999). A study of recidivism of serious and persistent offenders among adolescents, Journal of Criminal Justice, 27(2), 111–126. Berberet, H. (2006). Putting the pieces together for queer youth: A model of integrated assessment of need and program planning. Child Welfare, 85(2), 361–384. Brill, S., & Pepper, R. (2008). The transgender child: A handbook for families and professionals. San Francisco, CA: Cleis Press. Brown, G. R. (2007). Transvestism and gender identity disorder in adults. In G. O. Gabbard (Ed.), Treatments of psychiatric disorders (pp. 2034–2035). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing. Christopher, F. S. (2001). To dance the dance: A symbolic interactional exploration of premarital sexuality. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. Clatts, M. C., Davis, W. R., Sotheran, J. L., & Atillasoy, A. (1999). Correlates and distribution of HIV risk behaviors among homeless youth in New York City. In G. Anderson, C. Ryan, S. TaylorBrown, & M. White-Gray (Eds.), Children and HIV/ AIDS (pp. 95–107). Piscataway, NJ: Transaction.

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Cochran, B. N., Stewart, A. J., Ginzler, J. A., & Cauce, A. M. (2002). Challenges faced by homeless sexual minorities: Comparison of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender homeless adolescents with their heterosexual counterparts. American Journal of Public Health, 92(5), 773–777. Cole, C. M., O’Boyle, M., Emory, L. E., & Meyer, W. J. (1997). Comorbidity of gender dysphoria and other major psychiatric diagnoses. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 26(1), 13–26. Earls, M. (2002). Stressors in the lives of GLBTQ youth. Transitions, 14(4), 1–3. Retrieved from www .advocatesforyouth.org/index.php?option¼com_con tent&task¼view&id¼697&Itemid¼336 Eckes, T., & Traunter, H. M. (2000). Developmental psychology of gender: An integrative framework. In T. Eckes & H. M. Trautner (Eds.), The developmental social psychology of gender (pp. 3–32). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. Erikson, E. H. (1968). Identity: Youth and crisis. New York, NY: Norton. Estrada, R., & Marksamer, J. (2006). The legal rights of LGBT youth in state custody: What child welfare and juvenile justice professionals need to know. Child Welfare, 85(2), 171–194. Frankowski, B. L. (2004). Sexual orientation and adolescents. Pediatrics, 113, 1827–32. Gaetz, S. (2004). Safe streets for whom? Homeless youth, social exclusion, and criminal victimization. Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, 46(4), 423–455. Gagnon, J. H., & Simon, W. (1973). Sexual conduct: The social origins of human sexuality. Chicago, IL: Aldine. Goldman, L. (2008). Coming out, coming in: Nurturing the well-being and inclusion of gay youth in mainstream society. New York, NY: Routledge. Guzder, D. (2005, July 8). Gay, young, and homeless. NY Blade. Available at http://nyblade.com/2005/7-8 /locallife/main/. HCH Clinicians’ Network. (2002). Crossing to safety: Transgender health and homelessness. Healing Hands, 6, 1–6. Herek, G. M. (2009). Facts about homosexuality and child molestation. Retrieved from http://psychology .ucdavis.edu/rainbow/html/facts_molestation.html Herek, G. M., & Garnets, L. D. (2007). Sexual orientation and mental health. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 3(1), 353–359. Hershberger, S. L., & D’Augelli, A. R. (1995). The impact of victimization on the mental health and

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suicidality of lesbian, gay, and bisexual youths. Developmental Psychology, 31, 65–74. Hill, D. B., & Willoughby, B. L. B. (2005). The development and validation of the genderism and transphobia scale. Sex Roles, 53, 531–544. Holman, B., & Zeidenberg, J. (2006). Dangers of detention: The impact of incarcerating youth in detention and other secure facilities. Retrieved from www.justice policy.org/content-hmID¼1811&smID¼1581& ssmID¼25.htm Hyde, J. (2005). From home to street: Understanding young people’s transitions into homelessness. Journal of Adolescence, 28, 171–183. Impett, E. A., & Tolman, D. L. (2006). Late adolescent girls’ sexual experiences and sexual satisfaction. Journal of Adolescent Research, 21(6), 628–646. Irvine, A. (2009, August). The inappropriate detention of LGBT youth. Paper presented at the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative Inter-site Conference, Annie E. Casey Foundation, Washington, DC. Irvine, A. (2010). “We’ve had three of them”: Addressing the invisibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth in the juvenile justice system. Columbia Journal of Gender and Law, 19(3), 675–701. Israel, G. E., & Tarver, D. E., II (Eds.). (1997). Transgender care: Recommended guidelines, practical information and personal accounts. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press. JDAI All Site Conference, San Francisco, December 1, 2004. Jenny, C., Roesler, T. A., & Poyer, K. L. (1994). Are children at risk for sexual abuse by homosexuals? Pediatrics, 94(1), 41–44. Klein, R. (2000). Group work practice with transgendered male to female sex workers. Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services, 10(3), 95–109. Kosciw, J. G. (2004). The 2003 national school climate survey. Retrieved from www.glsen.org/binarydata/GLSEN_ATTACHMENTS/file/300–3.PDF Kosciw, J. G., Diaz, E. M., & Greytak, E. A. (2007). The 2007 national school climate survey: The experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth in our nation’s schools. Retrieved from www.glsen.org /binary-data/GLSEN_ATTACHMENTS/file/000 /001/1290-1.pdf Lerner, R., & Steinberg, L. (Eds.) (2009). Handbook of adolescent psychology (3rd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. Majd, K., Marksamer, J., & Reyes, C. (2009). Hidden injustice: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth in juvenile courts. San Francisco, CA: Legal Services

for Children, National Juvenile Defender Center, and National Center for Lesbian Rights. Mallon, G. P. (1992). Gay and no place to go: Assessing the needs of gay and lesbian adolescents in outof-home care settings. Child Welfare, 71(6), 547– 557. Mallon, G. P. (1999). Gay and lesbian adolescents and their families. Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services, 11(1/2), 23–33. Mallon, G. P., & DeCrescenzo, T. (2006). Transgender children and youth: A child welfare practice perspective. Child Welfare, 85(2), 215–241. Martin, C. L. (1995). Stereotypes about children with traditional and non-traditional gender roles. Sex Roles, 33, 727–751. Martin, S. R. (1996). A child’s right to be gay: Addressing the emotional maltreatment of queer youth. Hastings Law Journal, 48, 167–173. Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. (2006). 2005 Massachusetts Youth Risk Behavior Survey results. Retrieved from www.doe .mass.edu/cnp/hprograms/yrbs/05/default.html McConaghy, N. (1998). Paedophelia: A review of the evidence. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 32(2), 252–265. Milburn, N. G., Rotheram-Borus, M. J., Rice, E., Mallet, S., & Rosenthal, D. (2006). Cross-national variations in behavioral profiles among homeless youth. American Journal of Community Psychology, 37(1–2), 63–76. Milonas v. Williams, 691 F2d 931, 935, 943 (10th Cir., 1982). Morrow, D., & Messinger, L. (2006). Sexual orientation & gender expression in social work practice: Working with gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. New York, NY: Columbia University Press. National Alliance to End Homelessness. (2009). Incidence and vulnerability of LGBT homeless youth. Youth Homeless Series, 2. Retrieved from www .nyacyouth.org/docs/uploads/LGBTQ-HomelessYouth-Incidence-and-Vulnerability-2009.pdf National Commission on Correctional Health Care. (2004). Standards for health services in juvenile detention and confinement facilities. Chicago, IL: National Commission on Correctional Health Care. Owen, G., Heineman, J., & Gerrard, M. D. (2007). Overview of homelessness in Minnesota 2006: Key facts from the statewide survey. Retrieved from www .wilder.org/download.0.html?report¼1963 R.G. v. Koller, 415 F.Supp.1129 (D. Hawai’i, 2006).

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Youth and the Juvenile Justice System Ray, N. (2007). Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth: An epidemic of homelessness. Retrieved from www.thetaskforce.org/downloads/reports/reports /HomelessYouth.pdf Robson, R. (2001). Our children: Kids of queer parents and kids who are queer: Looking at sexual minority rights from a different perspective. Albany Law Review, 64, 915–924. Ryan, C., & Diaz, R. M. (2005). Family responses as a source of risk and resiliency for LGBT youth. Paper presented at the Pre-conference Institute on LGBT Youth, Child Welfare League of America 2005 National Conference, Washington, DC. Ryan, C., & Futterman, D. (1998). Lesbian & gay youth: Care & counseling. New York, NY: Columbia University Press. Ryan, C., Huebner, D., Diaz, R. M., & Sanchez, J. (2009). Family rejection as a predictor of negative health outcomes in White and Latino lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults. Pediatrics, 123, 346–352. Saewyc, E. M., Pettingell, S., & Skay, C. (2006). Hazards of stigma: The sexual and physical abuse of gay, lesbian, and bisexual adolescents in the United States and Canada. Journal of Adolescent Health, 34(2), 115–116. Savin-Williams, R. C. (1994). Verbal and physical abuse as stressors in the lives of lesbian, gay male and bisexual youths: Associations with school problems, running away, substance abuse, prostitution, and suicide. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 62(2), 261–269. Silbereisen, R., Eyferth, K., & Rudinger, G. (1986). Development as action in context. New York: Springer. Solorio, M., Milburn, N., Anderson, R., Trifskin, S., & Rodriguez, M. (2006). Emotional distress and mental health service use among urban homeless adolescents. Journal of Behavioral Health Services and Research. 33, 381–393. Stanfield, R. (1999). The JDAI story: Building a better juvenile detention system. Pathway to juvenile detention reform. Retrieved from www.aecf.org/upload /publicationfiles/jdai%20story.pdf

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Steinhart, D. (1999). Pathways to juvenile detention reform: Planning for juvenile detention reforms—A structured approach. Retrieved from www.aecf.org/Knowledge Center/Publications.aspx?pubguid¼{B7DB4F644B6B-4657-A541-288273086F49} Sullivan, C., Sommer, S., & Moff, J. (2001). Youth in the margins. A report on the unmet needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender adolescents in foster care. New York, NY: Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund. Sum, A., Khatiwada, I., McLaughlin, J., & Palma, S. (2009). The consequences of dropping out of high school. Joblessness and jailing for high school dropouts and the high cost for taxpayers. Center for Labor Market Studies, Northeastern University, Boston, MA. Thompson, S. J., Safyer, A. W., & Pollio, D. E (2001). Differences and predictors of family reunification among subgroups of runaway youths using shelter services. Social Work Research, 25(3), 163–172. Valentine, S. E. (2008). Traditional advocacy for nontraditional youth: Rethinking best interest for the queer child. Michigan State Law Review, 1053(4), 1054–1113. Van Leuwen, J., Boyle, S., Salomonsen-Sautel, S., Baker, D., Garcia, J., Hoffman, A., & Hopfer, C. (2006). Lesbian, gay, and bisexual homeless youth: An eight city public health perspective. Child Welfare, 85, 151–170. Wilber, S., Ryan, C., & Marksamer, J. (2006). CWLA best practice guidelines: Serving LGBT youth in out-ofhome care. Washington, DC: Child Welfare League of America. Witbeck, L., Chen, X., Hoyt, D., Tyler, K., & Johnson, K. (2004). Mental disorder, subsistence strategies, and victimization among gay, lesbian, and bisexual homeless and runaway adolescents. Journal of Sex Research, 41, 329–342. Woronoff, R., Estrada, R., Sommer, S., & Marzullo, M. A. (2006). Out of the margins: A report on regional listening forums highlighting the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth in care. Washington, DC: Child Welfare League of America. Youngberg v. Romeo, 457 U.S. 307 (1982).

Juvenile Justice: Advancing Research, Policy, and Practice Edited by Francine T. Sherman and Francine H. Jacobs Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

CHAPTER

9

Adolescent Parents and the Juvenile Justice System Toward Developmentally and Socioculturally Based Provision of Services E L L E N E. P I N D E R H U G H E S , K A R E N T. C R A D D O C K ,

A

AND

L A T A S H A L. F E R M I N

WHO AND WHERE THEY ARE: A BRIEF DEMOGRAPHY OF ADOLESCENTS IN THE JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM

dolescent parents in the juvenile justice system represent a culturally diverse population for whom societally based opportunities for optimal transition into successful adult functioning are limited. Faced with the consequences of two distinct actions that may prematurely propel them into adult-level situations—becoming pregnant and the commission of a delinquent or criminal act— these young adults need services and policies that are developmentally and socioculturally informed. This chapter addresses the gaps that exist in our understanding of adolescent parents’ risks for entry into the juvenile justice system, the impact on parenting of current services and policies associated with juvenile confinement, and the developmental and identity issues with which confined adolescent parents contend. After a synopsis of the demographics of adolescent arrests and confinement, we briefly provide the theoretical perspective that guides the subsequent examination of risks, current services and policies, and adolescent identity issues before concluding with a discussion of implications for enhancing services and policies for this diverse population.

Despite a decreasing trend in juvenile arrests over the past 10 or more years (Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics, 2004; U.S. DepartmentofJustice,2008),adolescentscontinuetobe arrested and confined in alarming numbers, especially minority youth. In 2007, adolescents accounted for just over 25% of the U.S. population, but their arrests for certain crimes are disproportionate to that figure. For example, while comparable percentages were arrested for larceny–theft and property crimes, approximately 48% of those arrested for arson were adolescents (see also Holsinger, Chapter 2, this volume). Historical race disparities in juvenile arrest rates continue, with 67% of juveniles arrested being White, and almost 31% being Black,1 1

Because not many studies reviewed in this chapter differentiate among racial and ethnic subgroups (e.g., African American and African Caribbean, or Cuban, Puerto Rican, and Dominican), we refer to all youth of African descent as “Black,” all youth of European American descent as “White,” and youth of Hispanic descent as “Latino.”

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although Black youth comprise 16% of all youth. Among juveniles arrested for violent crimes, almost 51% were Black. These disparities generally hold irrespective of population density; among juveniles arrested for any crime in metropolitan areas, 68% were White and 32% were adolescents of color, and among juveniles arrested in suburban areas, 28% were youth of color. Although juvenile arrests for any crime in nonmetropolitan jurisdictions did not reflect this race disparity, arrests for robbery did, with 53% being Black. Recent data on juvenile custody rates reflect even greater racial and ethnic disparities in how systems treat adolescents (OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book, 2006). Rates of confinement among Black youth are twice as high as Latinos and over 4 times as high as Whites. Among males, the disparity is staggering: Black males are confined at rates more than twice as high as Latinos and almost 5 times as high as Whites. Although the disparities among females are lower, nonetheless, Black females were confined 2.5 times more than Latinas and over 3 times more than White females (see Bell & Mariscal, Chapter 6, this volume; Holsinger, Chapter 2, this volume). Adolescent parents are also disproportionately represented in confinement settings. Unfortunately, there are no national statistics on the percentage of confined adolescents who are parents (OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book, 2006); however, specific analyses or studies document this disproportionality. Although adolescent fathers comprise 4% to 7% of the juvenile nonoffender population (Unruh, Bullis, & Yovanoff, 2004), fatherhood rates range from 25% to 28% among the juvenile offender population (Bullis, Yovanoff, Mueller, & Havel, 2002; Unruh et al., 2004). Analyses of state-level statistics point to higher rates of confinement among adolescent mothers. For example, in Florida, 35% of

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incarcerated adolescent girls had been pregnant, and 10% currently in residential programs were parents (e.g., Patino, Ravoira, & Wolf, 2006). A Theoretical Lens: Into the World of Our Adolescents Given the demographics of youth and adolescent parents in the juvenile justice system and the structural inequities that, for so many youth, serve to foreclose their development and heighten the likelihood of delinquent acts, it is critical that we examine experiences of adolescent parents in the juvenile justice system through a lens that can facilitate a deeper and more comprehensive understanding. Typically, ecologically based theories (e.g., Bronfenbrenner, 1979, 1989) are invoked to explain the person-context fit that results in adolescents engaging in delinquent acts and being placed in juvenile institutions or prison.2 Through these perspectives, the field understands the impact of multilevel constraints on adolescent positive development. For example, structural/systemic influences include differential arrest and adjudication rates and differential educational resources (e.g., Gorman-Smith, Tolan, Zelli, & Huesmann, 1996). Community-level influences can be characterized by neighborhoods with high concentrations of poverty, unemployment, and crime; high rates of residential instability; and low levels of community cohesion (e.g., Sampson & Groves, 1989). Family-level influences include high levels of stress associated with limited or no income, 2

Although adolescents convicted of serious crimes may be placed in prisons, we will use the term institution for both juvenile institutions and prisons. Likewise, we will use the term confinement to cover juvenile confinement and incarceration. Exceptions will be made when citing or quoting others.

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uncertain employment, and so on, that undermine parental monitoring and warmth (e.g., Gorman-Smith et al., 1996). Although these ecological perspectives are necessary, we believe that a nuanced understanding of adolescent parents in the juvenile justice system and their needs would benefit from an ecologically based approach that emphasizes how youth make meaning of their experiences in the larger sociocultural context. Spencer’s Identity-Focused Cultural– Ecological perspective (ICE; Spencer, 2001, 2006) provides such a lens. A full description of this perspective and the related theoretical framework, Phenomenological Variant of Ecological Systems Theory (P-VEST; Spencer, 2006) is beyond the scope of this chapter; however, a brief synopsis is provided below. The ICE model places contextual influences and individual functioning within a phenomenological frame, emphasizing the importance of seeing another person’s world in its totality—one’s experiences, contextual influences, and perceptions and actions— through that person’s eyes. Although the model can be applied flexibly across the life span and to diverse populations, it is especially relevant for ethnic minority or low-resource youth. According to Spencer (2001), youth are extremely aware of, and highly sensitive to, their contextual influences, especially the perceptions and inferred evaluations of them by others. This hypersensitivity, in combination with a “hyperawareness of self ” (2001, p. 55), can predispose youth to perceive and react to contextual influences in ways reflective of their sociocultural status. For example, these adolescent females and males may perceive police presence in the neighborhood quite differently than would adolescents of different racial/ethnic backgrounds. Unfortunately, among ethnic minority and low-resource adolescents who are affected by structural

inequities, as well as by community and family-level risks, some may infer disrespect from others and respond with behaviors that feel self-empowering in the moment, but that are potentially self-destructive (Spencer, 2001) and dangerous to others. A related perspective offered by Robinson, Ward, and colleagues, suggests that such behaviors reflect sub-optimal resistance to the structural inequities, or marginalization that beset ethnic minority and low-resource adolescents (e.g., Craddock, 2007; Robinson & Howard-Hamilton, 1994 Robinson & Ward, 1991; Ward, 1996). This perspective, psychological resistance to marginalization, identifies the several layers of societal inequity confronting some youth, including: (a) marginalization as adolescents by a society that views them as irresponsible, threatening, and sometimes dangerous; (b) marginalization as members of an impoverished population through educational, employment, and income barriers; and/or (c) marginalization as people of color through racism and discrimination. Adolescents must contend with the marginalizing forces that act on them throughout their lifetimes and are particularly salient at critical stages of their development. Contending responses—here, resistance strategies—feature different levels of functioning: Optimal resistance reflects an approach, grounded in liberation-oriented strategies, that focuses on challenging and confronting the marginalizing circumstances in order to succeed, despite them. It involves an awareness of oneself, one’s setting, and related influences, and seeks a solution that will benefit the individual (and perhaps others) in the long term. Suboptimal resistance reflects an approach, based in survival-oriented strategies, that focuses on enabling one to “get through” the marginalizing circumstances. It often lacks a full awareness of self and the context, emphasizes

Adolescent Parents and the Juvenile Justice System

short-term or immediate relief, and may include denial, isolation, or avoidant functioning. Youth who tend to engage in suboptimal functioning as a means to resist and “push back” are likely to be more at risk for self-destructive and delinquent behavior. The complexity of the psychological resistance framework is such that both optimal and suboptimal resistance strategies often coexist within an individual, with one form often emerging as more dominant over the other. The nature of youth’s contexts, as well as how they perceive themselves operating within those contexts, can have great bearing on which forms of resistance manifest, when, and the degree to which they emerge (Craddock, 2007). Thus, an understanding of the functioning of, and outcomes for, adolescents in the juvenile justice system is enhanced by a focus on youth’s perspectives (see also, for example, Beyer, Chapter 1, this volume; Sherman & Greenstone, Chapter 7, this volume). As an example, Spencer asserts that studies that specifically focus on predictors of delinquency (e.g., parenting behaviors; Rosenbaum, 1989), and do not include youth’s perceptions of those predictors, fail to provide an understanding of a potentially important link (i.e., a mediating mechanism) between those predictors and youth’s delinquent behaviors that would be a target of intervention. In short, as Spencer notes, “the ways in which minority youth perceive their environments and cope with contextual stressors may mediate the relationship between structural barriers and outcomes” (2001, p. 54). The empirical literature on adolescent parents in the juvenile justice system is particularly sparse and therefore insufficient to provide an understanding of their experiences and needs. This review, then, draws on several important studies of adolescents of color in the juvenile justice system, some of whom are

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parents (e.g., Nurse, 2002; Parra-Cardona, Sharp, & Wampler, 2008), and qualitative studies of adult-aged parents who are incarcerated (Enos, 2001; Golden, 2005). Because of the theoretical importance of individuals’ lived experiences and perspectives (Spencer, 2006), the review features studies that give voice to those who have faced incarceration or confinement (see also Vaught, Chapter 15, this volume).

ADOLESCENT PARENTS AND RISK FOR ENTRY INTO THE JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM Delinquency is multidetermined, with several, often converging, individual, family, and community risk influences. A thorough review of these influences is beyond the scope of this chapter and can be found elsewhere (see, e.g., Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group [CPPRG], 1992; Yoshikawa, 1994; see also Baker, Cunningham, & Harris, Chapter 11, this volume; Bruyere & Garbarino, Chapter 13, this volume). This chapter will address influences most likely to correlate with risks for adolescent pregnancy. Individual Risk At the most proximal level, individual youth functioning can escalate into juvenile/criminal behavior. Despite their physical development, adolescents’ cognitive capacities may remain somewhat immature (e.g., Hains, 1984; Reppucci, 1999), thus posing the risk for impulsive and poor decisions. Academic failure, school truancy, and dropping out are precursors to entry into the juvenile justice system (e.g., Sharp & Simon, 2004; Stouthamer-Loeber & Wei, 1998). Teen parenting also is associated with school disengagement, dropping out, and

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delinquency; however, the directionality of these relations is complex. Some studies point to teen parenting as a risk for poor academic achievement and a correlate with substance abuse and crime (e.g., Allen, Philliber, & Hoggson, 1990; Brindis, 1993; Foster, Hagan, & Brooks-Gunn, 2008). Faced with the competing demands of parenthood and educational achievement, some adolescents disengage or leave school, exacerbating their risk for entry into the juvenile justice system. Moreover, with few skills and qualifications, adolescent parents will have fewer chances for employment and income to support themselves and their children. Thus, adolescent parents are at considerable risk for illegal activity. Recent studies in England point to academic disengagement as the precursor to risky sex and adolescent pregnancy (e.g., Bonell et al., 2005; Hosie, 2007). Yet other studies of incarcerated teen mothers note that once pregnant, some teens initially drop out of school, only to become motivated anew to resume their education (e.g., Zachry, 2005). Overall, the literature suggests that teen parenting greatly influences behavioral decisions in multiple ways. Certain decisions reflect the suboptimal functioning described earlier, such as disengaging from school and engaging in behaviors that can lead to arrest. Other decisions reflect more optimal functioning, for example, when teen parenting motivates the young parent to challenge her/his current circumstances, pursue an education, and avoid negative activity. Family and Community Risk Generally, family risks include intergenerational patterns of incarceration and absence, problematic parenting in early to middle childhood, low parental monitoring in adolescence, and abusive parenting (e.g., Chamberlain, Leve, & DeGarmo, 2007; CPPRG, 1992; Hawkins

et al., 1998). Incarceration among previous generations paves the way for youth entry into the juvenile justice system. Adolescents whose parents have been incarcerated are more at risk for delinquent activity (Murray & Farrington, 2005). For example, in the 1998 National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NCCD) study, approximately 54% of the girls’ mothers had been arrested, and 46% of their fathers were in jail or out of contact (Acoca, 1999). Greene and Peters found that sons of adolescent mothers were 2.7 times more likely to become confined than other boys (1998, as cited in Sharp & Simon, 2004). Unfortunately, childhood abuse also exacerbates youth risk for delinquency and confinement (e.g., Abrams & Aguilar, 2005; Ehrensaft, 2005; see also Baker, Cunningham, & Harris, Chapter 11, this volume). Whether physical abuse (Salzinger, Rosario, & Feldman, 2007) or sexual abuse (Feiring, Miller-Johnson, & Cleland, 2007; Sigfusdottir, Asgeirsdottir, Gudjonsson, & Sigurdsson, 2008), mediational links between child abuse and delinquency have been documented for both girls and boys. Salzinger and colleagues (2007) observed that links between abuse and delinquency were mediated through relationships with parents and moderated by access to delinquent peers and abusive behavior with peers. Using a community sample of over 9,000 Icelandic boys and girls, Sigfusdottir and colleagues (2008) found that anger mediated links between sexual abuse and delinquency. With a sample of 160 adolescents—predominantly girls—who had documented histories of sexual abuse, Feiring and colleagues (2007) noted that the link between abuse and delinquency was mediated through self-stigmatization processes. However, evidence does suggest that female delinquents are disproportionately more likely than their male peers to experience trauma and sexual abuse (e.g., Lederman,

Adolescent Parents and the Juvenile Justice System

Dakof, Larrea, & Li, 2004). Moreover, for females, the effects of trauma on subsequent delinquency are more significant (see Cauffman, 2008, for review). At the community level, neighborhoods with low social capital—few friendship networks, poorly supervised adolescents and teen peer groups, and low levels of community participation—are associated with high rates of antisocial behavior, crime, and delinquency (e.g., Ingoldsby et al., 2006; Sampson & Groves, 1989). For girls living in high-risk environments, early adolescence poses a high risk for victimization. This is a developmental period when girls are most likely to be beaten, stabbed, shot, or raped (Acoca, 1999). Related statistics indicate that among young girls the use of drugs and alcohol, school suspension, and running away often happen between ages 13 and 14, as does their first arrest (Acoca, 1999). Among boys, young adolescent exposure to riskamplifying circumstances is also prevalent. Many young male offenders come of age surrounded by poverty and violence in their neighborhood and families, “sacrificing much of their childhood” (Inderbitzin, 2009, p. 454). Early adolescence for girls and boys is a highly influential stage of development that poses many risks within their sociocultural context. As a result of, or in response to, victimization and exposure to violent and violating experiences, maladaptive functioning occurs, increasing the risk for adolescents’ entry into the juvenile justice system. In sum, as Spencer (2001) noted, these converging community influences can serve to foreclose on adolescents’ identity processes, tracking them toward delinquent activity. Sociocultural Variation in Risk at All Ecological Levels The risk for juvenile justice system entry varies due to gender and race. Among adolescent

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parents, gender is associated with differential risks for juvenile justice system entry. The first 2 years of fatherhood are notably the most risky time frame for delinquent acts by adolescent fathers, relative to nonfathers (Stouthamer-Loeber & Wei, 1998). Among females, the relation between pregnancy and delinquent activity is more complicated. As noted by Hope, Wilder, and Watt (2003), much of the research literature on adolescent sexual activity points to significant positive relations between teenage pregnancy and delinquency. However, using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health; Udry, 2003), Hope and colleagues (2003) demonstrated that pregnancy outcomes were linked differentially to delinquency: Adolescent girls who chose motherhood were no more likely to engage in delinquent activity than were girls who were never pregnant, whereas adolescents who chose abortion or adoption were more likely to engage in delinquent activity. These researchers suggest that adolescent parenthood can offer young mothers an opportunity to develop new levels of responsibility and expand their identity processes and thus avoid delinquent behaviors. Despite this important distinction in pregnancy outcomes and delinquency, adolescent mothers remain disproportionately represented in juvenile facilities. Racial and ethnic disparities in the numbers of adolescents in the juvenile justice system are multiply determined and appear to involve both differential systemic response and differential behavior (Piquero, 2008). Historical racial and ethnic differences in the treatment of youth within the juvenile justice system (e.g., Stehno, 1982; see also Bell & Mariscal, Chapter 6, this volume) continue into the 21st century. Piquero’s cogent review of the literature includes statistics from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency

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(NCCD, 2007), revealing that systemic discrepancies can be found at each point in the processing of criminal activity: arrests, court adjudication, and length of confinement. For example, rates of detention are highest among Black youth, followed by Latino, and then White youth. Latino youth and Black youth are confined 112 and 61 more days than are White youth, respectively. Although Black youth tend to commit more serious crimes, when detained for the same offense, Black youth are more likely to be charged and removed from the home than are White youth (Hartney & Silva, 2007; Piquero, 2008; see also Bell & Mariscal, Chapter 6, this volume). Community-based responses differ as well for adolescents who are repeat offenders. Indeed, in a study of the predictors of referral for mental health services among adolescent offenders, Lopez-Williams, Stoep, Elena Kuo, and Stewart (2006) noted race differences in the relation between prior confinement and mental health symptoms and receipt of mental health services: a positive relation was found among White youth, whereas no relation was found among Black youth. In short, Black offenders with higher levels of psychopathology were less likely to receive mental health services than were their White counterparts. In sum, multilevel sociocultural risks such as those discussed here result in a cascade of problematic functioning that culminates in juvenile justice system entry. The system’s impact is discussed next.

THE IMPACT OF THE JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM ON ADOLESCENT PARENTS AND PARENTING PROCESSES Once in the juvenile justice system, adolescent parents face influences from multiple

ecological levels that affect their ability to maintain a parental relationship with their children. These influences include detention facility policies that undermine parent–child contact and lack of programming to support parents, child welfare policies designed to address the needs of children facing the absence of parents, and their familial contexts outside confinement that may not support parenting. Maintaining Contact With Children While Incarcerated Parents and children who are separated must depend on regular in-person contact in order to maintain their relationships. Such contact is especially important for young children, whose cognitive and emotional systems lack the maturity to retain memories of their parents that can sustain them for long periods of time. Thus, opportunities for frequent visitation with physical contact, nurturance, and play are essential for maintaining the parent– child attachment. Institutional policies about visitation—hours, number of visitors, and frequency of visits—limit parents’ access to their children (Enos, 2001; Golden, 2005; Nurse, 2002). Nurse observed that adolescent fathers in California Youth Centers were denied visitation privileges during their first few weeks in confinement. Implemented as a security measure, this restriction disconnects adolescent fathers from their children during a period of heightened anxiety within the parent–child system and extended family system. As one adolescent father noted, She knows who I am, she knows I am, she knows I’m her father, but I see it in her sometimes. She . . . feels I’m kind of a stranger in a way. She has that look in her eyes like she’s kind of confused whether she should come

Adolescent Parents and the Juvenile Justice System

and hug me. She treats me like a stranger sometimes ’cause she doesn’t really know. . . . That hurts me ’cause I look at her like I’m her dad, you know. (Nurse, 2002, p. 74) Some facilities may function like adult prisons and restrict physical contact as well (Hairston, 2002). Limits on the number of hours, number of visitors, and frequency of visits further hinder the maintenance of a parent–child relationship. Many facility policies serve as disincentives for children to visit. For example, some facilities prohibit toys or other materials during visits; others require strip searches after visits that can include infants’ diapers. Consequently, adolescent parents report that facing nothing to do, their children do not want to visit (Nurse, 2002). The requirement that young women under the age of 18 have a notarized letter from their parent/guardian authorizing the visit can limit visits between children and their young mothers. Noisy visiting rooms providing little privacy can also function as a disincentive (Enos, 2001; Thompson, 2008). The location of confinement facilities limits access for visiting, as well. According to a Department of Justice report (Mumola, 2000), over 50% of mothers in state prison never received a visit from their children; more than 60% of parents at state facilities were held over 90 miles from their most recent preincarceration residence. In fact, from 1997 to 2004, there was a slight increase in the percentage of parents reporting never having had a visit (Schirmer, Nellis, & Mauer, 2009). Despite recent attempts to place inmates closer to their families, for many, the nearest prison has been over 1 hour away (Schirmer et al., 2009). These facilities typically are in locations with limited public transportation, leaving families dependent on private transportation.

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My incarceration was painful and traumatic for my children. I was in a correctional center, a four-hour drive from my home, which made it nearly impossible for my family to bring my children to see me. It will take them years to heal from this separation. They felt abandoned and hurt . . . (Golden, 2005, p. 114) Policies such as those described above reduce physical contact, visitation, and engagement between adolescent parents and children, and are inconsistent with practice guidelines that have been developed by the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) to improve conditions in juvenile facilities (Soler, Shoenberg, Arya, & Burrell, 2006). These restrictive policies undermine adolescent parents’ maintenance of a positive parenting identity. How adolescents respond to these constraints may reflect processes reflective of ICE (Spencer, 2001). For example, adolescent parents may view them as another example of an unfair and uncaring system and make choices (e.g., noncompliance) with deleterious effect on their subsequent short-term parenting (e.g., restrictions on visitation). Serious long-term consequences for their relationships with their children may ensue. Differential Gender Effects of Confinement Policies Whereas both adolescent fathers and mothers may experience the sting of constraining visitation policies, it is likely that mothers suffer the consequences more deeply. “Men can be criminals but mothers should be different. We shouldn’t be out of control and a lot of us are” (Enos, 2001, p. 77). This young mother’s perspective about the higher standard to which mothers should be held reflects her acceptance

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of differing societal expectations about the roles of mothers and fathers. There is a pronounced parental gender disparity among incarcerated parents in where their children live: Incarcerated fathers are more than 3 times as likely as incarcerated mothers to have their children live with the other parent (Dallaire, 2007). Mothers face termination of parental rights more frequently than do fathers because fathers typically leave the child’s mother to care for the child. When mothers become incarcerated, however, the care for their children typically falls to grandparents or relatives, or children are placed in foster care (Dallaire, 2007; Enos, 2001). Child Welfare–Related Constraints For those children who are placed in foster care, the federal Adoption and Safe Families Act 1997 (ASFA, Public Law 105–89) “clock” starts ticking. With a goal of reducing the time that children spend in the foster care system, and increasing the number of permanent homes for children, ASFA provides clear requirements regarding permanency planning for children in foster care. These requirements ensure that foster children have a permanency plan within one year of entering care, and set the maximum limit for how long children can remain in care—15 of the most recent 22 months—before parental rights are terminated. Some states have more restrictive policies. Thus, when parents are incarcerated or confined, the other biological parent is not a tenable option, there are no viable familial or kin placements, and reunification is projected to take place after the maximum time allowed by the state, child welfare personnel are expected to petition the court for termination of parental rights. In some communities, racial and ethnic differences have been found in

incarcerated mothers’ reliance on family for the care of their children. Enos (2001) found that White mothers who were incarcerated were less likely to rely on their families for care of their children than were Black and Latina mothers, resulting in greater risk that White children would be placed in foster care. Another requirement that adolescent parents may face while confined is defending against allegations of parental unfitness (Enos, 2001) in order to maintain parental rights. Although this legal requirement applies to all parents whose behavior is determined by the state to jeopardize their child’s safety, security, or well-being, it can be particularly challenging for confined parents whose contact with their children is constrained. Typical indicators of parental fitness include frequent contact with one’s children, explicit eagerness and commitment to reunite with one’s children, and participating in parenting classes. Restrictive institutional rules about the length and condition of visits directly undermine parents’ ability to demonstrate parental fitness (Enos, 2001). Thus, faced with the requirement to establish one’s fitness to be a parent in the context of restrictive visiting opportunities, confined adolescent mothers may perceive an insurmountable hurdle. As a result, some mothers find themselves struggling to sustain their motivation to maintain an emotional connection with their children, and may choose not to have visitation. In addition, other mothers choose not to visit with their children out of concern for how the children will feel seeing their mothers in prison (Golden, 2005). Withdrawal from one’s children—whether to ease one’s pain or that of one’s child—is an example of the self-destructive behaviors that Spencer (2001) suggests can happen. Such struggles or choices can be misread by juvenile justice system officials, child welfare workers,

Adolescent Parents and the Juvenile Justice System

or courts as lack of commitment to one’s children, and hence lack of parental fitness (Enos, 2001). Moreover, interagency coordination is very problematic for mothers in institutions who seek to maintain contact with their children. Neither the child welfare system nor the criminal justice system provides the family supports to deal with the trauma of a mother’s incarceration. “The lack of coordination between child welfare agencies and correction facilities can create insurmountable obstacles to parents who wish to preserve their parental rights and reunite with their children” (Smith, 1995, cited in Golden, 2005, p. 35). Familial Ecology for Adolescent Parents Behind Bars The ecological influences and risks linked with adolescent parents’ entry into the juvenile justice system remain active while parents are in confinement. How well adolescent parents’ support systems function while they are detained depends on how effective the supports were prior to confinement. Whether family members provided assistance with child care, helped in times of crisis, or provided general assistance before confinement may carry over into the time frame when parents are in confinement (Enos, 2001). Relationships formed before confinement can facilitate or complicate adolescent parents’ management of their parenting responsibilities while detained (Golden, 2005). For example, positive relationships with individuals who become the caregivers of one’s children can help to sustain parenting during confinement. Unfortunately for some parents, preconfinement relationships that were problematic may undermine parenting during confinement. When those relationships involve individuals who become the child’s caregiver (e.g., a

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grandparent), gatekeeping—controlling and limiting the access that parents have to their children—may ensue. One adolescent mother observed: Every time I come home, my kids run to me. My mother gets so attached to them that she gets mad when I come home. One time she called child welfare and she said that my kids had run away. (Enos, 2001, p. 67) Because fathers, whether confined or not, are more likely to leave their children in the care of the child’s mother than vice versa, such complications may affect adolescent fathers more than adolescent mothers. Roy and Dyson (2005) noted the vulnerability of confined adolescent fathers to gatekeeping behaviors by their children’s mothers: Over 50% of youth in their study were affected. Having limited contact with one’s children and their caretakers, as well as with loved ones, parents often lack knowledge about their children. Children’s needs for caregiving require that others assume the role of caregiver; thus, confined parents face being replaced emotionally, even if the child welfare system does not move to terminate parental rights. One adolescent father painfully noted: When a kid doesn’t see their father, original or real father, they tend to latch on to whoever is next to them, you know what I mean? If her mom has a new boyfriend, that’s “daddy.” . . . I mean, I see it every day. When somebody gets locked up, what we call Sancho—you know, sidekick—that’s the next dude in line—takes over and raises the kid with the kid calling him “dad.” (Nurse, 2002, p. 77)

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Those who assume the role of caretaker become the gatekeeper for communication and contact between confined parents and their children. How the gatekeeping caretaker feels about the parent’s confinement and circumstances leading to it may contribute to children’s perceptions of their parents. One incarcerated mother recalled her experiences when, as a young child, her own mother was imprisoned: When my mother was in prison, I felt alone. My grandmother and I weren’t getting along at all. I felt like the only reason she was keeping me was because she had to, not because she loved me and wanted to. She used to tell me that my mom didn’t want me and if she did, she wouldn’t have given me away . . . . (Golden, 2005, p. 97) For adolescent parents already confined, gatekeeping can serve as another perceived barrier to access to one’s children. Faced with these challenges to one’s parenting identity, some parents might give up on their attempts to stay connected to their children, thus undermining their chances for reconnecting postconfinement. Thus, the role of supports as facilitators or complications can have a direct effect on how well adolescent parents are able to demonstrate parental fitness. Constraints on a Smooth Transition Into the Community As adolescent parents in confinement approach the end of their sentences, planning for postrelease activities, including family reconnection and work or school, becomes essential. Adolescent parents can find the challenges associated with reentry back into the community overwhelming and can find

themselves lost in the stressors of post confinement life (e.g. Inderbitzin, 2009). Inconsistencies in supports available to adolescent parents directly undermine their ability to prepare for life postrelease. When I was getting out, they didn’t say, “Okay, you’ve been locked up for two and a half years, we know you’ll need help. We’ll give you contacts in your community to get proper support for issues that you need.” There was no advice or money to cover me until I found a job. When I got out at 17 and a half years old, I didn’t even know how to use the transportation system because it had changed. All they gave me when I left was fear that if I did anything wrong, even though I needed to live, I would face the same walls again. (Golden, 2005, p. 130) Parenting classes that can prepare youth for reconnecting with their children are sorely lacking, leaving some adolescent parents and their children confused about how to reestablish a relationship. For fathers, who may have been more likely to lose contact with their children, lack of parenting supports may be the final barrier that seals the end of the father–child relationship. When the reentry process fails to include job referral and training supports, reentry is particularly problematic for adolescent parents who lack a high school diploma or work experience, but are economically responsible not only for themselves, but also for their children. Adolescent mothers who have relied on public assistance may face more challenges if those services are no longer available. Moreover, if children have entered foster care, adolescent mothers undergo steps to demonstrate financial,

Adolescent Parents and the Juvenile Justice System

emotional, and parental fitness to regain custody of their children (Golden, 2005). In short, the system has failed to recognize that confined young adults require supports to reenter the community and rebuild their lives. This systemic failure significantly exacerbates the risk that these young adults will perceive few legally sanctioned options available to them and thus make self-destructive choices that lead to delinquent activity and recidivism—a sequence of functioning that is a classic example of Spencer’s (2001) ICE perspective. Moreover, additional postrelease and parole conditions, including restrictions on where young men can live, further undermine their ability to reconnect with their children (Nurse, 2002). For example, Nurse (2002) observed that parole boards can cite gang affiliation, the nature of the offense, or stability of available households for youth as they impose restrictions on where parolees live.

ADOLESCENTS, IDENTITY PROCESSES, AND CONFINEMENT Adolescent parents in the juvenile justice system face the challenge of balancing multiple and often competing identities. One layer of identity is simply that of being an adolescent. As Arnett (2004) notes, older adolescents are working through the process of emerging adulthood, which includes several distinguishing features: a period of identity exploration, instability in their identity, and feeling in between childhood and adulthood. In addition, during the most self-focused period of life, adolescents typically perceive their lives as full of possibilities and have high hopes or expectations for adulthood. For adolescents from ethnic minority backgrounds, another identity layer is associated

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with their framing of their race, ethnicity, and gender. Experiences in the larger sociocultural context complicate their formation of a healthy identity (e.g., Arnett & Brody, 2008; Spencer, 2001; Spencer, Dupree, Cunningham, Harpalani, & Mu~ noz-Miller, 2003). As Spencer (2001) notes, maladaptive identity patterns in response to a marginalizing social context may emerge for youth who might, in turn, respond to their circumstances in antisocial ways that further distance them from prosocial sources of support. Like Spencer, researchers note that the growing complexity of modern culture and society amplifies a strained sociocultural context, in which adolescents find it ever more challenging to define an individual sense of self (e.g., Ferrer-Wreder et al., 2002). Adolescents who are parents face forming an identity associated with their perceived responsibility for another, dependent person. As adolescent parents quickly learn, the responsibilities associated with effective parenting can compete with the processes of exploration typically associated with emerging adulthood. Adolescents who are confined must come to terms with the system’s response to their actions and find themselves formulating an associated identity (Enos, 2001; Nurse, 2002). Adolescents who are parents and confined thus face balancing identities that conflict with typical adolescent processes of exploration and complicate youthful expectations of a better future. A core challenge of identity configuration incorporates the essential elements of goal orientation and coconstruction that emerges within the cultural context (Schachter, 2005). For these adolescents, who are juggling multiple and often contradictory realities of parenthood and adolescence in the context of confinement, their perceptions of their situation have a powerful influence on their goals

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and ultimately their identity formation (see Spencer, 2001). For example, in balancing the realities of being a parent and an inmate, some might opt to minimize or deny one of these identities. Too often, unfortunately, the parental role is minimized. In sum, adolescent parents in the juvenile justice system have found themselves thrust into adult-type experiences without developmentally based and appropriate preparation and individual maturity to manage those experiences (e.g., Inderbitzin, 2009). In the face of institutional policies that undermine adolescent parents’ engagement in the parenting role and the maintenance of parent–child relationships, it is not surprising that these adolescent parents find themselves wrestling with how to balance these multiple identities (e.g., Nurse, 2002). Moreover, “inmate identities” and parent identities can elicit contradictory aspects of functioning. On the one hand, having children provides membership in a community of adults who are responsible for nurturing and caring for dependent others. On the other hand, involvement in drugs, crime, and other activities reflects behavior that is inconsistent with nurturing young children, as does engagement with other inmates, who may well support these behaviors. Parents reconcile these competing identity tasks in various ways. Drawing on the creative conceptualization by Snow and Anderson (1987) of identity talk in explaining how individuals who are homeless reconcile competing identities, Enos (2001) illustrates the relevance of the construct for incarcerated or confined individuals. Identity talk reflects verbal strategies to manage competing and sometimes negative identities in ways that promote and support one’s self-concept, a process consistent with Spencer’s ICE perspective (2001). Three distinct strategies have been identified as associated with identity talk among incarcerated mothers, with each

strategy having implications for subsequent opportunities and functioning. Some mothers distance themselves from the situation and setting in order to minimize the pain and discomfort associated with being or having been an inmate. One mother reflected, I don’t want to sound conceited, but I think I’m a good, beautiful person. If I grew up in a middle-class household and my mother, who drank because she couldn’t cope with [poverty, single parenthood] had resources, maybe she could have given us a safer life. Who might I have become if my life were safe? (Golden, 2005, p. 95) Other mothers work through the pain by embracing their role and their reality with a vision for a better future. These mothers often acknowledge their status as an inmate along with its potential consequences, recognize the state’s requirements for maintaining parental rights, and commit themselves to demonstrating parental fitness—a strategy of optimal resistance (Craddock, 2007; Robinson & Ward, 1991). A third group of mothers engage in fictive storytelling, reflecting a denial or exaggeration (whether intentional or not) of the past and fantasies of the future, representing a suboptimal pattern of resistance. This strategy offers the short-term benefit of relief from emotional pain and unbearable circumstances, but increases the longterm risk of undermining one’s options. One adolescent mother, who appeared to embrace her role, shared her perspective on other mothers who chose the latter identity strategy: They talk about their kids, but they don’t know what they’re talking about. They make up stories about their kids. Women in here talk about their own lives, but not about their

Adolescent Parents and the Juvenile Justice System

kids. I know how everything I do goes back to my kids. (Enos, 2001, p. 80) Embracing one’s role with determination to succeed requires an ability to integrate different parts of oneself into a coherent self. Faced with the challenges of premature parenthood and juvenile confinement, adolescent parents may be less likely to be able to embrace that role and would benefit from supports that would facilitate such functioning. For adolescent fathers in confinement, balancing competing identities can also be overwhelming. Particularly notable for some adolescent fathers are the shame and embarrassment when their children are old enough to know their fathers are confined (Nurse, 2002). Balancing these competing identities can be compounded further by guilt over what one is not able to provide for those on the outside. Overwhelmed with the challenges and intense emotions, some adolescent fathers resolve this conflict through a coping mechanism, “hard timing” (Nurse, 2002), in which they disengage or cut off their ties to the outside world, including their children. [I was afraid of] her looking at me different. Like, “My dad . . . what is my dad? Is he a gangster? A killer? What is he in here for? What did he do?” I don’t want her to be afraid of me, basically what I am saying. ’Cause basically, I mean, I’ve seen a lot of the public when they see us working out there [on work crews]. They’re kind of scared of us, and I don’t like that. I don’t want them to be scared of me. I’m not going to do nothing to them. I don’t want her see that, too. I don’t want her to be afraid of me just ’cause I’m incarcerated. (Nurse, 2002, p. 45)

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This identity strategy represents a suboptimal resistance response (Craddock, 2007; Robinson & Ward, 1991). Unfortunately, the long-term consequence is that fathers often encounter more parent-related struggles when they later attempt to reenter their children’s lives. Still others adopt another self-perception to cope with their struggle as adolescent fathers who are confined or newly released (e.g., Parra-Cardona et al., 2008). If they cannot take on traditional male “breadwinner” roles to provide financial support, then in their efforts to be self-defined and sufficient, they perceive an option of contributing “social capital” to their children’s lives by providing child care, buying diapers, and being involved in daily parenting rituals (Inderbitzin, 2009). This optimal resistance response (Craddock, 2007; Robinson & Ward, 1991; Ward, 1996) reflects the perspective of youth who have chosen to find any possible way of owning their responsibilities as fathers. Many of the adolescent fathers expressed wanting to “get out of the life,” as they had hopes and visions of raising their own children in more “conforming situations” (Inderbitzin, 2009). In these examples, we see adolescent parents striving to incorporate individual, societal, and cultural goals in an effort to build an identity as they assume increasing adult and parental responsibilities.

IMPLICATIONS FOR ENHANCED POLICIES AND SERVICES FOR ADOLESCENT PARENTS IN THE JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM This chapter identifies multilevel constraints on the ability of adolescent mothers and fathers to engage in their parenting role in the context of their confinement, and the impact of these constraints on parenting and

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the parent–child relationship; it also highlights the challenges these adolescent parents feel balancing competing personal identities. In effect, as Golden (2005) notes, there are potentially two generations of casualties from confinement of adolescent parents that is neither developmentally or socioculturally informed. Not only are adolescent parents affected directly, but their children also suffer. I reached to cover my pain, my mother’s pain, her mother’s pain. Years on top of years of struggle . . . generations of bitterness twisting and turning inside my soul, wishing to be numb, wishing I could get a grip and a little control. (Golden, 2005, p. 96) At multiple contextual layers, policy and service delivery changes could enhance services not only to adolescent parents, but also to their children, thereby increasing the odds of disrupting an intergenerational pattern of incarcerated or confined parents. Changing Policies Policies regarding juvenile offenders (e.g., institutional policies, alternative disposition policies) and those designed to address the needs of children in foster care (e.g., ASFA) individually and collectively can undermine parenting among adolescent parents. Detailed discussion of policies in each of these arenas—juvenile justice and foster care—is beyond the scope of this chapter. Thus, this discussion of policies will center on the institutional policies in juvenile facilities as an example of the need to carefully examine policies in all arenas that can affect confined adolescent parents and their children.

Statewide and individual institutional policies should be examined for the degree to which they promote or hinder the ability of adolescent parents to engage in their parenting role and the parent–child relationship. An important goal would be to enable adolescent parents to develop optimal resistance strategies that would enable them to manage the competing demands of being an inmate and being a parent. Within individual institutions, consideration should extend to housing adolescent parents together, separated from other confined adolescents (Nurse, 2002). Such arrangements can provide a community of support for adolescent parents that might reduce “hard timing” and promote more embracing of the parenting role. As one adolescent father observed, Sometimes, if you find another father who loves their kids and, you know, misses their kids, yeah. But the guys without kids really don’t, you know. They still might talk about a nephew or something, but it’s not the same thing as meeting somebody who has a kid. They’re trying to be a good dad, too, or missing their children. You connect better with them and they’re supportive more with each other. (Nurse, 2002, p. 143) While the recommendation for housing adolescent parents together may be readily understandable, housing them separately from nonparents may be more controversial. Adolescent fathers have made this proposal, noting how vulnerable they feel when they talk about or show emotions about their children. “Nonfathers frequently treated such talk as a sign of weakness and ridiculed it” (Nurse, p. 143). Thus, a policy allowing for

Adolescent Parents and the Juvenile Justice System

separate housing for adolescent parents could better enable them to incorporate their competing identities without anxiety about how their nonfather peers would view or treat them. Policies regarding visitation and phone communication should provide for contact soon after confinement, as well as more frequent contact overall. According to a set of standards developed by the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (Soler, Shoenberg, Arya, & Burrell, 2006), which is aimed at ensuring that all youth involved in juvenile justice have opportunities for optimal development, youth should be allowed free (or in the case of those youth with resources, reasonably priced) phone calls. Further, these standards recommend visits several days per week for at least one hour, to include physical contact. Moreover, Soler and colleagues (2006) recommend that staff encourage adolescent parents to maintain contact with family through calls, letters, and appropriate visiting space. Noting the lead taken in several California prisons, Nurse (2002) called for toys and playground equipment to be made available for visits. Golden (2005) observed that a facility in New Mexico allowed visits with young children as often as twice a week for two hours. An innovative visitation arrangement taking place at prisons in 17 states gives hope and connection to 800 girls and their incarcerated mothers. As depicted in an award-winning documentary of one participating site (Tompkins, 2006), the program, Girl Scouts Beyond Bars (GSBB; 2010) allows girls to visit their incarcerated mothers weekly or monthly. Mothers and daughters jointly participate in meetings and activities in which mothers are given leadership roles later found to be critical to their employment and success after release from prison. An outgrowth of the GSBB, Girl Scouting in

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Detention Centers, is a program in over 20 states that is aimed at girls who are adjudicated, wards of the court, or court-referred delinquents. This program, serving over 10,000 juvenile girl offenders, is often court mandated and centers on goals to build selfesteem, social consciousness, and critical life skills (Girl Scouts Beyond Bars, 2010). Although it does not specifically target adolescent parents, it may provide important skills for incarcerated teens who are not yet parents that would enable them to delay parenthood. Regarding phone contact, institutional policies about phone use should be broad enough to encompass not only contact between the incarcerated parent and child, the child’s caregiver, and extended family, but also to support involvement of parents in the child welfare system’s periodic reviews of the case (through phone calls with lawyers or child welfare professionals). In California, an important bill under consideration (SB 134) would guarantee a minimum of four calls per month for young incarcerated parents— to talk with their children, as well as with other relatives and professionals who work with their children—to facilitate more participation in their children’s lives (Irish, 2010). Mothers’ attempts to maintain their relationships with their children and to fight allegations of “unfitness to be a parent” would be substantially facilitated with the successful passage of this bill. Changing Services As with institutional policies, services need to be examined for the degree to which they enable adolescent parents to engage in their parenting role during confinement. Services that support the parent–child relationship in its larger contexts (i.e., the institution, the child’s caregiving arrangement, and the teen’s family)

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would be ideal in helping these youth incorporate their multiple roles into identities that could enable them to function optimally. Institutional Services The evaluation process for youth entering juvenile institutions should include consideration of adolescent parents’ connection with their children and families (see Acoca, 2004). Based on the reality that not all mothers will reengage with their children upon reentry, Enos (2001) proposed that professionals involved in service delivery to incarcerated mothers (e. g., correctional staff, child welfare staff ) develop gender-specific, culturally sensitive strategies for assessing “promising” and “problem” mothers as early as possible in their inmate careers. This would allow personnel to provide the appropriate level of support, so as to optimize the possibilities of successfully maintaining or building parenting functions (see e.g., Sherman & Greenstone, Chapter 7, this volume). In addition, such an evaluation should consider youth’s suboptimal and optimal resistance approaches to their situations. An understanding of whether an adolescent has only suboptimal strategies or a combination of optimal and suboptimal strategies, in which one strategy dominates in certain circumstances, could inform the delivery of services and staff engagement with youth during confinement. For example, an adolescent parent who expresses interest in going to college postrelease as a path toward success (optimal resistance approach), yet engages in denial of limited academic skills (a suboptimal approach designed to minimize the pain of the marginalizing academic experiences), might resist remedial educational services that could be helpful. Young parents who struggle with dominant suboptimal forms of resistance would require supports that

address the trauma and/or marginalization they have experienced. In contrast, an adolescent parent who is working to understand and recognize the situations that trigger his or her angry and impulsive outbursts (suboptimal functioning), in order to engage in nonviolent conflict resolution (optimal functioning), may be more amenable to services designed to challenge this behavior. For those exhibiting dominant optimal forms of resistance, supports should scaffold these strategies, especially by providing goal setting and instruction to better equip them to become successful adults and parents. With comprehensive data about each confined adolescent parent, staff would be able to apply policies regarding engagement with children and family in ways that match youth’s needs and strengths. In addition, they could deliver services that would enable adolescent parents to function more optimally in dealing with their confinement experience and their role as parents. A sociocultural approach within this focus would be essential in order to consider cultural variations in parenting and relations with families. According to Soler and colleagues (2006), a critical service that would support visitation between adolescent parents and their children is transportation to and from institutions, when public transportation is not available. This service would enhance the frequency of access that adolescent parents have to their children. Parenting classes serve as an important support for adolescent parents in at least two ways. First, individual parents directly benefit from knowledge about children’s normative development, the impact of separation on children, and ways that they could improve their parenting during points of contact with children. One adolescent father suggested such services should be required:

Adolescent Parents and the Juvenile Justice System

Just keep giving them information. Keep having those parenting classes, you know what I mean? Because all the information they give helps somebody, because it all pertains to a certain different situation somebody is going through. That’s it there. Just keep giving them info. For the guys that have kids, they should make it mandatory that they go to parenting class. (Nurse, 2001, p. 135) Second, having the opportunity to participate in parenting classes provides a sense of community for adolescent parents and, as with the congregate housing idea, could enhance their embracing of their role as parents. Therapeutic Services Consideration of the developmental needs of adolescent parents might point to adaptations in juvenile justice settings. Although not intended specifically for adolescent parents, the state of Missouri has initiated a relationship-based intervention with juvenile inmates in several of its facilities that serve youth who have committed serious crimes (Zavlek, 2005). The intervention centers on the establishment of relationships between staff and youth and among youth that serve to facilitate a process in which each youth comes to terms with the underlying experiences and issues that were related to his/her crime. Youth explore their perceptions of their experiences in their ecological contexts—at home, in the community—and their link to individual acts, a process consistent with Spencer’s ICE perspective (2006). This statewide service delivery model, which includes small settings for confined juveniles, has been cited as a national model (Mendel, 2001): Evaluation research of this relationshipbased model with juvenile offenders

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is underway with emergent findings showing positive outcomes for youth, as well as positive economic impact for the state of Missouri. (Kleitz, Borduin, & Schaeffer, 2010) The Missouri model reflects a growing appreciation of evidence-based community intervention to address antisocial behavior among children and adolescents. One prominent model is Multisystemic Therapy (MST; Henggeler, Melton, Smith, & Schoenwald, 1993; Sheidow & Henggeler, 2005; see Greenwood & Turner, Chapter 23, this volume), which was developed to address limitations in the delivery of mental health services to juvenile offenders. A contextually based program, MST has a focus on relationshipcultivating, family-based methods and intensive treatment. Evaluations of MST have found it to be a vehicle for family preservation and an effective alternative to incarcerating serious juvenile offenders (Henggeler et al., 1993; Sheidow & Henggeler, 2005); indeed, it has been endorsed as a “Blueprint for Violence Prevention” program (Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence, 2010). MST is rapidly expanding, with more than 400 programs in more than 30 states and 10 countries (Henngeler, Schoenwald, Borduin, Rowland, & Cunningham, 2009). A second prominent model also endorsed as a “Blueprint” is Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care (MTFC; Chamberlain & Reid, 1998; see Greenwood & Turner, Chapter 23, this volume), which features intervention services focused on key proximal antecedents of delinquency. The core elements found to be effective with boys or mixed-gender groups—adult supervision, consistent discipline, and involvement in problem solving—have been adapted for girls to include a focus on emotional regulation,

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symptoms of abuse and neglect, and reducing aggression (Chamberlain et al., 2007). Both of these models represent developmentally responsive interventions that could be offered for juvenile offenders who are also parents. (See Greenwood & Turner, Chapter 23, this volume, for a review of evidence-based practice in juvenile justice.) The application of a sociocultural lens in the delivery of services for adolescent parents is essential, so that racial and cultural dimensions in the risk for entry into the juvenile justice system and potential differences in parenting practices are appropriately addressed (e.g., Enos, 2001; Golden, 2005). Services should be tailored to meet the diverse needs of adolescent parents. Moreover, because cultural differences may vary from state to state, services should reflect the local needs of adolescent parents. For example, in some settings, different paths of entry would point to the need for culturally based prevention services. In her small qualitative study, Enos noted that White women found their way to criminal lifestyles through running away, whereas Black women entered such lifestyles through domestic networks, and Latino women through drugs. Possible differences in placement of children with extended family or foster care (e.g., Enos, 2001) might point to variations in the delivery of services to provide familial supports. Reentry is a particularly critical time for adolescent parents and their children. The negotiation of multiple identities shifts to the world outside of detention, with a different set of complexities, each requiring attention. Wrap-around services in the community, including General Educational Development (GED) and job training, vocational skill building, and parenting support, can help them contend with the emotional toll that often accompanies returning home (Inderbitzin, 2009; see Schiraldi, Schindler, and Goliday,

Chapter 20, this volume). MST and MTFC could be adapted for use proactively during this period, potentially helping to reduce recidivism among this population. Finally, juvenile justice staff, both in correctional institutions and communities, need training specific to the needs of adolescent parents and their children (Acoca, 2004; Soler et al., 2006). This training should incorporate basic adolescent development, as well as the development of young children, and the functions and consequences of parenting. In addition, training that incorporates the theories detailed in this chapter [see ICE (Spencer, 2001)] and strategies of resistance (e.g., Craddock, 2007; Robinson & HowardHamilton, 2000; Robinson & Ward, 1991; Ward, 1996) would help staff to understand youth’s experiences through their eyes, and how their identities influence their behaviors; staff, in turn could help youth develop more optimal resistance strategies.

CONCLUSION An ecological approach to understanding the challenges faced by adolescent parents in the juvenile justice system that features the youth’s perspectives (Spencer, 2006) points to multilevel constraints on their ability to fully assume the parenting role and maintain parent–child relationships. Implications reflect the importance of developmentally and socioculturally informed policies and services, including services dedicated to adolescent parents during, after, and as an alternative to, confinement. These offerings might appear to some as preferential treatment, even a “reward” for being an adolescent parent. However, these policies and services have particularly broad resonance: Adolescent parents who leave the juvenile justice system having acknowledged their

Adolescent Parents and the Juvenile Justice System

parenthood, and perhaps even having developed skills to increase their engagement with their children, might well join the ranks of responsible parents in their communities, shoring up their families and others, and demonstrating adaptive ways to integrate their adolescent and parenting identities.

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Juvenile Justice: Advancing Research, Policy, and Practice Edited by Francine T. Sherman and Francine H. Jacobs Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

S ECTION III

UNDERSTANDING YOUTH IN CONTEXT

Juvenile Justice: Advancing Research, Policy, and Practice Edited by Francine T. Sherman and Francine H. Jacobs Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

CHAPTER

10

Parents, Families, and the Juvenile Justice System F R A N C I N E H. J A C O B S , C L A U D I A M I R A N D A -J U L I A N ,

F

or years modern developmental psychology, and perhaps our own experiences as well, convinced us that emotional upheaval— stress, alienation, separation from parents and families in favor of peers—was an inevitable, core feature of adolescence (see, e.g., Elkind, 1998, Erikson, 1986; Zeldin, 2004; see also Lerner et al., Chapter 5, this volume). We now know, however, that this developmental period is much more complex and nuanced: However much drama there may be, the vast majority of teens are also busy building and consolidating a repertoire of positive skills, behaviors, and relationships that will serve them well into their futures (Damon, 2004; Lerner, 2007; Scales, Benson, Leffert, & Blyth, 2000). As to their parents and families, most teens appear to want and need separation and attachment, differentiation and identification (Allen, 2008; Benson, Harris, & Rogers, 1992; Steinberg, 1990).

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RACHAEL KAPLAN

Ecological (e.g., Bronfenbrenner, 1979; Bronfenbrenner & Morris, 2006), developmental systems (e.g., Lerner, 2006), family and general systems (e.g., Bateson, 1979; Minuchin, 1974; von Bertalanffy, 1968), and cultural developmental (e.g., Rogoff, 2003) theory all argue that relationships are central to development and functioning, for our purposes here particularly the relationship between the child or youth and her proximate partners—parents, siblings, and grandparents. The consequences of these relationships begin before birth and continue throughout a child’s life (Shonkoff, Boyce, & McEwen, 2009; Shonkoff & Phillips, 2000). Recent research on brain development (Dahl, 2004; Masten, 2004; Scott & Steinberg, 2008a; Shonkoff et al., 2009) also speaks to the power of context, highlighting the key role played by children’s physical, social, and emotional environments throughout childhood and into adolescence (Scott & Steinberg, 2008b)—in other words, even the teen brain is still maturing. Although approaches to parenting vary across cultures, communities, and generations, the obvious lessons to draw from these lines of research are not surprising: Children need opportunities to connect positively to their parents and families, as do their parents and families to them; they need significant adults in their lives who believe in them and have the material and psychological resources to invest in them



We offer a special measure of gratitude to the parents and advocates who shared their experiences and wisdom with us, including: Grace Bauer, Families of Incarcerated Children, Campaign for Youth Justice; Gina B. Womack, Families and Friends of Louisiana’s Incarcerated Children; Tracy McClard, Campaign for Youth Justice and FORJ-MO (Families and Friends Organizing for Reform of Juvenile Justice in Missouri); Rebecca Kendig, Capital Post Conviction Project of Louisiana; and Vicky L. Gunderson, parent advocate for juvenile justice.

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over the long term. They need guidance, supervision, direction, and protection, as well as respect, expectations, encouragement, and affection. They need to live in communities that support their development and functioning and the adequate functioning of their families. This is a tall order, however, and some parents or communities fall short of filling it. A percentage of these parents become involved with public systems that shore up or extend parental resources or assume parental responsibilities altogether. The child protection, public welfare, and juvenile justice systems are most common, with markedly different roles vis-a-vis families. For example, cash assistance programs administered through public welfare agencies have been characterized as “family preservation” policies because they provide material supports to enable children to remain with their families (Davidson, 1994). Acting as parens patriae—literally, “parent of country,” but in practice the default parent—child protection and juvenile justice agencies, however, have the authority to reconfigure and even dissolve these families. The child protection system, primarily concerned with the consequences of maltreatment, monitors and intervenes in family processes, places children outside their parents’ homes, and, working through the courts, may terminate parental rights altogether. The juvenile justice system is meant to protect public safety, and part of that job is to rehabilitate youthful offenders; it takes physical custody of youthful offenders during their commitment to the system (see Sherman & Blitzman, Chapter 4, this volume). The operating premise here is that inadequate parenting has led to the youth’s delinquency, so that temporary abrogation of parental rights while the youth mends his way, with help from the state, is necessary. But fair is fair, and one could also ask whether the state itself is behaving as would

IN

CONTEXT

a “wise and just parent” (Ayers, 1997), providing what these youth presumably lack, given what we now know about the power of relationships and context, and the possibilities of continued development in adolescence. Does it engage the parents of these youth—with whom, given that parents retain legal custody, it is in de facto partnership—so as to optimize both public safety and the rehabilitation of its charges? Indeed, what does it know about these families altogether, and how does that information inform its practice? These questions are at the heart of this chapter. We begin by locating the juvenile justice system’s orientation to parents historically, and then explore, in broad terms, what is known about parents’ and families’ participation within the system, offering some possible explanations for how it has assumed its current shape and dimensions. We highlight a number of the barriers to increased parent participation, briefly offer strategies to enhance it, and then conclude by noting the limitations of any approach that ignores the material conditions in which many of these families and children live. The chapter attempts to incorporate the perspectives of parents, advocates, and juvenile justice system personnel, using primary data, Web sites of organizations that advocate for families, and comments made by family advocates in informal conversations with the authors. In the spirit of this volume—reformist and strengths-based—we do not focus on the parental and familial risks or deficits (e.g., parental incarceration, inadequate parental monitoring, or child maltreatment in the home) that have contributed, in a significant percentage of cases, to a child’s delinquency. We acknowledge them as potent factors for some youth, and their importance to developing effective prevention and intervention strategies. Our interest here, however, is to suggest an alternative view that

Parents, Families, and the Juvenile Justice System

encourages the system to implement more, and more positive, options for parent and family engagement.

A BRIEF HISTORICAL NOTE The official genesis of modern juvenile justice is commonly set in the Progressive Era, when in 1899 the first juvenile court was established (Feld, 1999; Finley, 2007; Krisberg & Austin, 1993); before that time, children were considered the property of their parents, and were of no particular concern to the courts (Scott & Steinberg, 2008a). Progressive Era reforms concretized the growing conviction within mainstream U.S. culture that a child’s character is not fixed at birth; that childhood is a distinct developmental period; and that children deserve special attention, protection, and dispensation when their behavior falls outside conventional norms. The theory held that well-tended, children would become competent, moral, and responsible adults. Although the changes prompted by Progressives were largely altruistic in intention (Grubb & Lazerson, 1982), and improved circumstances for many delinquent juveniles, they had an unholy underside. First, Black youth, from whom earlier reformist impulses had been largely withheld, continued to be discriminated against in the courts, for example, by confinement in adult prisons (Bell & Ridolfi, 2008). Second, although not all the youth who became involved with the juvenile justice system in the early 20th century were poor, a significant percentage was. Yet the root causes and contexts of the poverty that spawn their often petty offenses (thefts, truancy, vagrancy, etc.) were not addressed, establishing an infelicitous but enduring approach to dealing with the problems of poor children and families (Grubb & Lazerson, 1982; Krisberg &

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Austin, 1993). Third, in adopting the role of parens patriae, the juvenile justice system essentially reinforced prevailing beliefs about the inadequacy of their parents (Ayers, 1997; Feld, 1999; Grubb & Lazerson, 1982; Schwartz, 2003; Scott & Steinberg, 2008a). The courts asserted that the juvenile justice system could, and would, do better. The consequences of the system’s early structures and decisions have remained: Black youth are still poorly served, as, faced with the evidence of disproportionate minority contact (DMC), is well documented, and broadly acknowledged by advocates, policy makers, and researchers (Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice [FACJJ], 2009; Piquero, 2008; see also Bell & Mariscal, Chapter 6, this volume; Holsinger, Chapter 2, this volume). Juvenile justice remains a back-end loaded, “residual” system (Lindsey, 2004; Nelson, 2008; Travis, 2009; see also Schiraldi, Schindler, & Goliday, Chapter 20, this volume), receiving primarily low-income youth who have fallen through gaping holes in other public service systems (e.g., child protective services, education, mental health, public health) that should have responded earlier and better (Maschi, Hatcher, Schwalbe, & Rosato, 2008; see also Beyer, Chapter 1, this volume; Ross & Miller, Chapter 17, this volume). Particularly germane to our discussion, the Progressives’ belief that the stakes involved in proper parenting were too high to leave that task to parents alone, is still apparent in the system’s general appraisal of parents. As Nelson (2008) notes, “most juvenile justice systems are more inclined to ignore, alienate, or blame family members than to enroll them as partners” (p. 10). To underscore the last point, regardless of the prevailing views of delinquent youth, the system has yet to determine whether, and how, to engage parents and families to yield the best results for their children and society at large.

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FAMILY ENGAGEMENT WITH THE SYSTEM: WHAT IS DONE VERSUS WHAT IS KNOWN In 2001, my 13-year-old son—who weighed 90 pounds soaking wet—was adjudicated delinquent and sentenced to five years in a Department of Corrections facility. My son’s crime was stealing a stereo out of a truck with two other boys. At the time, I believed the promises of the probation officer and staff at the juvenile justice department that they would care for my son and get him back on the right track through a program called STOP. I also never asked for an attorney for my son after the probation officer told me an attorney would just stand in the way of my son getting the help the state could provide. I believed my son would have access to treatment to help him deal with the issues he faced. Unfortunately, I could not have been more wrong. . . . My 13-year-old boy had to fight for food and do without when his size failed to hold off other kids suffering from malnutrition and desperation. The education he needed—along with the other nearly 400 kids—consisted of a few worksheets, no certified teachers, and school hours filled not with instruction, but with military-like exercises done in the heat of the south’s brutal summers. The mental health care the family court judge ordered was nonexistent (although it is difficult to see how one could get meaningful mental health treatment in a facility where children live with filth, neglect, and rampant abuse). I eventually learned that the STOP program, which the probation offices said would help, had a 70% recidivism rate. All of this happened five and half hours away from where we lived and

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many times we traveled all five and half of those hours only to be told our son was denied visitors that day or that he was in the infirmary and we would not be able to see him. . . . It wasn’t until I saw the evidence of an assault on my son’s body that I sought the advice of an attorney. By then it was too late. The state now controlled every aspect of my son’s life and I had no say in his treatment or care, nor did I have any power to stop the abuse and neglect of my son. . . . I wish I could say that what happened to my son was a rarity or that we have come so far in the last nine years that these things don’t happen to children anymore. Let me be loud and clear, there is not one week that goes by in the last nine years that I haven’t heard the pain and pleas of other parents in the same or similar situations. (Bauer, 2010) In theory, family participation in juvenile justice system operations is possible at each juncture of the process: at the time of arrest, during intake, during consideration of detention, during the preparation for adjudication, at the time of disposition, during placement (Osher & Hunt, 2002), when youth are on probation at home, and at discharge. There appears to be more participation at certain points in the process (i.e., court hearings) than at others, in part because the law encourages or requires certain types of involvement (Gilbert, Grimm, & Parnham, 2001; Henning, 2006), and not others. But because the data are sparse, we can only offer an impression of how parents are actually engaged with the system. One can think about the range of ways parents are involved in the juvenile justice process along a few critical dimensions: Is the genre of participation mandatory or optional?

Parents, Families, and the Juvenile Justice System

Does it reflect a view of parents as problems or as partners? Is it well or poorly documented in the relevant literature? We address each of these dimensions briefly below. Mandatory Versus Optional The juvenile court has wide latitude to require parents’ participation in its operations, or in other activities meant to enhance parental supervision and promote youth rehabilitation, and to legally sanction parents if they do not comply. Parents can be required, for example, to bring their child to court for his scheduled appearances, attend court hearings, participate in individual therapy or family-oriented treatment with their children, enroll in parenting classes, or undergo psychiatric evaluation (Henning, 2006). In addition, parental liability provisions, both criminal and civil, hold parents legally responsible for the crimes their children commit (Harvell, Rodas, & Hendey, 2004); parents can be fined or incarcerated for “contributing to the delinquency of a minor,” and can be sued to recover damages related to a child’s criminal acts (see Sherman & Blitzman, Chapter 4, this volume). Juvenile courts vary dramatically in parent participation provisions (Harvell et al., 2004), mandating certain kinds of involvement, and recommending others; engaging in family counseling, for example, is often recommended but not required (Gilbert et al., 2001). Parents also have an affirmative right to be involved in some activities (e.g., in educational program planning for children with special needs), and systems encourage but do not require their participation in others (e.g., attending prerelease or reentry planning meetings). Or parents can simply be involved, volitionally, in supportive ways in the lives of their system-involved children (e.g., visiting residential facilities or fostering grandchildren;

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see Pinderhughes, Craddock, & Fermin, Chapter 9, this volume); this voluntary involvement is supported, at least in theory, by some juvenile justice professionals (Davies & Davidson, 2001; see also Peterson-Badali & Broeking, 2009, for a Canadian perspective). A Parents-as-Problems Versus Parents-as-Partners Stance On one end of this continuum sit the legal mandates noted earlier that focus on enhancing parental supervision and monitoring during the rehabilitation of one’s child; implicit is the court’s assessment of these parents as problems, either directly responsible for their children’s delinquency or incompetent to manage their children’s return to a socially sanctioned life. Parenthetically, a number of qualitative studies of system-involved youth suggest that they do not broadly share this view of their parents (see, e.g., Abrams, 2006; Brank & Lane, 2005; Brank, Lane, Turner, Fain, & Sehgal, 2008; Goldson & Jamieson, 2002). These mandates show little respect for the authority the parenting role should confer on decisions regarding their children. Furthermore, paradoxically, these requirements often undermine parents’ ability to meet their parental responsibilities (e.g., losing critical household income pursuant to being required to attend all court proceedings) (Henning, 2006; see also Sherman & Blitzman, Chapter 4, this volume). They stand in contrast to laws protecting parents’ authority that originate outside of the juvenile justice system—for example, a parent’s right to participate in planning an educational program for youth with special needs under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (see Boundy & Karger, Chapter 14, this volume). Farther along this continuum toward viewing parents as partners are the primarily

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therapeutically oriented evidence-based practices and/or programs—approaches that have demonstrated their effectiveness according to demanding research standards (Greenwood, 2008; see also the Blueprints for Violence Prevention Web site www.colorado.edu/ cspv/blueprints/; the Coalition for Evidencebased Policy Web site www.evidencebased policy.org). Embraced by some jurisdictions in the midst of reforming their juvenile justice systems (see Greenwood & Turner, Chapter 23, this volume; Schiraldi, Schindler, & Goliday, Chapter 20, this volume), rather than simply blaming parents for their inadequacies, these interventions acknowledge parents’ risks and challenges, and attempt, for example, to repair family functioning or improve parenting skills. However, these programs also require parents—whose authority is already compromised—to admit to deficits that are implicated in their children’s delinquency. Thus, even by encouraging (and not requiring) parental participation, these programs reinforce the system’s hierarchical position vis-a-vis parents, helping to maintain the structurally uneven and uneasy relationship that often exists between the two groups. This is not to discount the many virtues of these approaches, but even a parent with serious problems that are amenable to these treatments, who is grateful for the opportunity, also probably knows that help offered to her earlier would have been more useful and less demeaning for her to accept. Furthermore, she is aware that the system has not invited the other actors responsible for her child’s delinquency—the school superintendent, the mayor, her neighbors who are overwhelmed themselves and cannot properly supervise their own teenagers, and so forth—into treatment with her. For over two decades, a number of juvenile justice jurisdictions have planned and

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implemented major system reforms to address many and varied shortcomings (see Mendel, 2009, regarding ongoing detention reforms, for example). Some of these efforts include parents by soliciting their participation in needs assessments (see, for example, Luckenbill, 2009, for a review of Pennsylvania’s approach) to imagine a revamped system, more responsive to their children’s needs. This admirable posture is yet farther down the line toward viewing parents as partners, suggesting that system officials see parents as sharing the investment in their children, with points of view worth considering (Luckenbill, 2009). Although it is difficult to discern in available materials, it appears that parents are not frequently represented on bodies that actually develop, implement, and oversee these system overhauls—an action that would level the field that much more; as a number of these systems are in their early stages of reform, indeed, this may be the intention, not yet realized. Of course, only states committed to reform appear even to consider this more reasonable approach to parents. Well Documented Versus Poorly Documented Few aspects of parental involvement in the juvenile justice system are well documented, which may be read, as some suggest, as disrespect for parents. There may be truth to that interpretation, but in addition, the data systems maintained by juvenile justice agencies on all aspects of their functioning are generally considered wanting, and in need of serious updating (see, for example, Busch, 1999; Butts & Roman, Chapter 24, this volume; Schneider & Simpson, Chapter 22, this volume). So what information do we have? At one end of this continuum are publicly available, systematically collected data—by juvenile

Parents, Families, and the Juvenile Justice System

justice agencies or independent researchers— characterizing participation at each phase (e.g., the extent and quality of it, the characteristics of parents who are and are not involved). The recent Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) report on conditions of confinement (Sedlak & McPherson, 2010a) that includes family contact data from a 2003 nationally representative sample of 7,073 youth in custody is a noteworthy example of this kind of information. However, it is a rarity. Reporting comparable data at each phase of potential involvement would move us a great distance toward proper documentation. There is also a limited number of promising studies of parent involvement in court proceedings, which is a genre of information that would be important to have more generally. Davies and Davidson (2001) conducted a large, U.S. national study of court officers in innovative jurisdictions, reporting their observations about parental involvement in court hearings, why they believe parents are or are not involved, and how important they viewed such participation as being. Several recent studies of participation in the Canadian youth court system (see, for example, Broeking & Peterson-Badali, 2010; Peterson-Badali & Broeking, 2009, 2010; Varma, 2007) provide welcomed texture and depth regarding the nature and timing of parental involvement, youth’s beliefs about their parents’ roles, and the relationship of parental involvement to court-related outcomes. We could find nothing comparable conducted in the United States, and currently, no federal mandate exists encouraging the participation of parents in the juvenile justice system within the United States. Unlike the United States, Canada’s federal statues over the past 25 years have increasingly encouraged parental involvement (see Varma, 2007). As to who these parents are, no study we could identify focuses on,

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or even treats in a significant way, their positive attributes—strengths, abilities, and potentialities—although innovations in child and family assessment in a number of state systems may soon yield this view (see, e.g., Shanahan, 2010). One needs to leave the academic literature and turn to Web sites of parent and other advocacy organizations (see, e.g., the Campaign for Youth Justice, www.campaignfor youthjustice.org), descriptions of innovative system reform efforts (e.g., Luckenbill, 2009; Schiraldi, Schindler, & Goliday, Chapter 20, this volume), and coverage of family engagement in the popular press, to find evidence of these stores of human capital. We also know little from the parents’ own perspectives, even within existing literature. While youth’s “voices” increasingly are being heard in the growing collection of fine qualitative studies of this population (e.g., Abrams, 2006; Inderbitzin, 2009; Unruh, PovenmireKirk, & Yamamoto, 2009), parents’ assessments of their own strengths and limitations, their dreams for their children, and their assessments of how the system operates, are generally not available, though there are a few exceptions in that last category (see, e.g., Benner, Mooney, & Epstein, 2003, for a discussion of what parents want for their children while in custody). We could not find discussions about what parents want for themselves, though Bolen, McWey, and Schlee (2008) present such a discussion from the perspective of parents in the child welfare system that may be relevant here as well. However, on the well-documented end of the spectrum, enter “parents of children in the juvenile justice system” in your search engine and you will find hundreds and hundreds of entries that detail parents’ risks and deficits, arrayed across levels of ecology: individual parental characteristics (e.g., limited education, substance abuse, history of incarceration,

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mental illness), family composition characteristics (e.g., single-parent household, multiple children), family circumstances (e.g., residential instability), family functioning (e.g., child maltreatment), parenting styles (e.g., lax monitoring, harsh discipline), and neighborhood characteristics (e.g., poor, underresourced, high crime), considered according to the age, gender, mental health status, and so on, of the youth. This information is necessary and useful—to inform the development, refinement, and evaluation of interventions for delinquent youth and their families, or for those at risk of delinquency. It also is problematic, since it reifies the assumption that the most salient aspects of these parents and families are their deficits, and it suggests a “norm” for focusing research in this way. (See Pelton, 2008, for an insightful discussion of these issues regarding parents in the child welfare system.) The juvenile justice system is likely to continue to concentrate activity at the mandated and parent-as-problems focused ends of these continua; that is in the nature of residual human services systems in which families with significant problems “reside.” And however much juvenile justice data management systems improve, they are unlikely to have the reach or resources to support some of the research we advocate, and so certain processes and aspects of parenting these youth will, understandably for the time being, remain poorly documented. The usefulness of typifying activities according to these dimensions, then, is to illuminate the choices that systems make, hopefully as a prologue to expanding the breadth of system engagement with parents and families to include more of them at the “positive” ends. With these dimensions of involvement in mind (Is it mandated? Does it acknowledge parents as potential partners in their parenting

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roles? Is it addressed in the literature?), we briefly review what is known. Parent Participation in Court Hearings and Interrogation According to several studies, youth are usually accompanied by a parent, or parents, to court hearings. In a national U.S. survey of judges and chief probation officers in “innovative” jurisdictions, Davies and Davidson (2001) found that over two thirds of juveniles’ parents attend their child’s first formal delinquency hearing—a figure lower than the authors expected—and their informants estimate that at least one parent appears across a child’s delinquency hearings between 80% and 90% of the time. Broeking and Peterson-Badali (2010), in a study of the Canadian youth justice system, found somewhat similar findings as those in the United States. Relying on youth selfreport, 87% of their sample indicated that they had a legal guardian involved in their legal cases—most often the mother—but parent participation varied across their sample, and over the phases of system involvement. Almost 50% of parents reportedly were involved to a high or medium extent (at a minimum of three time points); the remainder was involved inconsistently and minimally. In an observational study of courtroom proceedings for youth, Peterson-Badali and Broeking (2010) found that parents were present in 68% of all cases. Varma (2007) observed bail and sentencing hearings, noting a 70.3% participation rate at bail hearings and a 57% rate at sentencing hearings. Reports of parental participation at interrogations range broadly (Woolard, Cleary, Harvell, & Chen, 2008), likely reflecting variation in law, most of which allows youth to be interviewed without a parent present (see Sherman & Blitzman, Chapter 4, this volume).

Parents, Families, and the Juvenile Justice System

Furthermore, parent-child testimonial privilege is rare, so that parents can be made to testify against their children; this may discourage both parental participation in legal procedures, and the provision of parental emotional support to their children more generally (Ross, 2003). There is a small but noteworthy percentage of children who cannot depend on their parents’ presence, support, and/or helpful behavior in any of these activities (see, e.g., Broeking & Peterson-Badali, 2010). Youth in the foster care system are particularly disadvantaged in legal proceedings, appearing more likely to be detained, for less serious offenses, than youth living with their biological families (Conger & Ross, 2001; Ross, 2008; see also Ross & Miller, Chapter 17, this volume).

visit, and of those who had not, about one third reported either that the visiting hours or the distance of the facility from their homes precluded it. Rates of contact varied across types of facilities, with youth in correctional facilities and camps about twice as likely to report low rates of family contact (less than once/week) (39%) than youth in other placements (20%). Only 7% of the youth without any contact reported not wanting it, and 6% reported that it is their family members who were not interested. Parent participation also varies across time, and issue. For example, one seasoned juvenile justice worker noted: Parents maintained close contact during the assessment, because [during that phase] there was more of an introduction to the Department . . . once in secure treatment it felt like “old hat” and parents were less engaged . . . [that is] less contact with staff/program but [they] did keep in touch with the kids. . . . School/education piece was a place where parents had a greater presence . . . (KI1, personal communication, 10/2/09)1

Incarceration Parent involvement during youth incarceration can include participation in educational decisions and treatment sessions, maintaining regular contact with staff, visiting (in person or by phone) (Sedlak & McPherson, 2010a), and providing the support and guidance that parents of adolescents generally offer their children. It can also mean keeping a youth’s interests in mind in the community by maintaining contact with, or caring for, the youth’s own children, or conveying relevant information to medical or educational personnel to aid in the transition back to the community. According to the recent OJJDP report on conditions of confinement (Sedlak & McPherson, 2010a), over 90% of the youth noted that they had been in contact (by phone or visit) with their families since their arrival at their placements (detention facilities, corrections facilities, camps, community-based facilities, and residential treatment programs). Almost two thirds had received an in-person

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This information would be useful for systems to collect and maintain, to help in targeting their efforts to increase specific types of parent participation. Treatment Researchers have been active in this domain of parent involvement. Decades of thoughtful intervention research have yielded a small 1

Key informant (KI) interviews are numbered to protect confidentiality.

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but growing set of options for youth and families at risk of involvement, or already involved, with the juvenile justice system that meet standards for evidence-based practice or programs (EBP) (see, e.g., Blueprints for Violence Prevention Project, www.colorado .edu/cspv/blueprints/; Greenwood & Turner, Chapter 23, this volume, for a detailed discussion). The subset of model Blueprints programs that centrally involve families includes Functional Family Therapy (FFT; see Alexander et al., 1998; Henggler & Sheidow, 2003; Sexton & Turner, 2010) and Multisystemic Therapy (MST; Henggler & Sheidow, 2003; Henggler, et al. 2009; Timmons-Mitchell, Bender, Kisna, & Mitchel, 2006), which are community based, for youth on probation and their families, and Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care (MTFC; see Chamberlain & Mihalic, 1998; Chamberlain, Leve, & DeGarmo, 2007; Zahn, Day, Mihalic, & Tichavsky, 2009), which also operates in communities, with foster parent training and support a key element. Another well-regarded family-oriented program, Family Integrated Transitions (FIT; see Aos, 2004; Drake, 2007), begins in the residential facility in which youth are incarcerated and continues in the community. A range of child and family outcomes has been achieved by these interventions, and Aos, Miller, and Drake (2006) have also established their cost effectiveness (see Anderson & Bogenschneider, 2007; Greenwood, 2008; see also, Greenwood & Turner, Chapter 23, this volume). Recruiting and retaining parents in these programs, when they are not mandated to comply, is a major challenge (Fagan, Hanson, Hawkins, & Arthur, 2008; Mulford & Redding, 2008). Additionally, Greenwood (2008) reports that only a small percentage of eligible youth currently participate in Blueprints-validated treatment programs. This leaves the

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remainder without a family-focused intervention, or in one with unknown or likely fewer effects, though there are also problems with relying too heavily on EBP model programs (see Butts & Roman, Chapter 24, this volume). Even with Blueprints programs, to achieve effects, faithful implementation is critical (Lipsey, 2009) and not always straightforwardly attained (Schoenwald, 2010), and some jurisdictions choose not to incur the training expenses that are related to these efforts (see Greenwood & Turner, Chapter 23, this volume). Probation and Community Reentry As mentioned earlier, a number of effective family-focused treatment programs are community based, implemented during probation and community reentry, and for families engaged in those interventions we have a clear idea of the nature and degree of that system-directed, family involvement. However, few studies offer a more general picture of how families participate with the system and with their children when youth are in the community. Indeed, descriptions of the reentry process often barely mention parents and families (e.g., Mears & Travis, 2004; Zeldin, 2004; see also Hawkins, Vaschchenko, & Davis, Chapter 12, this volume). Youth themselves differ in their perceptions of their parents and families as supports during this phase. A number of studies suggest that many view their family relationships as basically positive. For example, in a multiyear, national evaluation of the Serious and Violent Offenders Reentry Initiative (SVORI), 99% of the young men in the SVORI group (n ¼ 185), and 96% of those in the non-SVORI group (n ¼ 152) reported feeling close to their families, and wanted them involved in their lives (Hawkins, Lattimore, Dawes, & Visher,

Parents, Families, and the Juvenile Justice System

2009). Brank, Lane, Turner, Fain, and Sehgal (2008), in an evaluation of an intensive probation program in California, found the youth across the program and nonprogram groups feeling well supported by their parents, who they saw as genuinely interested in their wellbeing. A recent evaluation of a health access program for youth on parole committed to a juvenile justice agency (Jacobs, Oliveri, & Greenstone, 2009; see also Jacobs, 2007, and Miranda-Julian & Jacobs, 2009), reported that both male and female offenders did what teenagers often do—they sought their parents’ advice in a range of matters related to their health and health care, and reported their parents as being helpful to them (see also Oliveri et al., Chapter 18, this volume). The 51 incarcerated male offenders in the Unruh, Povenmire-Kirk, and Yamamoto (2009) study, imagining their trajectories once back in their communities, appeared to understand well both the potential benefits of, and liabilities to, family support. Over 70% of them viewed strong familial support, both emotional and instrumental, as critical to a successful transition to adulthood, helping them avoid the unlawful behaviors that resulted in system involvement and providing residential stability. Stability in one’s living situation was viewed as particularly critical to their positive development, but was less likely to be offered, when family members were themselves involved in criminal activities. (See Hawkins, Vashchenko, & Davis, Chapter 12, this volume, on the risks of negative social capital of this sort.) However, families of origin figured only marginally in Inderbitzin’s (2009) ethnographic study of five male youthful offenders reentering their home neighborhoods. In the main, it appeared, their families were too troubled to attend to the youth, or had written them off and did not, or could not, provide the

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family support and resources to make a successful transition. A few of these young men, already fathers themselves, focused instead on their own children and parenting and the extent to which they could be good providers and supports. Sullivan’s (2004) ethnographic analysis of the reentry experiences of five young men concluded that incarceration likely hastens normal developmental processes that “end” adolescence and the separation from parents that can accompany the move into adulthood. This developmental note is important to underscore and should modify expectations of the degree of involvement to be expected or sought from parents of older adolescents. Based on this review, it appears that state statutes often determine what is required or requested from parents and families, and the law currently attempts to hold parents accountable for failed involvement with their children in the juvenile justice system. Support for the development and evaluation of theoretically based, empirically driven treatment programs has yielded increasing options for systems to work with parents and families in more helpful and inclusive ways, increasing engagement, though this is primarily confined to states in reform modes. Other than these family-oriented, intervention-focused investigations, reports of how families and parents participate in the system and interact with their children in the many ways that “usual, devoted parents” do are spare.

THE RELATIONSHIP OF RESEARCH TO PRACTICE AND POLICY It is impossible to track the direction of influence between the research and current juvenile justice policy. Does the voluminous body of research on parental deficits and problems

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sharpen and reinforce the system’s focus on deficits and problems? Or perhaps, to effect even incremental change in juvenile justice (a deficit-based legal system, after all) toward a more family-focused orientation, one must investigate deficits, demonstrating the extent to which they are amenable to intervention, on the one hand, and the consequences for youth and public safety if they are not addressed, on the other. Both are likely true. As a general rule, research rarely creates or derails an observable shift in policy, for a host of often-cited reasons pertaining both to the nature of social science research (see Butts & Roman, Chapter 24, this volume) and the nature of the policy-making process (see Bogenschneider, 2006; Jacobs, 2001; Weiss, 1983). On the policy end, competing perspectives and perceptions—political, ideological, economic—exert considerable influence as well, and co-construct policy with research (categorized as the 3 I’s—ideology, interests, and information, by Weiss, 1983). It is best to view applied research as a tool to support, modify, and challenge emerging or existing policy choices, not as the source of the policy or its revision (see Butts & Roman, Chapter 24, this volume, for a comprehensive treatment of this issue in the juvenile justice field). Assessing the extent and nature of actual parental involvement, in all phases of the juvenile justice process, is an empirical task awaiting execution. With the information we have at present, however, our hunch is that there is far more than is documented but less than would be optimal, and for that reason, we proceed to discuss the barriers to parent participation.

BARRIERS TO PARTICIPATION Consistent with our view that increasing the volitional, rather than mandated, types of

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parent participation would best achieve the rehabilitative aim of the juvenile justice system, we focus here on barriers to that sort of participation from the system’s, parents’, and youth’s perspectives. This short list was largely generated through, and multiply corroborated by, data collected from line agency staff and youth (see Jacobs, Oliveri, & Greenstone, 2009), and from informal conversations with advocates; each of these points finds ample support in the research, practice, and advocacy literatures (see, e.g., Garfinkel & Nelson, 2004; Harvell et al., 2004; Varma, 2007). &

&

Lack of accessible, useful information on systems operations. Parents, particularly those without means, are poorly educated about the workings of the court and the system overall. This is, in part, a function of the exigencies of the law, which views the child, not his parents, as the client to be afforded legal counsel (see Sherman & Blitzman, Chapter 4, this volume). One family advocate noted, “Many of them [parents] didn’t understand what their rights were, their kids’ rights. They felt helpless” (Rebecca Kendig, personal communication, 10/8/09). Engagement with the legal system can be intimidating to any individual, and when the system is uninviting and obfuscating, and the stakes are so high, it is difficult for some of these parents to forge ahead. Its underlying assumption of parental responsibility for delinquency. This clear system-delivered message of parental responsibility for their child’s delinquency discourages, paralyzes, and infuriates some parents. As one systeminvolved youth revealed:

Parents, Families, and the Juvenile Justice System

INTERVIEWER: Can you talk to me about what you know about your mom’s involvement with the Department while you were in lockup? YOUTH: None. She hates them. . . . Like the only thing, like when they had to send her papers to sign, that’s about it. She’ll sign them and send them back. . . . But beside that, I don’t think any parent likes the Department because, you know, they have custody of us and the parent feels like, I’m supposed to have full [custody] because I’m the parent. (KI2, personal communication, 4/29/08) &

Its low expectations for parent involvement. Several informants noted that the system’s structure broadcasts the expectation that parents will not be involved much with their children. This expectation, then, is easily validated by a system that does not accommodate parents’ schedules and other responsibilities. For example, residential facilities that are distant and inaccessible, with strict rules about visiting and phone contact, preclude regular involvement (e.g., Travis, 2009). Sedlak and McPherson (2010a) report that, for 59% of youth in custody, it takes an hour or more to travel for a visit, and for 28% of the youth, it takes at least 3 hours. A youth described her parents’ efforts in this regard: . . . My mom didn’t, like my mom doesn’t have her license, she doesn’t have a car, she can’t drive so she really didn’t have a ride to go out [to participate

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in a meeting at the facility], but when she did have a ride, she’d attend my meeting. My dad [with a car] attended every single meeting that I had. (KI3, personal communication, 9/26/08) &

Little staff expertise, or quality training to develop expertise, in working with families. Many system personnel are not inclined to include parents in systemrelated activities that are not mandatory, solicit their input, or provide therapeutically oriented services. One system-based clinician observed that “the Department is not historically good at doing work with families . . . though family therapy was offered, [we] very rarely got participation from the family . . . [it’s] . . . not a strength of the Department” (KI1, personal communication, 10/2/09). Some caseworkers, the clinician noted, have embraced the notion, while others resist, making the “‘bare minimum’ effort to engage with child and family” (KI1, personal communication, 10/2/09). System reformers note this as a particular challenge (Decker, 2010).

On the Parents’ End We take as a given that some parents cannot (e.g., because of significant mental or physical health problems), or should not (e.g., because of a history of serious maltreatment in the home), be involved with their systeminvolved children. Others choose not to be involved. There are two additional factors, however, that many juvenile justice court and

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agency personnel concede, but are not as evident in the public discourse that merit mention. Typically, the daily circumstances of these families’ lives are challenging; they tend to be of low or moderate income, and quite a few of them are single-parent households. So even when required at legal proceedings, some parents, for instance, cannot afford or are not allowed the time off from work. Often, additional child caring responsibilities at home, sometimes including the care of grandchildren whose parents are incarcerated, further constrain their participation. And without supports, many parents are simply overwhelmed by these multiple demands. In addition, the needs of many systeminvolved youth can overwhelm parents, particularly those who are already stressed. A significant percentage of system-involved youth have special needs, estimated at up to 70% (FACJJ, 2009). Grisso (2008) notes that between one half and two thirds meet criteria of at least one mental disorder, and 30% of confined youth indicate that they have a diagnosed learning disability (Sedlak & McPherson, 2010b). Some youth are so difficult—threatening, dangerous, or just trying—that parents sometimes, as one worker put it, “need a break from the kid’s behaviors.” There is also a percentage of youth who terrorize or abuse their parents or other family members (see Baker, Cunningham, & Harris, Chapter 11, this volume). On the Youth’s End Youth, for their part, run the gamut from wanting their parents involved to wanting them excluded to not expecting much one way or the other. Those whose parents have maltreated them, or whose family relationships are conflicted, often prevent family members from participating (Miranda-Julian & Jacobs, 2009; Varma, 2007). Some youth would rather

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not have their parents, siblings, and/or children hear the case against them in court, or see them incarcerated. “Kids will tell parents not to visit and they won’t. . . . [The kids] don’t want [their parents] to see them in a place like that” (KI4, personal communication, 10/2/09). They can be concerned that parents will be angry and disappointed in them (Broeking & Peterson-Badali, 2010; Gilbert et al., 2001), an assumption that, indeed, is sometimes correct. Youth may be less likely to encourage parental involvement if they believe that their parents will be judged or found culpable. Abrams (2006), for example, found that some youth would not participate in familyoriented treatment if it meant that they had to accept that premise of parental responsibility for their delinquency. Finally, establishing some degree of independence and autonomy from one’s parents during adolescence is a common goal for many adolescents and is no less the case for system-involved youth. When youth return home, or are placed on probation, the amount of supervision parents seek, or are required by the courts to provide, is often more than what youth experienced in their homes at earlier points, leading to tension in the home. As one youth noted: INTERVIEWER: Does your mom have any involvement [with the probation office]? YOUTH: Yeah, when I do something bad, she always calls them and tells them. INTERVIEWER: And how does that make you feel? YOUTH: Mad. INTERVIEWER: Do you wish there were more involvement by your mom or less involvement? YOUTH: No, less . . . because I don’t want my mom to, like, get me in trouble (KI5, 4/29/08).

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To the extent that these barriers to increasing parental involvement seem insurmountable, one response would be to shore up the state’s capacity, on its own, to manage these responsibilities for the youth under its authority. We consider that option next.

THE STATE AS PARENT, REPRISED: CAN IT DO THE JOB? Tracy’s son, Jonathan, who had just turned 17, committed suicide in January 2008, while in custody. At the time Jonathan committed his crime and was arrested, he was extremely depressed and was immediately sent to a juvenile psychiatric hospital. At the hospital he was evaluated and put on medication. It took Tracy an entire day of making calls to locate her son at the hospital. No one called to let her know where he had ended up or to ask for parental input into his assessment. . . . Tracy was not consulted about medication or treatment planning. Jonathan stayed at the hospital for two weeks. Visitation was strict, based on the discretion of the head nurse, and confined to certain hours. With Tracy and her family living 3½ hours away, making these visits was very difficult, so she was limited to what she was able to learn (for example, what medications he was taking, how he was doing) when she called to check in. After two weeks, Jonathan was moved back to juvenile detention. He reported that he was hallucinating and “saw blood running down the walls.” Tracy immediately spoke to the staff, who told her that they could not change the medication without a consult from the psychiatric hospital doctor. Tracy advocated for Jonathan to receive an appointment with his own physician. She asked to be told when the appointment was scheduled so she could attend, provide history, and support her son, but this was not done, and he saw the physician without her. When Tracy called the physician, he told her that

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he agreed Jonathan was on too much medication, but that the facility was not going to change the dose, so Jonathan was going to have to learn to deal with it. Jonathan was then transferred to a facility in another county, without Tracy’s being informed, and was assigned a counselor from an outside agency. He reported to his mom that he would see her for about 10 minutes per week. The counselor also believed that Jonathan was overmedicated, but was unable to have the dosage changed. Tracy had no say about medication—no rights. And she was told nothing about his placement or treatment without her initiating the contact. Jonathan was certified as an adult after five weeks in juvenile detention and moved to an adult county jail, where he was removed from all medication without being detoxed. He killed himself then, six months after committing his crime. Whereas the family did not receive any calls while Jonathan was in detention, they received multiple calls following his suicide (T. McClard, personal communication, 9/23/09). While the catastrophic ending to this tragic story is not a frequent occurrence, Tracy’s experience with the system—the amount of engagement she was offered, the system’s obvious disregard of her devotion to her son—is not all that unusual, a reminder that the assumptions the system holds, and the decisions it makes, have real consequences for youth and families. Progressive Era reformers claimed that the state, embodied in the juvenile justice system, was willing and able to assume the role of the kind and just parent—the ordinary, devoted parent (Schwartz, 2003). Having appropriated through parens patriae a large measure of parental prerogative when deemed necessary, it is reasonable, then, to assess the extent to which the system is positioned to, and has actually acted, responsibly—as parents are expected to do—toward the youth in its custody. Ayers

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(1997), articulating a common sentiment, thinks not: [The Juvenile Court] has become, by all accounts, an unfit parent—unable to see children as full and threedimensional beings or to solve the problems they bring with them through the doors, incapable of addressing the complicated needs of families. . . . The law is a blunt instrument. As a solution to most problems it is severely limited, and the intervention of the law often causes more harm than good. (p. xvi) The bifurcated nature of its mission promoting both social control and social welfare is a central cause of its ineptitude. Juvenile justice, as a legal system, can monitor adjudicated youth—through detention, incarceration, and community-based supervision—and can at times require them to receive particular services while in its physical custody. It can mandate certain behaviors on the part of parents, circumscribe aspects of the manner in which parents and children interact, and sanction when its dictates are ignored (Gilbert et al., 2001; Henning, 2006; see also Sherman & Blitzman, Chapter 4, this volume). However, promoting social welfare, with rehabilitation being a core vehicle, necessarily exercises a different set of muscles. However sympathetic court personnel may be to the circumstances surrounding a youth’s delinquency, they acknowledge that the actions at their disposal fail to address the complex problems that led to that system involvement (Ayers, 1997; Gilbert et al., 2001; see also Sherman & Blitzman, Chapter 4, this volume); among these are poverty, poor-quality public services, dangerous neighborhoods, and so forth. Those problems remain to greet youth

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when they reenter communities after incarceration. The rehabilitative services at the system’s disposal are often located in distant residential facilities rather than in communities and are, wherever they are offered, often limited in number and of varied quality. Moreover, system personnel are more comfortable in the role of monitor than guide (Schwartz, 2003). Ultimately, the system cannot make a long-term investment in its charges, as would a usual, devoted parent, providing supports and guidance over time, even past the period of legal authorization, to help youth maintain a safe lifestyle. In fact, positive youth development (PYD) advocates would argue that promotion efforts should occur before there is an identified or even incipient problem, assuming the strengths of individuals and communities as a starting point, and working to enhance them (Lerner, 2009; Lerner, Brentano, Dowling, & Anderson, 2002). This is, after all, how most parents approach their own children—not waiting for deficits to appear, but rather attempting to provide a nurturing context in which to optimize their children’s well-being. This disposition is surely not evident across the juvenile justice system, although PYD is surfacing as an orientation in an increasing number of jurisdictions and system-related literature (see Butts, Bazemore, & Meroe, 2010; Schwartz, 2003; see also Schiraldi, Schindler, & Goliday, Chapter 20, this volume). Moreover, organizationally the system is a difficult one to manage—a complex and cumbersome patchwork (see Farrell & Myers, Chapter 21, this volume; Ross & Miller, Chapter 17, this volume) of public and private agencies, and a range of residential institutions, operating at local and state levels of government, representing numerous professional disciplines and training (Sedlak & McPherson, 2010a). In addition, a large percentage of the

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youth and families served by the system are involved with other state agencies—most notably, child welfare and education. For positive results to accrue, an intensive level of cooperation and collaboration, both during the youth’s incarceration and afterward, is necessary though unlikely. The fruits of the state’s intervention are not impressive. Rearrest and recommitment rates vary, depending on the population and the period of time being considered, but in all cases are significant. For example, recidivism rates for youth in detention have been reported as up to 70% 1-year postincarceration (Holman & Zeidenberg, 2007). Few other publicly funded “programs” could expect to survive such a dismal showing. Parents, however, are seen as incompetent or worse when their efforts to supervise and monitor their children are assessed by these same measures. In his brilliant critique of the U.S. child welfare system, Lindsey (2004) characterizes it as a “residual system”—a court of last resort— in that: (a) services are withheld until problems are undeniably critical; (b) parenting failure is the ticket of admission; (c) services are ameliorative, not curative; and (d) the clients are involuntary, and the supervision and services are mandated. Lindsey concludes that the failure of such a system, with many poor or disadvantaged children and families, disproportionately of color, with extensive needs and limited draw on public sympathy, is virtually guaranteed. The parallels between child protection and juvenile justice are many and obvious. Both are residual systems, and juvenile justice is perhaps even more so (FACJJ, 2009; Maschi et al., 2008; Ross, 2008), since child welfare agencies can transfer troublesome youth out, into juvenile justice. Both hold immense power over families viewed as having failed in their child rearing; the fact that many of them actually have fallen

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short and do need monitoring and intervention does little to create an easy or collaborative relationship between them and public agency personnel. Both systems are underfunded and undervalued, doubtless in part because of the profile of their clientele. As currently structured, they are both bound to fail. So it turns out that the juvenile justice system is no better able to responsibly parent these youth than are their own parents, though in individual cases it protects, guides, and rehabilitates youth admirably, employing many dedicated individuals committed to their charges. What, then, can be done to develop and sustain the critical partnerships between parents and systems that youth need? The Next Generation of Parent Involvement It is beyond the scope of this chapter to offer specific strategies—in the forms of particular therapeutic interventions or revisions to juvenile justice law, for example—to improve this situation. Rather, keeping the dimensions of involvement noted earlier in mind, we present a few broad recommendations that exemplify how we might extend parent participation in more positive directions, and enhance the system’s capacity to document it. &

Redefine how parental participation or involvement is conceptualized, operationalized, and represented in the literature. The system needs to look past the genre of activities it can mandate, or even encourage, to credit and support the numerous other ways that parents are or could be engaged with the system, with their children or on their children’s behalf, during system-involvement. It should also encourage parent involvement in policy-setting decisions.

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&

The absence of a robust, broad, and methodically diverse literature on parents and families in juvenile justice is not only a strategic problem for the system—complicating its capacity to plan more effectively. It is also a major problem for parents and families, as they seek a measure of additional control and power over the course and nature of their children’s lives. Since so little is expected of them, not documenting more accurately what they actually do within the system allows stereotypical images to prevail. Nor are parents portrayed in the available research as complete human beings, with strengths as well as deficits, dreams for themselves and their children, and pride and concern about their neighborhoods, their schools, and so forth. This list of holes in the literature is long, and the field requires support for ethnographic studies, other qualitative studies, upgraded management information systems to include parent participation data in all phases of systems-operations, and so forth, to set it right. Maintain a full range of family-oriented, community-based supports for parents and families of youth currently involved with the system. This requires building up the less intensive, less deficit-based, less therapeutically oriented end of the spectrum—peer support and parent education programs. Although not necessarily validated by EBP measures, these offer opportunities to meet other parents in similar circumstances, to share resources and problems, to enhance parenting skills and knowledge, and to learn about the juvenile justice system. These

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programs may be attractive to parents, as they are often peer led, and their structures allow for more flexibility in content and delivery; chosen wisely, they can be useful to families. Exploit the “reform” spirit that is currently afoot to bring parents into the center of the system. Over the past decade, dozens of jurisdictions have initiated system reform. Dissatisfaction with parent and family participation does not appear as a major driver of these reforms, though opportunities for more, and more respectful, family engagement have accompanied some of them. For example, partly in the service of reducing residential placements, Missouri and Washington, DC, have worked to include parents, in meaningful ways, in each phase of the process—from assessment to community reentry (Decker, 2010; see also Schiraldi, Schindler, & Goliday, Chapter 20, this volume). New York and Pennsylvania have recently completed planning processes that have solicited serious family input (Luckenbill, 2009; Travis, 2009). California and Ohio have introduced assessment processes that, by considering the strengths that parents bring, may end up giving families a more central role in their youth’s rehabilitation. Whatever the specific target of the reform, families can and should be viewed in most cases as a potential gateway to change for youth. Increasing reliance on community residential placements is a hallmark of current system reform, and is among those with the greatest potential impact on family involvement. Missouri, for example, has virtually

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eliminated distant secure residential facilities in favor of small, community facilities and community-based probation programs (Decker, 2010; Nelson, 2008; Travis, 2009). This structure facilitates parent and family participation that a lack of transportation and time might undermine; it also conveys to the youth and their families that they are still members of that community—redeemable and valuable. Support the efforts of parent and family advocacy organizations, and of advocacy groups dedicated to system change, more broadly. Although not a feature of the juvenile justice system, these organizations are indispensible allies to families; among the many worthy of notice are the Campaign for Youth Justice (www.campaignforyouthjustice.org), the National Juvenile Justice Network (www.njjn.org), the Coalition for Juvenile Justice (www.juvjustice.org), the National Center on Education, Disability, and Juvenile Justice (www .edjj.org), and the Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights (www.pacer.org), and state-based organizations such as Family and Friends of Louisiana’s Incarcerated Children (www.fflic.org), and Families & Allies of Virginia’s Youth (www.favyouth .org). Until recently, they were virtually the only voice for families and have provided information and support to thousands. In addition, these groups have helped win significant battles for incarcerated youth—for example, the closing of the notorious Talullah Correctional Center for Youth in Louisiana. Although sometimes seen as a thorn in the side of the system, in

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fact their activities are arguably helpful to the system as well, agitating from the outside in a way that reformers on the inside cannot easily do (see Majone, 1989). The value of these organizations cannot be overstated. The juvenile justice system has a long way to go to include families and children more centrally, and more respectfully, but there are some early signs that it is moving in the right direction. Now, the correct question to ask is whether it can reasonably be expected to achieve what it increasingly knows it must.

CONCLUSION An often-heard criticism of the wave of family-oriented reforms in child protection in the 1990s was that the system was placing too many high expectations of participation and quick remediation on the backs of systeminvolved families—not because they were perceived to be so strong and capable, but because they were so weak and disempowered that they could not resist what amounted, simply, to a transfer of collective responsibilities from all of us to them. A similar caution should be offered here. The reforms described earlier are promising and exciting, initiated by forwardfacing, well-meaning reformers. But to the extent that parents and families play a figural role in these reforms, we must acknowledge the limitations they, as well as the juvenile justice and other public systems, encounter in trying to achieve the transformational change many of these youth need. One of the core features of a residual system (Lindsey, 2004) is that the problems its children and families exhibit are truly residual. More advantaged families, living in more advantaged communities, have the resources to

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take care of them earlier and often in private— for example, buying babysitting or after-school care to get a break from caretaking, or enrolling a child in a private school for children with serious emotional problems. Indeed, a particularly cruel consequence of the residual nature of juvenile justice is that aspects of the youth’s circumstances that are notrelatedtocriminalbehavior per sesometimes act as the rationale for system involvement. For example, the 2009 report on the New York juvenile justice system (Travis, 2009) found that many judges incarcerate less advantaged youth (as opposed to their wealthier counterparts) to obtain for them the mental health services they need—a practice that appears to be widely implemented. Girls who are involved in the commercial sex trade are sometimes detained and incarcerated because no alternative treatment or rehabilitation facilities are available, and judges believe this to be the best available option for keeping them safe (see Sherman & Goldblatt Grace, Chapter 16, this volume). And some parents willingly facilitate their children’s entry into the system, believing either that it will be able to help their children with personal problems, or simply that it will keep them away from the exigent dangers of the street (see, e.g., Bauer, 2010). Although the system does provide a measure of safety or treatment to some that is unavailable to them otherwise, system involvement and youthful incarceration may begin a process that ends with adult criminality, not diversion from it—the inadvertent payment the system exacts for the measure of relief it offers. One parent advocate explains: I would . . . talk to various family members . . . the same families that the Department said didn’t care about their kids. And they were crying about what was happening to their kids . . . the family was often looking

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for support . . . a child being ungovernable, looking [for help] in the community. So they were told to turn their kids over to the state, then the kids got caught in the system. The kids weren’t necessarily receiving services, [they got in trouble], then they received more charges in the facility and got more time. So they were in for a short time and ended up with a long period [sentence] (G. Womack, personal communication, 10/9/09). In the end, residual systems are premised on individual parental failure (see Nelson, 1984) and pathology and reflect a “privileged” narrative. This narrative—here, the dominant story of how youth become violent or otherwise delinquent—implicitly congratulates families without such children as being superior; that these superior families are also, as a rule, wealthier than those in the juvenile justice and child protection systems—and whiter, too—is rarely mentioned. It flies in the face of the ecological theories of development proposed in the beginning of this chapter and throughout this volume. Yet it is an appealing story, requiring no attention to the embarrassingly wide inequities in economic resources among families, or to the stubbornly enduring vestiges of racism and discrimination with which most of the families in the juvenile justice system contend. While there are doubtless youth and parents who must alter their behavior in significant ways to live productive lives in their communities, and public systems that can and should facilitate those changes, until these core issues are acknowledged, the wholesale improvements needed for families and children in the juvenile justice system will be difficult, if not impossible, to attain. In 1899, just as the first juvenile court was being established, the eminent educator, John

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Dewey, threw down a gauntlet to the schools that is relevant to juvenile justice as well; it remains yet unclaimed over a century later: “What the best and wisest parent wants for his own child, that must the community want for all of its children. Any other ideal [for the schools] is narrow and unlovely; acted upon it destroys our democracy” (Dewey, 1915, p. 7). REFERENCES Abrams, L. S. (2006). Listening to juvenile offenders: Can residential treatment prevent recidivism? Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 23(1), 61–85. Alexander, J., Barton, C., Gordon, D., Grotpeter, J., Hansson, K., Harrison, R., . . . Sexton, T. (1998). Functional family therapy: Blueprints for violence prevention, book three. Blueprints for Violence Prevention Series (D. S. Elliott, Series Ed.). Boulder, CO: Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence, Institute of Behavioral Science, University of Colorado. Allen, J. P. (2008). The attachment system in adolescence. In J. Cassidy & P. R. Shaver (Eds.), Handbook of attachment: Theory, research, and clinical applications (2nd ed., pp. 419–435). New York, NY: Guilford Press. Anderson, C., & Bogenschneider, K. (2007). A policymaker’s guide to effective juvenile justice programs: How important are family approaches? In K. Bogenschneider & H. Normandin (Eds.), Costeffective approaches in juvenile and adult corrections: What works? What doesn’t? (Wisconsin Family Impact Seminar Briefing Report). Madison: University of Wisconsin Center for Excellence in Family Studies. Aos, S. (2004). Washington State’s Family Integrated Transitions Program for Juvenile Offenders: Outcome evaluation and benefit-cost analysis. Retrieved from Washington State Institute for Public Policy Web Site: www.wsipp.wa.gov/rptfiles/04–12–1201.pdf Aos, S., Miller, M., & Drake, E. (2006). Evidence-based public policy options to reduce future prison construction, criminal justice costs, and crime rates. Olympia, WA: Washington State Institute for Public Policy. Ayers, W. (1997). A kind and just parent. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.

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Parents, Families, and the Juvenile Justice System and other secure facilities. Baltimore, MD: Annie E. Casey Foundation, Juvenile Justice Policy Institute. Inderbitzin, M. (2009). Reentry of emerging adults: Adolescent inmates’ transition back into community. Journal of Adolescent Research, 24(4), 453–478. Jacobs, F. (2001). What to make of Family Preservation Services evaluations (Discussion Paper CS-70). Chicago, IL: Chapin Hall Center for Children. Jacobs, F., Oliveri, R., & Greenstone, J. (2009). Massachusetts Health Passport Project Evaluation: Final report. Medford, MA: Tufts University. Jacobs, L. (2007). Theories of health and health care: Understanding the thoughts, concerns, and preferences of boys in the juvenile justice system (Unpublished master’s thesis). Medford, MA: Tufts University. Krisberg, B., & Austin, J. F. (1993). Reinventing juvenile justice. Newbury Park, CA: Sage. Lerner, R. M. (2006). Developmental science, developmental systems, and contemporary theories of human development. In R. M. Lerner (Ed.), Handbook of Child Psychology. Volume 1: Theoretical models of human development of (6th ed., pp. 1–17). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. Lerner, R. M. (2007). The good teen: Rescuing adolescents from the myths of the storm and stress years. New York, NY: Crown. Lerner, R. M. (2009). The positive youth development perspective: Theoretical and empirical bases of a strength-based approach to adolescent development. In C. R. Snyder & S. J. Lopez (Eds.), Oxford handbook of positive psychology (2nd ed., pp. 149–163). Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. Lerner, R. M., Brentano, C., Dowling, E. M., & Anderson, P. M. (2002). Positive youth development: Thriving as the basis of personhood and civil society. New Directions for Youth Development, 95, 11–30. Lindsey, D. (2004). The welfare of children (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. Lipsey, M. W. (2009). The primary factors that characterize effective interventions with juvenile offenders: A meta-analytic overview. Victims and Offenders, 4, 124–147. Luckenbill, W. (2009). Family involvement in Pennsylvania’s juvenile justice system. Report prepared by the Subcommittee of the Mental Health/Juvenile Justice workgroup for Models for Change Pennsylvania, and the Family Involvement Workgroup of the Pennsylvania Council of Chief Juvenile Probation

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Juvenile Justice: Advancing Research, Policy, and Practice Edited by Francine T. Sherman and Francine H. Jacobs Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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Violence Within Families and Intimate Relationships L I N D A L. B A K E R , A L I S O N J. C U N N I N G H A M ,

C

hild and youth maltreatment and exposure to interparental violence are serious public health and social welfare problems (Gilbert et al., 2009). Adolescence, more than any other developmental stage, represents a potential confluence of multiple types of interpersonal violence: child maltreatment, domestic violence, and youth violence. Youth may be abused or witness violence in the family and, compared with younger siblings, are at substantially greater risk of exposure to violence outside the family, including dating violence, sexual victimizations, assaults causing injury, and peer assaults (Finkelhor, Turner, Ormrod, & Hamby, 2009). National estimates in the United States indicate that more than 70% of youth aged 14–17 reported being assaulted during their lifetimes, and some will experience more serious forms of violence (e.g., sexual victimizations). The pattern of exposure differs for younger youth (10–13 years). While experiencing less serious violence overall, they had the highest levels of serious violence in certain categories (e.g., assaults with a weapon, usually a knife) and were the most likely to witness intimate partner violence or a family assault (Finkelhor et al., 2009). The burden of victimization on the young is intensified because many who are affected by violence within or outside the family experience repeated exposures to multiple types of

AND

K I M B E R L Y E. H A R R I S

violence, as well as co-occurring adversities (e.g., parents with mental illness or substance abuse difficulties) (Felitti et al., 1998; Finkelhor et al., 2009). Recurring victimization from violence in the family, along with its resultant disruptions, and frequent coexisting adversities in the sociofamilial context (e.g., parent criminality, neighborhood violence, media violence), increase the likelihood of negative trajectories for youth (Margolin & Vickerman, 2007). These trajectories are associated with health problems (e.g., KendallTackett, 2002), mental health difficulties (e.g., Fergusson, Boden, & Horwood, 2008; Margolin & Vickerman, 2007), school difficulties (e.g., Lansford et al., 2007), delinquency (e.g., Smith & Thornberry, 1995), and increased risk for youth violence (e.g., Maas, Herrenkohl, & Sousa, 2008). Even family violence that begins in adolescence can be associated with poor outcomes like perpetration of violence by youth (Fagan, 2005; Rebellon & Van Gundy, 2005). People who work in the juvenile justice system are likely to meet young people who have experienced, or perpetrated, violence in their families (Baker & Jaffe, 2003; see Beyer, Chapter 1, this volume). Some youth fall into both categories. Sometimes this violence is reflected in the charges or conviction. A substantial number of youth in the United States, 223

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one fourth of all juveniles who committed an assault reported to law enforcement in 2004, aggress against a victim with whom they have a domestic relationship: 51% victimized a parent; 24% victimized a sibling, and 11% victimized an intimate partner (Snyder & McCurley, 2008). For other youth, the violence may not have come to the attention of authorities or may not have even been disclosed by the youth. Even compared with other crime categories that go underreported, domestic abuse against family and intimates is likely to be hidden because of the associated fear and shame ( Jouriles et al., 2008). In consequence, youth in the justice system can carry the burden of coexisting adversity and repeated and multiple victimizations regardless of the behavior that brings them into conflict with the law. For example, a youth convicted of theft may also be violent toward her mother. A youth convicted of a peer assault may also be abusive to his intimate partner. Family violence is usually a tightly held secret for family members (Fantuzzo, Mohr, & Noone, 2000). Many children perpetuate the secrecy by presenting as “normal” because fitting in and being accepted is important. They may know instinctively or they may have been warned that bad things will happen if the world learns the family secrets (Cunningham & Baker, 2011). As a result, children exposed to family violence are often not easily identified as in need of help by friends, teachers, and others they may come into contact with. The shame and secrecy cuts them off from people who could support them or recognize that a problem exists. The juvenile justice system presents opportunities, although they are challenging, to intervene to increase safety, to address the impacts of victimization, and to interrupt the cycle of violence. Some may feel the

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opportunity for effective intervention has passed by the time a youth comes into the justice system. While prevention and intervention in the earliest stages of life is critical, we believe that it is important to intervene at all stages and that at no point is it too late. Intervention to reduce risk and mitigate harmful effects, no matter how many adverse experiences have preceded them, could halt the progressively cumulative impact of multiple adversities and ultimately reduce perpetration against others. We will start with a discussion of family violence and its correlates and how, together, they might create pathways for young victims into the justice system. Though intricately interacting with cooccurring adversities, our focus will be on family violence, knowing that other chapters in this volume go into depth on many of these other risks. Understanding family violence, its correlates, and its linkages to delinquency, especially youth violence, will inform the concluding discussion on the implications for practice.

FAMILY VIOLENCE AND ADOLESCENT CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR In reviewing empirical studies on child maltreatment, Gilbert et al. (2009) conclude that both retrospective and prospective studies (e.g., Lansford et al., 2007) suggest strong evidence for a link between childhood abuse and later criminal behavior. For example, in one large population sample, more than half of the maltreated children had later contact with the juvenile justice system (Loeber et al., 2005; Stouthamer-Loeber, Loeber, Homish, & Wei, 2001). Childhood maltreatment (physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect) is one of the various forms of family violence, a category

Violence Within Families and Intimate Relationships

that also includes sibling abuse, youth-toparent abuse, and interparental violence. Multiple studies have documented how these types of family violence often coexist in the same family (e.g., McDonald, Jouriles, Tart, & Minze, 2009), meaning that few youth are exposed to, experience, or perpetrate only one type of family violence. For example, in the ongoing adverse childhood experiences (ACE) series of studies, children who were exposed to male violence against a mother were highly likely to have experienced several other types of abuse along with other adverse circumstances and events (Dong et al., 2004). We also know that many abused children are exposed to violence outside their homes, including criminal victimization (Finkelhor et al., 2009). Family violence has been associated with deleterious effects at each stage of child development and in all domains of a young person’s life: emotional, behavioral, social, health, academic, relationship, vocational (Cunningham & Baker, 2007). The effects of family violence may be readily observable (e.g., distress, injury) or manifest in less obvious ways (e.g., influencing attitudes and beliefs about the world and others). The effects can be immediate, delayed, or long term, cutting across developmental stages (see Beyer, Chapter 1, this volume). Impact is understood to vary according to the type of violence/abuse, the relationship between the victim and abuser, and the characteristics of the violence (Edleson, 2004; Fantuzzo & Mohr, 1999). Outcomes may be moderated by the family and broader social context (e.g., socioeconomic factors, quality of the parent–child bond, social support) and mediated by the characteristics of the young person (e.g., attributions, coping, developmental stage, cognitive ability, gender). While research has identified a range of potential effects associated with living

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with family violence, the impacts for given individuals can vary widely, even for siblings experiencing similar types of family violence within the same familial and societal context (Skopp, McDonald, Manke, & Jouriles, 2005). Accordingly, interventions need to be individualized in response to the needs of each youth. Figure 11.1, developed by Cunningham and Baker (2004), summarizes the variables hypothetically associated with the impact of family violence and corresponding categories of intervention strategies. A variety of causal explanations have been put forward to account for the impact of family violence and other adversities on child and adolescent outcomes. Each explanation has distinct implications for the level and target of intervention, from cognitive-behavioral therapy for youth, to mandatory arrest for intimate partner violence with compulsory batterers’ intervention, to social change to increase economic and political equality for women. For example, general strain theory (Agnew, 2001) suggests that strains or stressors increase the likelihood of negative emotions like anger and frustration. These emotions then exert pressure for corrective action for which crime is a potential response. Other research has put forward deficits in socialinformation processing as a causal mechanism whereby children raised in adverse conditions go on to show sociocognitive deficits (e.g., they attribute hostile intent in neutral or accidental social events, have difficulty generating alternative solutions to problems), show cognitive distortions (e.g., hitting is an effective way to get a person to acquiesce), and have a capacity for empathy that is compromised (Crick & Dodge, 1996; Khan & Cooke, 2008). Finally, perhaps the most common mechanism purported to explain violent behavior in violence-exposed youth is social

Physical Sexual Emotional

Father to mother Mother to father Child maltreatment by father Child maltreatment by mother Maltreatment of siblings by one or both parents Abuse among siblings

Duration Frequency Severity Recency Etc.

MODERATED BY

Source: Cunningham and Baker, 2004, p. 4.

CHILD SAFETY Minimize or eliminate child's contact with violence & abuse • Criminal justice response • VAW advocacy • Child protection services • Legal services

• • • • •

3. Characteristics of Violence







• • •

2. Abuser/Victim Relationship

• • •

Intervention



• •















• •



• • • •

FAMILY CONTEXT Socioeconomic factors Quality of parent–child bond Parenting skill Relationship of male partner to child Social support (e.g., extended family) Parental mental health Alcohol/substance use of parent Level of nonviolent interparental conflict Residential safety & stability Parental resources (e.g., education, employment MEDIATED BY skills) Level of emotional or physical neglect of child Abuse by someone outside nuclear family (e.g., uncle, teacher) Exposure to community violence Absences for parental incarceration Cultural factors Emigration/immigration stress War/political violence

FAMILY SUPPORT Decrease harmful & increase helpful contextual factors • Advocacy • Professional and informal supports

Intervention

1. Type of Violence/Abuse

Figure 11.1 Variables Hypothetically Associated With Impact of Family Violence

Infant/toddler Preschooler School-aged child Adolescent



• • •

• • • • •

Cognitive ability Special needs Temperament Gender Etc.

4. Other Qualities of Child

3. Age of Child at (any) Intervention

2. Number of Developmental Stages Spanned by Violence

• • • •

1. Age at Onset of Violence (i.e., developmental stage)

Type and level determined by:

CHILD ATTRIBUTION & COPING

CHILD SUPPORT Devise developmentally sensitive intervention Assessment Reframe coping Heal mother–child bond Trauma therapy

Intervention

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PREDICTS

OUTCOMES* Emotional Behavioural Social Health Academic Relationship Vocational

NB: Interparental violence may also be positioned as a moderator variable or a dependent variable (i.e., effect).

* In the literature, we found studies that positioned interparental violence as either the correlate or cause of these outcomes: adaptive behavior skills, aggression to siblings, alcoholism, animal abuse, antisocial behavior, anxiety, attitudes condoning male-to-female violence, carrying a gun, concerns about becoming a parent, criminal victimization, depression, dysfunctional emotional regulation, early onset of intercourse, having 30 or more sexual partners, hopelessness, fights at school, health problems, reduced IQ, life satisfaction, male involvement in teen pregnancy, marital dissatisfaction, obesity, parenting skill deficits, posttraumatic stress disorder, posttraumatic stress symptoms, preparenthood concerns, psychiatric symptoms, psychopathy, reading skill deficits, school performance, self-esteem, social competence, smoking, substance abuse, suicide attempts, unhappiness, unintended pregnancy, and violence toward dating partners and spouses.

3. As Adult

2. In Subsequent Childhood Developmental Stages

1. Immediate

• • • • • • •

Violence Within Families and Intimate Relationships

learning theory, which suggests that individuals learn through observing and modeling after the behavior of others (Bandura, 1973). The family is the child’s primary social context, and parents are powerful models across developmental stages. Learning acquired from family life continues to influence a child’s behavior, even when peers take on an increasingly powerful role. From this perspective, youth living with intimate partner violence may observe disrespectful attitudes and abusive behavior by one parent toward the other. If the parental model appears to be rewarded in some way for instrumental aggression (i.e., gets what he wants, experiences power), it is more likely the youth will imitate the aggression (e.g., against a younger sibling or peer). If the youth’s abusive behavior (e.g., bullying) is rewarded, especially intermittently, then the behavior is strengthened and may be incorporated into the youth’s repertoire. Problem solving, coping strategies, or roles modeled in homes characterized by violence may result in learning that predisposes youth to perpetrate or be victimized in relationships (Kwong, Bartholomew, Henderson, & Trinke, 2003). Even information processing styles (e.g., Dodge, Pettit, & Bates, 1994) and parental attitudes on aggression and violence can have powerful impacts on children and adolescents (Solomon, Bradshaw, Wright, & Cheng, 2008). This phenomenon is often referred to as the intergenerational transmission of violence. Supportive evidence takes the form of higher rates of peer violence in adolescent victims of child maltreatment (Maas et al., 2008) and violent crime in general (R. C. Herrenkohl, Egolf, & Herrenkohl, 1997; Thornberry, Ireland, & Smith, 2001; Widom & Maxfield, 1996). Children who have experienced abuse are also at increased risk of being arrested for nonviolent and status-type offenses (Lansford

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et al., 2007). Getting “beat up” between the ages of 11 and 17 years by a parent appears to contribute substantially to both violence and property crime (Rebellon & Van Gundy, 2005). Similarly, even after controlling for a wide range of demographic risk factors, Fagan (2005) demonstrated that physical abuse by a parent during adolescence predicted serious violence perpetration in young adulthood. Some acts of family violence are themselves criminal acts, and youth who aggress against family members, even if defensively, may find themselves before the courts (see Beyer, Chapter 1, this volume). We discuss later in this chapter the phenomenon of parent abuse, which can result in arrest of youth. Abuse between siblings is also common, perhaps the most common form of family violence (Khan & Cooke, 2008). In their retrospective survey of youthful offenders, Khan and Cooke (2008) found that 90% of participants reported intentionally perpetrating at least one act of severe intersibling violence, with more than a third admitting to inflicting a serious injury (e. g., burn, broken limb, puncture wound requiring medical intervention). Another variation of family violence that can result in arrest is dating violence. A key aspect of adolescence is the initiation and development of intimate relationships, which raises issues of sexuality, intimacy, and relationship skills. With family violence as a model, it is probably not surprising that youth from violent homes may have difficulty establishing healthy relationships (Connolly, Furman, & Konarski, 2000). For both girls and boys, having been hit by an adult, almost always a parent, with the intention of harm, was part of a cluster of variables (e.g., low selfesteem, having a victimized friend) that predicted the onset and chronicity of physical dating violence victimization in adolescence (Foshee, Benefield, Ennett, Bauman, &

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Suchindran, 2004). Indeed, being hit by a parent was the most consistent risk factor predicting dating violence victimization regardless of gender (Foshee et al., 2004; see also Foshee et al., 2008). While these data seem compelling, research remains inconclusive as to whether maltreatment is uniquely predictive of criminal behavior once other risk factors are taken into account, particularly in the case of sexual abuse and neglect (Maas et al., 2008). Although it may be difficult to tease out a causal relationship between the experience of family violence and various outcomes, from an ecological standpoint and given the multifaceted nature of risk, consideration of the complexity of the context in which a young person lives is required. The majority of studies looking at an abuse–crime link take into account only one type of abuse or victimization. When multiple forms of family violence are considered, we can see evidence of the dose– response relationship between abuse and later poor outcomes (e.g., Grych, Jouriles, Swank, McDonald, & Norwood, 2000). Specifically, the probability of a poor outcome increases in relation to the duration of exposure, the severity of abuse and the number of multiple forms of abuse. It is also apparent that any link between family violence and outcomes, such as arrest, is mediated and moderated by a variety of factors that include features of family functioning and the social context, especially poverty. Indeed, the link between family violence and later criminality could well be conceived of as a path involving several stages that move some youth toward an “on-ramp” into the justice system. Variables important to this pathway could include issues that manifest early, such as externalizing behavior problems or poor recognition and regulation of emotions. In this phase of development, the interventions

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of choice might focus on parenting. Parenting practices, in particular harsh and inconsistent discipline and low supervision, may play a role in the development of adolescent delinquency (Chamberlain & Patterson, 1995), whereas positive parental involvement and warmth is linked to lowered aggression and delinquency (Brendgen, Vitaro, Tremblay, & Lavoie, 2001). In adolescence, visible signposts of the effects of family violence may be evident in different ways, including compromised school success, substance abuse, abusive behavior of youth toward parents, compromised mental health, and early home leaving. In addition, there is good reason to believe that the signposts and pathways are different for boys and girls (e.g., Johansson & Kempf-Leonard, 2009; Roe-Sepowitz, 2009). Understanding potential linkages between family violence and problematic teenage behavior (T. I. Herrenkohl & Herrenkohl, 2007) informs assessment using a family violence lens. This approach, in turn, aids intervention to either stall movement toward the on-ramp into the justice system or hasten progress toward an offramp, out of the system. Signpost 1: Compromised School Success While some abused children excel in school, living with violence can make it challenging to do well academically and graduate from secondary school. Intrusive thoughts about traumatic events or preoccupied worry about the safety of family members and oneself may overload an adolescent’s cognitive resources, leaving little room for engaging in academic tasks and affecting his or her ability to function in school (Rossman & Ho, 2000). Indeed, concentration, attendance, and performance may all be poor, as when noise and fighting at night prevent restful sleep or older children are excessively called upon to mind younger

Violence Within Families and Intimate Relationships

siblings. Noise and disorganization at home make it difficult to study or do homework. Residential instability, including potential shelter stays and periods in and out of child protective care, can mean multiple changes of schools or periods of nonattendance. Emotional abuse can sap a young person’s confidence and self-esteem, perhaps intensifying feelings of being different from other students or likely to fail and do poorly. Given such scenarios, it is not surprising that, among the poor outcomes associated with exposure to interparental violence, are poor academic achievement and early school leaving (Kitzmann, Gaylord, Holt, & Kenny, 2003). For girls, the difficulties of staying in school may be compounded if they experience a teen pregnancy (see Pinderhughes, Craddock, & Fermin, Chapter 9, this volume). Although variables statistically associated with teen pregnancy are numerous, it has been observed in higher rates among children exposed to family violence (Lansford et al., 2007). Cunningham and Baker (2004) are among those to observe that troubled home lives can trigger the use of sexual intimacy as a substitute for love and emotional closeness. Adolescent mothers who experience partner violence experience higher rates of parental violence and physical abuse by a parent than in comparable samples in the literature (Kennedy & Bennett, 2006). Therefore, these young women experience high rates of cumulative violence exposure with expected negative outcomes, including early school leaving. As violence exposure increased, school outcomes tended to worsen (Kennedy & Bennett, 2006). It is notable that while stay-in-school programs have been developed to specifically assist young mothers, exposure to family violence and partner violence contribute to impeding school attendance and completion (Quint & Musick, 1994).

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Signpost 2: Substance Abuse as a Coping Strategy Cunningham and Baker (2004) note how use of intoxicating substances is a worrisome but effective coping strategy used by some older children and teens who live with violence at home. Feeling intoxicated can numb painful emotions, quiet disturbing thoughts, and generally provide a temporary escape from reality. When one or both parent uses drugs or uses alcohol to excess, a common correlate of family violence, these substances may be readily available in the household. Meta-analyses summarizing the data of over 100 studies indicate that, after controlling for a number of important variables, exposure to interparental violence predicts a variety of worrisome outcomes, including the use of alcohol by children (Emery, 2006).

Signpost 3: Abusive Behavior Toward Parents A large proportion of children and adolescents who abuse their parents were themselves physically or sexually abused or witnessed domestic violence (Kennair & Mellor, 2007). Whether or not this behavior results in arrest, juvenile justice professionals can probe for the possibility of family violence in cases where abuse of parents is a feature of home life. There are several ways in which a young person may come to assault his or her parent. With the physical changes brought on by puberty, older children and young teens may try to stop the violence between their parents, particularly when the aggressor is not their biological father (Edleson, Mbilinyi, Beeman, & Hagemeister, 2003). Indeed, as boys get older and enter late adolescence and early adulthood, they are more likely to hit their fathers and less likely to hit their mothers (Agnew & Huguley, 1989).

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In some families, mothers are more likely than fathers to be the targets of abuse (Ulman & Straus, 2003). Cottrell and Monk (2004) found that a typical scenario involved the adolescent perpetrating abuse against a mother soon after the abusive father left the home. Cunningham and Baker (2007) observe that behavioral problems in violence-exposed children may worsen after an abusive parent leaves the family, perhaps by entrenching mother– child conflict or intensifying the severity of conduct problems. It may be a paradox, but children may blame the abused mother more than the abusive father for the violence and its consequences (Cunningham & Baker, 2007). In the extreme, one child in the family may replace the absent father as the abuser of the mother (Cunningham & Baker, 2011). Prospective longitudinal research has shown that poor supervision and low family involvement (weak parent–child attachments) as well as substance use in both teens and parents increased the risk of adolescent aggression toward mothers (Pagani et al., 2004). It is notable, however, that in parent abuse, young people report that violence often emerges over disputes about their substance use rather than while they are intoxicated (Cottrell & Monk, 2004). Perhaps the most striking relationship outlined in this line of research was that the use of verbal and physical aggression by parents toward their adolescent children in the past 6 months was the strongest predictor of parent abuse even after controlling for a wide range of risk variables (Pagani et al., 2004). Signpost 4: Compromised Mental Health In young people who witnessed or experienced violence in the family, the possibility of trauma symptoms is of particular concern (Margolin & Vickerman, 2007), but so are depression and the risk of suicidal behavior

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(Fergusson, Horwood, & Lynskey, 1996). From a developmental psychopathology framework, trauma leads to an adaptive or maladaptive trajectory as a result of the multifaceted interaction between the nature of the trauma exposure, the developmental capacities and characteristics of the youth, and the social– familial context of the youth (Cicchetti & Toth, 1995; Pynoos, Steinberg, & Piacentini, 1999). Evidence that many violence-exposed youth experience multiple types and recurring violence within and out of the family (Finkelhor et al., 2009) supports recent conceptualizations of child abuse and exposure to family violence as complex traumas. Complex trauma involves a prolonged, repeated, and developmentally aversive event of an interpersonal nature (van der Kolk, 2005). Several domains of impairment have been observed to result from exposure to complex trauma, including poor emotion regulation (e.g., difficulty modulating anger), deficits in information processing (e.g., attention and learning difficulties), compromised behavioral control (e.g., aggression, substance abuse), and altered response of biological processes (e.g., higher levels of cortisol) (Margolin & Vickerman, 2007; van der Kolk, 2005). These impairments may negatively affect a young person’s interpersonal relationships, ability to succeed in school or sustain employment, or mental health, which, in turn, increase the probability the youth will come into conflict with the law. A characteristic reaction to trauma is the flooding of negative affect. In the Youth in Transition Survey, a large proportion of the relationship between maltreatment and delinquency was found to be mediated by negative affect (Brezina, 1998). Consequences of poor emotion regulation such as detachment and excessive reactivity increase the risk for interpersonal problems (van der Kolk, 2005).

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The young person’s developing brain may be particularly vulnerable to chemical changes that have been observed in posttraumatic reactions, resulting in severe mental health problems. Higher levels of certain neurotransmitters (e.g., cortisol, dopamine, adrenaline) increase agitation, decrease attention, and can negatively affect memory (Cohen, Perel, DeBellis, Friedman, & Putnam, 2002). Anxiety, depression, and attention deficit disorder, all disorders having various neurotransmitters as part of their etiological basis, are often comorbid and may mask trauma symptoms, particularly given the secrecy associated with family violence (Margolin & Vickerman, 2007). Teenagers with a trauma history often engage in substance use, risky sexual practices, and delinquent acts. Researchers and clinicians alike suggest that these behaviors serve to assist the young person in coping with family violence through self-medicating, reducing their sense of isolation, and improving their esteem, respectively (Widom & Hiller-Sturmhofel, 2001). Children and adolescents will adapt in order to survive in their immediate environment, however, the strategies that are required for such an adaptation to take place in the context of family violence and the multitude of other risk factors that accompany family violence may come at a significant cost to the young people and society. Signpost 5: Early Home Leaving Adolescents tend to be underrepresented in cross-sectional samples of youth exposed to family violence (Cunningham & Baker, 2011), an observation perhaps partly explained by early exit from the family home. Leaving home during adolescence can come about in several ways. Teenagers who live in a context of family violence may absent themselves from home as an avoidance strategy. Exposure

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to violence in general is correlated with a higher probability of leaving home in adolescence (Haynie, Petts, Maimon, & Piquero, 2009). In a longitudinal study of a large sample of African American low-income females, sexually abused girls were more likely to become runaways (Siegel & Williams, 2003). However, adolescents may be “kicked out” or sent to live with relatives or through the efforts of child welfare agencies be prevented from returning home in order to ensure their safety. Finally, some youth from violent homes will find themselves living in correctional facilities or other juvenile justice settings for a portion of their teenage years (Baker & Jaffe, 2003; see Sherman & Greenstone, Chapter 7, this volume). Factors potentially triggering leaving home prematurely include an onset or deepening of parent–child conflict, assault charges stemming from physical interventions to stop violence between parents, or to escape overwhelming responsibilities (such as child care), to name a few. The factors leading to precocious exit from home and subsequent transition to independent living may rob the young person of the learning that is achieved through experience in a conventional teenage role. These youngsters may leave home before they might otherwise be developmentally ready and be exploited by others. Some of their survival strategies can lead to or take the form of criminal behavior, such as work in the sex trade or drug sales (Belknap, Holsinger, & Dunn, 1997; Rotheram-Borus, Mahler, Koopman, & Langabeer, 1996). The critical importance of obtaining money for survival may usurp the value of successfully completing high school; it also may increase these young people’s engagement in antisocial activities in order to get their needs met and their affiliations with those who exploit or otherwise take advantage of them.

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Gender Differences How are girls different from boys? First, they may experience different types of family violence. For example, girls are more likely than boys to experience intrafamilial sexual abuse, which has greater deleterious effects than other forms of sexual abuse (KendallTackett, Williams, & Finkelhor, 1993; Widom & Ames, 1994). Longitudinal research has linked childhood sexual abuse to later female delinquency (Siegel & Williams, 2003). Second, they may be affected in different ways. Only a minority of studies examining gender as a moderator of outcome has found no differences in the type or severity of emotional and behavioral problems experienced following child exposure to family violence. It is commonly posited that boys may exhibit more externalizing behaviors (e.g., hostility, aggression), while girls may experience more internalized difficulties (e.g., somatic complaints, depression) (Holt, Buckley, & Whelan, 2008). Clearly, however, there is a wide interpersonal variation with some girls who act out and some boys who are depressed, for example. Third, they may evidence different patterns of criminal behavior. Much of the research has found similar and sometimes even higher rates of dating violence perpetration by girls than boys (Foshee & Matthew, 2007). Depression may be an important risk factor in the link between child maltreatment and dating violence in girls (Banyard, Cross, & Modecki, 2006). McCloskey and Lichter (2003) found that depressed girls were 6 times more likely to perpetrate aggression against a dating partner. However, Foshee and colleagues warn that the relationship between gender and adolescent dating violence may be quite a bit more complex. They found that gender differences in adolescent dating

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violence were mixed in their study of potential mediators of this relationship. Moreover, when all potential mediators were included in their analyses, girls actually reported more of each type of dating violence compared to boys (Foshee et al., 2008). Fourth, related implications for intervention will be different. If the on-ramps to the justice system are different for girls, so might the off-ramps be different, a fact now widely recognized. In response, we have seen the development of gender-specific assessment tools and intervention strategies. And yet we still have much to learn about the differences between boys and girls and how to help them get out and stay out of the juvenile justice system (see Sherman & Greenstone, Chapter 7, this volume).

IMPLICATIONS FOR INTERVENTION The principles of effective intervention with youth largely hold true regardless of the adversity or negative outcome they have experienced. These principles include: &

&

&

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Use of developmentally sensitive approaches (e.g., programs designed expressly for adolescents); Awareness of how culture and language can impact comprehension and application of lessons learned; Use of screening and assessment to inform individualized intervention (e.g., identification of problems and competencies with triage to needed services); Matching the type and dosage of intervention to the individual needs of the youth (e.g., responsivity principle);

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&

&

&

&

Prioritizing and sequencing interventions according to the youth’s hierarchy of needs (e.g., shelter before cognitive-behavioral therapy for depression), use of evidence-informed approaches and interventions (e.g., what is a promising or effective program for who and when); Use of gender-responsive programming (e.g., interventions designed for the unique needs of young women and their pathways in and out of crime); Use of youth-focused and collaborative approaches (e.g., engaging youth, recognizing and strengthening competencies, collaborative goal setting); and Collaborating with other service providers and systems to best support youth (e.g., interagency protocols, facilitating navigation of system, avoiding duplications requiring youth to retell their story unnecessarily).

Information about these principles and their application is presented in other chapters in this volume and will not be repeated here (e.g., Bell & Mariscal, Chapter 6, this volume; Beyer, Chapter 1, this volume; Butts & Roman, Chapter 24, this volume; Farrell & Myers, Chapter 21, this volume; Greenwood & Turner, Chapter 23, this volume; Sherman & Greenstone, Chapter 7, this volume; Vaught, Chapter 15, this volume). Rather, the focus here will be on interventions that warrant discussion through the lens of youth affected by family violence. Specifically, we will discuss the need for healthy cultures in youth justice facilities, screening and assessment, the strengthening of selfregulation, healthy relationships, and reentry planning.

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Healthy Cultures in Youth Justice Facilities The health and well-being of youth require that they be and feel safe. Safety is particularly important for young people who lived in dangerous environments and who experienced trauma, the reality of many in the justice system. Yet creating both actual and perceived safety in a justice setting can be challenging, especially those characterized by overcrowding, little privacy, and the everpresent possibility of peer-to-peer aggression. Cesaroni and Peterson-Badali (2005) found that the number one worry of incarcerated male youth, aged 12–15, was fear of victimization, which in turn was linked to poorer adjustment even when vulnerabilities at admission were taken into account. Another study found that a substantial portion of youthful offenders believe correctional staff play a role in peer violence (e.g., turning a blind eye to peer-on-peer violence) and in the emotional and physical victimization of youth (Peterson-Badali & Koegl, 2002). Peer bullying and traditional approaches to maintaining order and asserting authority, especially “tough” confrontational approaches and the use of isolation and restraints, recreate the coercive power and control dynamics that many youth experienced in their families. The consequences are serious and negative: youth are not and do not feel safe; unhealthy messages and power dynamics learned from living with family violence are reinforced; existing stress reactions may be exacerbated or reactivated; and some youth may be retraumatized. While cultures vary widely, all healthy ones share two essential components: zero indifference to violence and a relationshipbased approach to working with youth. Safety is the priority when there are “living” policies and procedures to ensure zero indifference

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to violence, including racial and gender role stereotypes and hate biases. Youth are held accountable through consistent, fair, and firm approaches and both proactive and reactive strategies are used to prevent aggression toward self and others (Ireland, 2000). Rehabilitation efforts with adults (e.g., Marshall, Marshall, Serran, & O’Brien, 2008) and youthful offenders (e.g., Florsheim, Shotorbani, Guest-Warnick, Barratt, & Hwang, 2000) suggest that relationship-based approaches contribute to improved outcomes. Rehabilitation includes identification and intervention for mental health problems, especially depression, anxiety, and trauma. The type and quality of relationship between helpers and youth clients contribute to the effectiveness of evidenced-based treatments (e.g., Escudero, Friedlander, Varela, & Abascal, 2008; Karver, Handelsman, Fields, & Bickman, 2006). Specifically, there is empirical support for adult/helper and youth relationships characterized by respect, a positive bond, and collaborative goal setting. When the culture is healthy, the potential for learning social competencies (e.g., communication skills, conflict resolution skills, tolerance for individual or group differences) is significantly greater and is analogous to the relative advantage of learning a second language through an immersion experience (e.g., going to live in Paris to learn French compared to attending 1-hour language classes three times per week). Ongoing staff modeling, for example, teaches new messages about respectful relationships, healthy male-to-female interactions, and nonviolent ways of resolving conflict. In contrast, the lack of safety in unhealthy cultures erodes readiness for and gains made in individual or group interventions, even when they are evidence based and well delivered. Healthy cultures are sustained when integrated throughout the organization,

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including the program vision, mission, policies and procedures, staff supervision models, staff relationships in the agency, staff-to-peer relationships, and peer-to-peer relationships. While not sufficient, it is the necessary foundation for the other interventions we will discuss. Screening and Assessment For youth who enter the justice system experiencing mental health or health problems, this juncture may provide the first opportunity for identification of concerns or followup of problems identified earlier. Health and mental health screening at intake enables triaging for emergency/urgent evaluation, assessment, and intervention/treatment as required. Indeed, screening and assessment are beneficial only if they assist with triage, inform individualized plans of care and intervention, including treatment where required, and assist planning for the youth in the community. Otherwise, they can be one more checklist or interview that further erodes young people’s trust. Mental health screening of youth in the justice system is important for a number of reasons. First, mental health problems are associated with experiencing family violence and with signposts on pathways into the justice system. Second, mental illness, regardless of the causal influences, often emerges in adolescence and, if not treated, may continue into adulthood. The resulting impacts are felt in adolescence and accumulate over time (e.g., emotional suffering, missed school/ work, strained relationships). Third, one impact may be an increased risk of suicide. Fourth, justice settings present a window for evaluation when young people are not under the influence of substances that may interfere with assessment or mask symptoms.

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In summary, entry into the justice system provides a window of opportunity for the identification of and intervention for mental health problems, a protector that may increase safety, ameliorate symptoms, and reduce recidivism. Based on the literature reviewed in this chapter, evidence-informed screening should look for symptoms or indicators of depression, anxiety, and in particular posttraumatic stress, inattention and poor concentration, suicidal thoughts and behavior, and substance abuse, as well as all forms of family violence. While perhaps surprising given the topic of this chapter, screening for various forms of family violence is often overlooked or minimized and warrants additional discussion. Certain attitudes can act as a barrier to investigation of abuse history, including discomfort with the issue, an attitude that family violence is a given for 100% of youth, a belief that some youth will fabricate abuse histories to shift focus to victimization, or an assumption that abuse will not be disclosed. A minority of staff may also avoid discussion of the topic for fear that any forthcoming information will create more work for them. Another false belief is that adolescence is too late to address the impact of childhood issues or that abuse is not a criminogenic risk factor. Yet the cumulative nature of impact means it is never too late to reduce risk and harm. Effective screening and assessment for different forms of family violence enables safety planning, risk management, and other interventions to help break the cycle of violence. All these attitudes can be addressed in training and supervision of staff. Health screening and physical checkups are also important for youth entering residential programs such as detention. Keeping family violence secret may cause caregivers to avoid taking children or adolescents for medical or dental checkups. Secrecy, fear,

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shame, and embarrassment may keep youth who have been sexually abused away from health professionals. Immunizations might be missed due to school absences. Family disruptions and lack of finances often result in unscheduled or missed medical and physical checkups. When young people enter the justice system there is an opportunity to improve their health by catching up on basic medical and dental care (e.g., immunizations, dental checkup), identifying potential health problems, including those related to victimization experiences (e.g., injuries, sexually transmitted disease from sexual abuse), and to provide treatment (e.g., antibiotics). Perhaps most important, young people can be connected to community-based health services and supported in learning how to access medical assistance in the future. Being able to address safety is important when asking young people to acknowledge victimization. Hidden perpetration experiences related to family violence are often cloaked in distrust, secrecy, fears of telling, embarrassment, and shame. Safety is established through healthy program cultures characterized by respect and clear norms against violence. Privacy during screening and assessment is essential and contributes to a youth feeling that it may be safe to share. Informed consent (including parental consent when required) and clear statements about confidentiality and its limits are required before screening or assessment can occur, and assist in building trust with and security for youth. While creating safety in the setting is necessary, it may not be sufficient for sharing. Young people are most likely to be influenced by their subjective perceptions of safety, which may not be congruent with objective reality. Sometimes factors in the young people’s worlds prevent disclosure (e.g., fear of additional charges

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against them or against an intimate or family member, having to move out of home). Other factors influencing the likelihood of youth disclosure include how we invite them to share. If checklists or surveys are being used, the youth’s reading comprehension level must be sufficient. Failure to explore literacy level may lead to invalid answers or close down further sharing. Survey items and interview questions invite accurate sharing when they focus on descriptors rather than categories (e.g., “When your parents are angry at you, do they ever hit you?” versus “Have your parents ever physically abused you?”). Forced choices (yes/no) can be frustrating and lead to “no” responses or incomplete forms. It is helpful to provide a range of possible answers; scaling gives permission to report extreme responses, enables more accurate reporting, and may reduce frustration. Strengthening Self-Regulation Many youth in juvenile justice programs have underdeveloped or compromised selfregulation, behavioral control, and informationprocessing skills. These challenges are intricately linked with experiences of trauma, mental health difficulties (e.g., depression, anxiety, disruptive behavior disorders), poor modeling, and disruptions to optimal development associated with family violence and co-occurring adversities. Emotional literacy and social problem solving are two cognitive-behavioral interventions conducive to delivery in small, same-sex groups in justice programs with a culture of safety. In fact, there may be benefits from peer support and modeling that occurs in group interventions. Skills learned in the groups are ideally encouraged and supported through teachable moments (e.g., resolving issues) and staff modeling throughout the day (i.e., creating

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an emersion learning experience). Accordingly, all program staff need to know and understand the purpose and content of these group interventions and, where appropriate, may be trained to lead or colead these groups. Both interventions are often components in promising, multifaceted cognitive-behavioral treatment for a number of emotional and behavioral problems (e.g., in addition to guided imagery, psychoeducation, social support, cognitive restructuring) (see review by Feeny, Treadwell, Foa, & March, 2004; Reinecke, Ryan, & DuBois, 1998). A substantial portion of youth in some settings may require and benefit from intensive, multifaceted cognitive-behavioral treatment for trauma or other mental health problems. Potential counterindications for a youth’s participation include a youth’s subjective perceptions of being unsafe in the current environment; group content or modality not responsive to youth’s needs (e.g., youth’s difficulties warrant individual or family intervention); conflicts with treatment planned or underway; and individual readiness for participation is out of step with timing of the group (e.g., may first need to experience benefit from antipsychotic medication). Emotional Literacy In our experience, most youth are able or willing to identify two feelings, anger and boredom, and many have difficulty regulating both. They benefit from coaching around emotional expression: developing a feeling vocabulary, increasing awareness of their emotions, identifying emotional cues (e.g., increased heart rate), developing ways of responding to emotional cues, and learning to express feelings in ways that overwhelm neither themselves nor others (Margolin & Vickerman, 2007). It is an essential skill for understanding and processing feelings and is a prerequisite for understanding the

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link between feelings, thoughts, and behaviors; regulating intense emotions and related behaviors; interpersonal communication, especially in family and intimate relationships; and developing social problem-solving skills. Social Problem Solving This skill refers to the cognitive–affective–behavioral process by which an individual attempts to effectively cope with problematic situations in real-life social environments (D’Zurilla & Nezu, 1990). Real-life problems take many forms (e.g., no transportation, insufficient money), but both the sources of problems and their solutions involve other people (e.g., conflict with boyfriend, sibling, peers, teachers, street family). In addition to the cognitive skills of traditional problem solving (e.g., problem identification, goal setting, finding suitable solutions, and evaluating problem-solving outcomes), social problem solving also incorporates and focuses on the person’s orientation to the problem. Problem orientation is primarily influenced by past experiences with problem situations (e.g., maltreatment, school failure) and may interfere with a youth’s effort to perform the skill. Effective problem orientation and problem solving are both important skills and difficulty with one or both compromises a youth’s ability to cope with challenging situations. For example, individuals could have good cognitive problem-solving skills but not be able to perform or execute the skills in social situations evoking intense emotions conditioned to past experiences. Avoidance in the form of procrastination or acting out are likely. Further practice of the cognitive steps of problem solving, the model used in many correctional settings incorporating problem solving, is unlikely to assist the latter youth. Understandably, social problem-solving ability, either by itself or together with social

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support, has been associated with quality of life and shown to reduce or minimize the impact of life stress on youth and young adults, (e.g., D’Zurilla & Sheedy, 1991; Siu & Shek, 2005). Acquisition of this skill, unlike seclusion and incentives that are earned or lost (e.g., level systems), is a life coping strategy that the young person takes with him when he leaves the justice program. Healthy Relationships Education Those who espouse a social learning perspective suggest that youth learn messages and roles from growing up in a home characterized by family violence (Cunningham & Baker, 2011). They may learn that people who say they love you can hurt you, that anger and violence get people what they want, that no one gets in trouble for being abusive, and that men have the right to control women’s lives (Cunningham & Baker, 2007). In adolescence this learning may be reinforced by messages from peer groups, exposure to community violence, and media violence. Psychoeducational interventions, sometimes including skill building, are designed to increase awareness about the youth’s use of violence, the impact on others and self, and to teach healthier attitudes and behaviors for relating to others. A search of the published literature suggests that programs developed primarily to address adolescent perpetration of family violence are rare and designed for males who are abusive toward family members and/or intimate partners. The Emerging Young Men’s Program of the Domestic Abuse Project in Minnesota (Davis, 2004) is one example. Such programs are intuitively appealing, but the effectiveness is not known. Other programs have focused on intimate partner violence (dating violence) in efforts to interrupt the cycle of violence with mixed results (e.g.,

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Foshee et al., 2005; Wekerle & Wolfe, 1999). More programs targeting general youth violence have been developed and evaluated at the tertiary level of prevention (see review by Limbos et al., 2007). While finding effective programs, Limbos and colleagues note that it is not possible to evaluate effectiveness by age, gender, or race because of limitations in the data reviewed and the scope of their systematic review. Turning Point: Rethinking Violence (Scott, Tepas, Frykberg, Taylor, & Plotkin, 2002), a program to educate male first-time violent crime offenders and their parents about the consequences of violence, is an example of a psychoeducational program found to significantly improve outcomes. Understanding how best to intervene with violent girls is an area still evolving. Reentry Planning Our goal is that young people, regardless of what brought them into the justice system, leave in a better position to navigate their world safely and responsibly. This means having a community orientation and planning for the youth’s success in the community. Transitions, even when desirable, bring accompanying stress and a different set of challenges (e.g., living arrangements? financial support? peer pressures?). Supporting the youth to prepare for and manage the transition is likely to reduce stress and increase opportunities for success in the community. Drawing on the youth’s social problem-solving skills and community resources, the hierarchy of needs (Maslow, 1971) should inform planning and determine priorities. This critical work necessitates individuals working in the justice system to understand community-based services for youth, including services supporting young victims (Finkelhor, Cross, & Cantor, 2005), and to establish interagency agreements

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to better serve youth (Daro, Edleson, & Pinderhughes, 2004). Social Support Research (Berkman, Glass, Brissette, & Seeman, 2000; Berkman & Syme, 1979; Kawachi & Berkman, 2001) consistently identifies social support as a protector for health and mental health. It also serves a protective function for women and children experiencing domestic violence (Canady & Babcock, 2009; Owen et al., 2008). Social support may play different and greater roles in the lives of young women. Experiences of family violence, co-occurring adversities, and their associated disruptions often reduce or eliminate families as a source of support. Involvement in the justice system, especially incarceration, may distance others. Living on the street, early school leaving, and unemployment adds to the isolation, as do many other risks, which cumulatively result in poverty and marginalization of a significant minority of young people. Building opportunities for informal and formal social supports anchored in the community needs to start at the beginning of the youth’s involvement in the program. Bringing representatives from community networks, mentoring programs, volunteer programs, knowledge of safe Internet sites, all help to create opportunities for connection and support. Help-Seeking Behaviors and Safety Planning Multiple types of, and recurring exposure to, violence increases the probability that young people will be victimized again. Even one victimization increases vulnerability to further exposure to violence (Finkelhor et al., 2009). While aiming to minimize the risk of further violence exposure (e.g., safe place for them to live), it is important to engage the youth in safety planning for potentially difficult or dangerous situations.

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Teaching the metaskill of help seeking is a portable strategy that benefits all youth. For example, young people learn how to use the Internet, telephone book, and directory assistance to locate numbers of helping resources no matter where they are living. It is also important to learn about and meet representatives in person from key agencies in the community (e.g., antiviolence agencies, child protection, police, shelters, food bank, health agency). Anecdotal experiences of our mental health team, serving youth in the justice system, indicate that youth are more likely to seek help from a community resource, when a peer has done so or they have met a staff from the agency. Visits to agencies or virtual tours online can also help to lower barriers. Crisis or distress lines are also important numbers to learn and practice dialing on disconnected phones. Most national help lines have tollfree numbers, and some offer Web-based counseling opportunities. Crisis line workers may come into programs and role play the type of response youth are likely to get if they call and will answer questions. The Internet can reach directly into the lives of young people to help them put labels on what is happening at home and how they feel about it. This type of connection often gives youth a sense of control during help seeking. The information obtained lets them know they are not alone and gives direction to sources of support (Cunningham & Baker, 2011). Examples include www.itsnotyour fault.org from the United Kingdom, www .familyviolencehurts.gc.ca from Canada, and www.burstingthebubble.com in Australia. The latter site provides a template for formulating a personalized safety action plan and lists the legal and practical contingencies of leaving home as a youth. Feedback from 87 users who acknowledge living with family violence, largely females, reported that visiting the site

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increased their knowledge of support services, gave them advice they could apply at home, and helped them to feel less alone (Shrimpton & McKenzie, 2005). Many Web sites address issues related to intimate partner violence in teen dating relationships and are also present on Facebook and MySpace (for discussion, see Cunningham & Baker, 2011).

CONCLUSION Many youth in the justice system have lived with adversity and experienced, or perpetrated, violence in their families. Understanding family violence, its correlates, and linkages to delinquency, especially youth violence, helps us identify observable signposts or pathways for young victims into the justice system: compromised school success, substance abuse as a coping strategy, abusive behavior toward parents, compromised mental health, and early home leaving. Intervention within the youth justice system should be reexamined through the lens of youth affected by family violence. Healthy cultures in youth justice facilities counter the experiences of many youth, creating safety, providing positive role modeling and opportunities to acquire social competencies, and ensuring the foundation necessary to enable youth to benefit from intervention. Violence-informed health and mental health screening and assessment upon entering the youth justice system seizes the important opportunity for identification and intervention for trauma, mental health concerns, and health problems. Interventions to teach coping skills such as emotional literacy and social problem solving, associated with quality of life and stress reduction, build self-regulation and information-processing skills that are often compromised when youth experience recurring victimization and associated risks.

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Healthy relationships education, whether to intervene or prevent dating violence, peer-topeer violence, or family violence, is intuitively appealing for youth who have lived with family violence and coexisting adversities. Development and evaluation of gender-specific healthy education programs for youth in the justice system are needed. Finally, planning for youth to reenter the community is necessary to create social supports, develop helpseeking behaviors, and to develop realistic safety plans. This critical work necessitates that individuals working in the justice system understand the range of community-based services for youth, including services supporting young victims, and to establish interagency agreements to better serve youth. In summary, we need evidence-informed interventions to reduce risk and mitigate harmful effects to youth in the justice system. Regardless of the crime that brought them into conflict with the law and no matter how many adverse events they have experienced, our goal is to create opportunities to halt the progressively cumulative impact of multiple adversities and ultimately reduce perpetration against others.

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Juvenile Justice: Advancing Research, Policy, and Practice Edited by Francine T. Sherman and Francine H. Jacobs Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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Making a Place for Youth: Social Capital, Resilience, and Communities R O B E R T L. H A W K I N S , M A R Y N A V A S H C H E N K O ,

T

he transition of formerly incarcerated youth back to their communities often poses a significant challenge for those communities. Nearly 100,000 youth are released from facilities annually (Snyder & Sickmund, 2006), and the profile of these young people includes many educational, social, and economic difficulties (see, e.g., Braverman & Morris, Chapter 3, this volume; Vaught, Chapter 15, this volume) that complicate their ability to engage productively in community life (McWhirter, 2008; Reiman, 2007). In addition, they are often met with a paucity of supportive people to whom they can turn for assistance, and limited publicly available services to help them balance their new responsibilities (Inderbitzin, 2009; Sullivan, 2004). Employment is difficult to secure, and lack of engagement in work and/or school puts youth at risk of repeated offending; over half (55%) of these youth are rearrested within the first 12 months upon release (Snyder & Sickmund, 2006). This, in turn, sets off a vicious cycle of yet poorer employment prospects, truncated career and residential options, continued negative life events, welfare dependence, and mental health problems (Steinberg, Chung, & Little, 2004; Unruh, Gau, & Waintrup, 2009). Activating community resources on behalf of these youth is an urgent task.

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COURTNEY DAVIS

What attributes or capacities does a community need to have to successfully support its system-involved youth as they are reintegrated after incarceration? For distressed communities, economic resources are the first cornerstone to be laid. The next step involves activating the skills, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors of the individuals within (human capital), and the networks of relationships and the resources shared among people (social capital). These three elements help establish communities that can foster resilience among their young people—allowing them to adapt positively to challenges and make sound choices in support of hopeful, productive futures. In this chapter, we make the case for viewing communities within this resilienceoriented paradigm. We follow the course of one of these key elements—social capital— and consider its particular contribution to creating and sustaining such communities. We then explore the ways in which social capital—when it is operationalized with juvenile offenders in mind—can help with the reentry and reintegration process for these youth.

ADOPTING A RESILIENCE LENS Historically, research and interventions, including programs for juvenile offenders, have taken a deficit-based approach of identifying 245

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problems with these youth and proposing ways to reduce negative outcomes associated with various risks (see Beyer, Chapter 1, this volume; Lerner et al., Chapter 5, this volume). The past two decades, however, have evidenced the rise of a new paradigm in psychology, in which researchers and practitioners focus on “positive adaptational outcomes,” rather than “adaptational failures” (Luthar & Cicchetti, 2000, p. 861). A central tenet of this new perspective is the notion of development-incontext, which emphasizes the need to consider the dynamic interactions among multiple factors of influence, including individuals, families, and communities in which individuals and families are “nested,” to better understand the paths to positive outcomes (Bronfenbrenner, 1979). Positive adaptation, that is, the manifestation of resilience, is understood as a condition of both the person and his or her context, and not a unique attribute of the individual; indeed, some would argue that for individuals to respond well to adversities in their own lives, the communities in which they live need to possess certain aspects that promote resilience (Chaskin, 2008; Peters, 2005). This wide recognition of the importance of context is exemplified by the surge of studies examining the role of communities and social environments in the development and adaptation of individuals (e.g., Gardner & Brooks-Gunn, 2009). The multiple individual and environmental risks that youth experience both before and after incarceration have been well documented by the literature on juvenile delinquency. They include poor school performance, mental health problems, unstable and unsupportive family relationships, high crime and poverty rates within their communities, absence of positive role models, and abundance of delinquent influences (Steinberg et al., 2004). Add the stress of imprisonment, disrupted social networks,

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and the normative developmental challenges of adolescence on top of this long list of risk factors, and perhaps that 55% recidivism rate in the first 12 months postrelease (Snyder & Sickmund, 2006) does not seem so surprising. What leads some of the youth to reintegrate successfully and lead prosocial lives in the community despite their exposure to risk and adversity; that is, what explains their resilient functioning? How does the concept of social capital fit into the potential explanations of such adaptational success? To answer these questions, we first need to briefly review the main tenets of the resilience framework, as it provides a useful perspective for considering the role of social capital in adaptational outcomes. Being at the center of the strengths-based tradition of research, the literature on resilience emphasizes the significance of examining social conditions that surround individuals and how they interact with their environment, and aims to (a) identify what mechanisms within these interactions may account for resilient trajectories and (b) direct researchers and policy makers to empirical knowledge that could inform development of effective intervention models (Luthar & Cicchetti, 2000; Masten & Obradovic, 2006). In particular, one of the models of resilience, the protective model (simplified in Figure 12.1 for ease of illustration) describes a moderating effect of protective factors that reduce the impact of risk and adversity on an outcome, which in the absence of the protective factor could be expected to be negative (Schoon, 2006). Investigators have examined various variables thought to foster individual resilience including, among others, positive temperament; sociability; responsiveness; adaptability in infancy and early childhood; a warm, supportive family environment; a sound relationship with a primary caregiver; and positive

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Figure 12.1 Simplified Protective Model of Resilience Negative outcome (i.e., recidivism, dropping out of school, teen pregnancy)

Source of adversity (peers, family, neighborhoods)

Adversity (i.e., youth incarceration, violence, crime victimization)

or

Protective factor (i.e., family resources, positive peer and community resources)

extrafamilial support and role models (Kilmer, Cowen, & Wyman, 2001). Initially, most research focused on personal attributes of individuals in promoting resilience (Schoon, 2006), but because by its very nature the resilience framework positions individuals within their ecologies, the field soon began to explore the mechanisms by which ecologies shaped individuals’ capacities to overcome adversity (Ungar, 2008). Researchers of resilience admit, however, that it is unlikely we will be able to identify a narrow list of key factors that predict healthy outcomes in all individuals (Ungar, 2004). Furthermore, there has been considerable debate about the exact nature of the relations among risks, protective mechanisms, and adaptation that result in resilience. The protective model presented in Figure 12.1, then, is only one of many proposed models of resilience. All current models, however, agree that resilience is a dynamic process; therefore, multiple pathways to positive outcomes should be considered within

Resilient outcome (i.e., success in college, nondrug use, safe sex practices)

specific time frames and transactional processes (Luthar & Cicchetti, 2000; Masten & Obradovic, 2006). Zatura, Hall, and Murray (2010) point out that personal mastery and social support are among the most thoroughly conceptualized and researched factors believed to promote resilience. Highlighting the joint role of individual (personal mastery) and contextual (social support) factors in adaptation, they emphasize the need for models of resilience to consider not only psychological capital (e.g., positive mental health), but social capital as well. In fact, Zatura, Hall, and Murray place the research on social capital at the forefront of the scientific inquiry into the community resources that foster resilience.

WHERE SOCIAL CAPITAL FITS During the 1980s and 1990s, at the same time as the notion of resilience was taking off, the

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concept of social capital gained considerable traction among sociologists and economists, who became increasingly interested in the assets possessed by communities that allowed them to withstand stresses and shocks (Coleman, 1988, 1990; Moser, 1998). The resurgence of interest in the concept of community, as “a critical arena for addressing a range of social problems and promoting a range of social benefits” (Chaskin, 2008, p. 65), incited numerous social policy initiatives focused on community development, community organizing, and community-building strategies to promote community change and collective efficacy and capacity (Chaskin, Goerge, Skyles, & Guiltinan, 2006). Specifically, paradigms such as Comprehensive Community Initiatives (CCIs) focused on addressing the multiple problems of poor communities (crime, poverty, unemployment, poor access to education, jobs, and other ills) not one at a time, but in the interrelated manner in which these issues occur in lives and in communities (Schorr, 1997). Further, community-based youth development (CBYD) programs focus on providing and activating an array of formal and informal services based on the complexity of meeting the needs of youth (Lerner et al., 2005). This growing recognition of the importance of community mirrored the popularity of the concept of “social capital,” which has been described as “the missing link” (Harriss & de Renzio, 1997) that allowed vulnerable individuals to develop positively by accessing community resources. Since its initiation as a phenomenon worthy of attention, however, significant variation has emerged in how social capital has been defined and used. This, in turn, has introduced a great deal of conceptual vagueness and confusion about its meaning, and some skepticism about its alleged effects (Portes, 2000; Williams, 2007).

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Given that successful reentry of incarcerated youth into communities is one of the primary ways to prevent recidivism and other poor outcomes (Unruh et al., 2009), enhancing social capital and its role in communities is, obviously, an attractive route to facilitate this reintegration. We agree, but only if social capital—here defined as a by-product of social interactions that are embedded in, and accessed via, formal and informal social relationships with individuals, communities and institutions (Hawkins & Maurer, 2009)—is deliberately conceptualized and thoughtfully operationalized. If so, it can, indeed, guide practitioners in how to best take advantage of the positive elements of a youth’s social network, while managing what could be more negative factors. The devil, however, is in the details. Social Capital Defined and Redefined Attention to social capital has emerged from a wide variety of social science disciplines and is often redefined in each subdiscipline, based on a new or slightly different set of theoretical criteria (e.g., Bourdieu, 1977, 1985; Coleman, 1988, 1990; Granovetter, 1985; Kadushin, 2004; Lin, 2001; Putnam, 2000). Some conceptualizations have confused and conflated social capital with social support or social networks (Lin, 2000; Lochner, Kawachi, & Kennedy, 1999; Schuller, Baron, & Field, 2000). Simply put, social capital is that which is generated by social support and social network interactions operating at both the individual and community levels (Hawkins, 2010; Hawkins & Maurer, 2010; Lin, 2000). The derivation of the term is often credited to Coleman (1988), who considered it related to exchange theory, with its use of norms and expectations. Exchange theory is based on the proposition that humans maintain relationships based on an “exchange” of

Making a Place for Youth: Social Capital, Resilience, and Communities

goods and services. In other words, relationships continue and are strengthened as long as they remain mutually beneficial. Coleman himself, however, built on Bourdieu (1977, 1985, 1986), who emphasized formally institutionalized relationships that mutually determine and construct access to resources. In their work, social capital has been defined as the by-product of formal and informal social relationships with individuals, community, or institutions that engender mutual trust, expectations, obligations, and influences in individuals, families, and communities (Bourdieu, 1977, 1985; Coleman, 1988, 1990). Bourdieu viewed social capital as crucial to reproducing prevailing class power and status relationships (Smith & Kulynych, 2007), emphasizing its role as “the aggregate of the actual or potential resources which are linked to possession of a durable network of more or less institutionalized relationships of mutual acquaintance and recognition” (Bourdieu, 1985, p. 51). He stated that the acquisition of social capital results in cultural, economic, and social resources for access— connections through connections. Using Bourdieu’s definition, one normally sees the result of social capital through economic transactions, though it is not necessarily brought about simply through economics. His analysis focused primarily on the relationship between social connections and social obligations. In order to benefit from social capital, individuals must already have their own exchangeable resources that matter. If there is nothing to exchange, then the value is unidirectional. While Bourdieu’s treatment of social capital underscored its role in the reproduction of inequality, conceptualizations offered by others put a dramatically different spin on it, elevating it to a major component of democracy—indeed, a virtual “silver bullet” for certain ills in society. Some researchers, for

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example, argue that it facilitates youth development (Furstenberg & Hughes, 1995), has health (Beaudoin, 2009) and financial benefits (Quillian & Redd, 2006), and that it can affect educational outcomes (Jack & Jordan, 1999; Stanton-Salazar & Spina, 2005), including school engagement (Garcia-Reid, 2007) and school achievement (Woolley et al., 2008). Putnam’s conceptualization of social capital holds a leading role among these literatures; his metaphorical use of the term bowling alone (1995, 2000) to represent a lack of social capital in people’s lives brought the concept a certain level of mainstream attention. Offering a much more collective interpretation of social capital than does Bourdieu, Putnam sees efforts to increase or create community-level social capital as a way to increase civic engagement and counteract the negative effects of low socioeconomic status (Bedolla, 2007). Viewing social capital primarily in terms of civic engagements and associations, Putnam makes a strong case for social capital as representing community, and as an entirely positive concept. Noting that the norms and trust promoted by social capital facilitate mutual benefit among community members, he concludes that trust and “reciprocity” lead to positive community development. Putnam’s theory of social capital as civic engagement has even influenced how the media and policy makers have come to understand community participation and engagement, and has been incorporated into funding priorities in public policies and private grant making ( Jennings, 2007). Despite its popularity, Putnam’s conceptualization has been criticized as limited for its lack of a true examination of the complexities and power dynamics inherent in social relationships (Farrell, 2007; Hawkins & Maurer, 2011; Hero, 2003). In his introduction to the anthology Race, Neighborhoods, and the Misuse

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of Social Capital, James Jennings (2007) argues that the prevailing notion of social capital (a) depoliticizes the nature of poverty; (b) fails to consider historical, economic, and political contexts and structural explanations of inequality; (c) lacks a focus on racial inequality and institutional injustice; and (d) seems to suggest that low-income communities are deficient in civic participation and motivation to improve their social and economic resources, and therefore need to be exposed to “normal, middle class values” as a way of encouraging social capital. Finally, from a “politics of language” perspective, Smith and Kulynych (2002, 2007) argue that choosing social capital to denote the phenomena to which it typically refers is unfortunate; the association of the word capital with financial capital implies that capitalist social relations and the prevailing social order are largely inevitable. Critics also lament the instantiation of Putnam’s notion of social capital, calling it an oversimplified “cure all” for many of the ills that strike families and communities (DeFillippis, 2001; Farrell, 2007; Mowbray, 2004; Stone & Hughes, 2002). They argue, instead, that the concept can be both a positive and a negative. Seeing it as only a positive attribute suggests that more is better, and this has led a number of studies to operationalize the construct as simply the amount of social capital in someone’s life (e.g., Kawachi, 1999; Kawachi, Kennedy, Lochner, & Prothrow-Stith, 1997; Lochner, Kawachi, & Kennedy, 1999). Thinking primarily about the amount of social capital, however, misses the complexity that exists in social relationships. Families and communities may produce social capital, as do positive role models, but so do gangs or peer groups who engage in substance abuse, crime, or bullying. Other studies, in keeping with the more traditional and economically based conceptualization (Antonucci, Akiyama, & Lansford,

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1998; Hawkins, 2010; Lin, 2001; Roschelle, 1997), contend that negative social capital (that which depletes rather than augments resources and access) is generated by the same elements that produce positive social capital—friends, families, neighbors, and community resources. These elements can be as hurtful as they can be helpful, and indeed, while all “trusting networked relationships” produce a type of social capital, these networks may or may not have a positive, prosocial normative value (Antonucci, Akiyama, & Lansford, 1998; Corcoran & Adams, 1997; Hawkins, 2010; Hawkins & Abrams, 2007; Roschelle, 1997). Another major criticism of the social capital literature is that the concept is often used interchangeably with social networks and social support (see Castillo, 2009; Emlet, 2006; Lindsey et al., 2008). Even though these three concepts are indeed related, we find the distinctions important to maintain. To be clear, for our purposes, a social network is a set of socially linked or interconnected discrete individuals or groups, as well as the structure, number, and character of the relationships that link members of the network (Cleak & Howe, 2003; Lin, 2001; Wasserman & Faust, 1994). Like social capital, social support is embedded in and accessed via social networks (Granovetter, 1985). Social support, however, is better defined as the provision and receipt of assistance to and from individuals (e.g., emotional encouragement, advice, information, guidance, concrete aid) (Belle, 1982; Findler, 2000; Tracy & Bell, 1994). Social capital, however, is the product that emerges from the social network and social support system and results in cultural, economic, and social “resources” (Bourdieu, 1977, 1985). Social capital is not the community, family, or small group, but these are the environments in which social capital is generated.

Making a Place for Youth: Social Capital, Resilience, and Communities

Core Features of Social Capital Despite these and other criticisms of the construct, the broad appeal of social capital gives it durability and merits sustained in practice. We believe that properly defined, carefully distinguished from other related constructs, and used judiciously, social capital can be a useful lens for viewing the impact of social interaction on the lives of young people. We argue that a thorough understanding of social capital includes a multidimensional framework that would serve to enhance the understanding of social support and social networks (Ersing &, Loeffler, 2008; Loeffler et al., 2004; MillerCribbs & Farber, 2008; Muhkerjee, 2007). Our conceptual view of social capital is best understood by examining its two core features. Social Capital Exists in Degrees Contrary to the popular view of social capital as an absolute element—either you possess it or you do not (Curran, 2002; Fukuyama, 2000; Kreuter & Lezin, 2001)—we consider it to be, in fact, less measureable and not obviously quantifiable. The nature of social capital is that it is comprised of resources that “belong” to others (individuals, communities, institutions), such as reputation, and that are loaned temporarily to those who need it (Lin, 2001). A high school student might be offered a summer job because of the reputation of her parents. Although the student may or may not be qualified, she has in a sense “borrowed” the reputation of her parents and the connection they have with the employer. What this student gains is a job, which might lead to other offers of employment, an appealing statement on her college application and, of course, money. Her social support—in this case, her parents—were able to connect her to an employer and future prospects. It is in this

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light that Hawkins and Maurer (2010) define social capital as the “by-product of social interactions that are embedded in and accessed via formal and informal social relationships with individuals, communities and institutions” (p. 1778). This definition is consistent with Bankston and Zhou’s (2002) understanding of social capital as a process that is not limited to a single time period or level of social organization; it operates at the community, individual, and institutional levels and does so based on the relative structure of relationships and social interactions. This process, then, could work as a metaphor rather than a clear and consistent structure, making it difficult to view social capital as a specifically quantifiable element. An example of the difficulty in measuring social capital is provided by Hawkins and Maurer (2011), who documented how it was used in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. They showed that social capital within a low-income community came from both existing bonds as well as newly created ones stemming from the disaster. These researchers view social capital as both a process and a result. The assistance, expectations, planning, and emotional force that grew out of the relationships of Hurricane Katrina survivors was the social capital, not the relationships themselves. Social Capital Is Complex and Multidimensional Many commentators note that social capital is hydra-headed; it is generated through a wide variety of relationships and transactions, operates at several levels of social ecology, and affects individuals and communities in different ways, both positively and negatively (e.g., see Bankston & Zhou, 2002; Colclough & Sitaraman, 2005; Curran, 2002; Lin, 2000; Portes, 1998). Understanding the context in which social capital is

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developed—the social position and relative power of the social network being tapped (Bourdieu, 1985; Muhkerjee, 2007), for example—is critical to identifying its potential value. One useful heuristic, proposed by Gitell and Vidal (1998) and elaborated by Szreter and Woolcock (2004), identifies three distinct kinds of social capital: bonding, bridging, and linking. Bonding social capital refers to relationships among members of a group or network who are similar or homogenous in some way. Bridging social capital refers to relationships among people and groups of people who perceive themselves, or are perceived by others, to be dissimilar in some demonstrable fashion—such as according to age, socioeconomic status, race/ethnicity, education, and so on (Szreter & Woolcock, 2004). Linking social capital reflects the relationships that individuals and communities build with the institutions and people who have relative power over them—for example, to provide access to services, jobs, or other resources (Szreter & Woolcock, 2004; Woolcock, 2001). Distributing the expression and effects of social capital across these three types allows for many analyses of interest to researchers and program developers, including a comparative structural analysis of the hierarchy of power, wealth, and reputation, which is important to maintaining resources and building assets (Lin, 2001). An important dimension of social capital to consider here is what Granovetter (1985) calls the relative “strength of [one’s] weak ties,” that is, the residual effects that can be generated as one moves from strong close ties (bonding relationships), to weaker ones (bridging or linking relationships) that may emerge from those strong ties. For example, your close friend or classmate may not be able to give you a job, but someone he or she knows could work for a company that is hiring.

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Measuring Social Capital While the interest in social capital has increased exponentially over the past decades, its scientific study has been hampered by the same conceptual confusion described above. Social capital has more often been an examination of social networks or social support, rarely taking the necessary steps of going beyond the network connections. Both qualitative and quantitative studies exist, though quantitative studies predominate (Brisson, Roll, & East, 2009; Cattell, 2001; Dominguez & Watkins, 2003; Hawkins & Abrams, 2006). The most common measures used, essentially as social capital proxies, have been self-report measures of interactions among parents, children, and schools; and beliefs, norms, and attitudes regarding community and family relationships (Bottrell, 2009; Kahne et al., 2001; Kawachi, 1999; Teachman, Paasch, & Carver, 1996). Some literature also attempts to identify the primary source of important social capital interactions: community based or family based (Ferguson, 2006), and youth peer-topeer based or youth-to-adult based (GarciaReid, 2007). Identifying where the important social capital interactions are located is important to understanding and developing interventions at the bonding, bridging, or linking levels. Further, differentiating between community and family interactions is important in youth studies because the child is dependent on the parent, and in many ways shares the social capital resources of the parent and family as a whole (Kim & Schneider, 2005). Similarly, youth-adult interactions are important, as adults act as the gatekeepers in the community and children must navigate these relationships in order to establish their own position in the community (Kim & Schneider, 2005).

Making a Place for Youth: Social Capital, Resilience, and Communities

Exploring the sources, nature, valence, and quality of social capital available to, and used by, young people is a useful enterprise for researchers interested in improving the lives of youth. These findings, in turn, can contribute to the design and evaluation of interventions to promote their positive adjustment.

SOCIAL CAPITAL AND YOUTH Across the United States, the young people most at risk for involvement in the juvenile justice system are those growing up in poor neighborhoods, whose families face poverty daily; they are also disproportionately members of ethnic minority groups (MacDonald & Marsh, 2001; MacDonald, Shildrick, Webster, & Simpson, 2005; Reiman, 2007). Communities struggle with their roles in changing the trajectory of these young people’s lives. When the quality of relationships is considered, social capital can reduce the likelihood of juvenile justice involvement and strengthen youth reentry through better connecting the youth with peer, family, and community resources. Despite problems with measurement and theory, those studies that use elements of social capital reflecting clear conceptualizations of the construct have found a consistently strong association between social capital and positive youth outcomes (Brisson et al., 2009; Farr, 2004; Fram & Altshuler, 2009; Furstenberg & Hughes, 1995). And while some studies take a rather narrow view of the concept and others use only a positive lens to view social capital, these studies identify outcomes that cover a full range of youth well-being proxies. They include, for example, emotional support (StantonSalazar & Spina, 2005), mental well-being (Furstenberg & Hughes, 1995), school achievement (Woolley et al., 2008), substance use (Curran, 2002), fighting and weapon use

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(Wright & Fitzpatrick, 2006), school engagement (Garcia-Reid, 2009), dropping out of high school (Teachman et al., 1996), the transition to postsecondary education (Kim & Schneider, 2005), labor force attachment (Powers, 1994), resiliency (Bottrell, 2009), and human capital development related to education and employment (Coleman, 1994). The preponderance of studies focuses on the impact of bonding social capital at the family, peer, and neighborhood level. The positive results of this particular genre of social capital makes sense in light of the posited link between disadvantaged communities and low trust, weak cohesion, and the high incidence of crime (Bottrell, 2009; Brisson et al., 2009; Furstenberg & Hughes, 1995; Woolley et al., 2008).

SOCIAL CAPITAL AND PEERS Studies have found that peer-to-peer, bonding social capital yields positive outcomes among low-income, U.S. Latino youth who exhibited the effects of social and cultural marginalization. These young people were shown to be at particular risk of poor school performance and dropping out of school altogether. They often lived in dangerous and stressful neighborhoods and households (Brisson et al., 2009; GarciaReid, 2007; Stanton-Salazar & Spina, 2005). Those studies looking into peer-level bonding outcomes found a positive relationship between close, reciprocal friendships that provide the young person with positive experiences of school and sources of emotional support and the kind of positive outcomes that suggest high levels of resilience (Brisson et al., 2009; Garcia-Reid, 2007; Ream & Rumberger, 2008; Stanton-Salazar & Spina, 2005; Wright & Fitzpatrick, 2006). These relationships are shown to provide emotional

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well-being to young people by allowing for positive expressions of personal identity, trust, and mutual support (Bottrell, 2009; GarciaReid, 2007). The studies suggest that the experiences present in bonded peer social capital may be “instrumental to [youth at risk] resilience” (Garcia-Reid, 2007). Those students who had access to peer bonding social capital were less likely to perform poorly in school, drop out of school, or display violent behavior, and they expected to continue on to higher education and financial success (Ream & Rumberger, 2008; Stanton-Salazar & Spina, 2005; Woolley et al., 2008). It is also important to consider here the negative side of social capital, which is especially present in the bonding context for youth who are at risk. There is an assumption embedded in most social capital logic models that the presence of social capital in a community is automatically evidence of beneficial interactions among individuals (see, e.g., Farr, 2004; Lin, 1999; Lochner et al., 1999; Schuller, Baron, & Field, 2000, for more thorough discussions). The literature is clear, however, that social capital is not always positive, and can, in fact, be negative. Bonding social capital appears to be the most scrutinized in this regard (Kadushin, 2004; Ream & Rumberger, 2008; Stanton-Salazar & Spina, 2005). Closed networks, such as youth gangs, substance-abusing peers, or others involved in criminal behavior, can produce social capital that has a negative outcome. Overall, this negative social capital can strengthen problematic community outcomes such as social disorganization, breakdown of community norms, and social strain (Kadushin, 2004; Lin, 2001; May, 2008). In these examples, the social capital embedded in the networks of antisocial environments can promote and facilitate behaviors that can be hurtful, dangerous, or at the least, counterproductive

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(May, 2008). Those working with this population should be especially attentive to these variations in the quality of social capital that young people employ. Social Capital in the Family In addition to studies investigating peer-topeer social capital, much of the social capital literature regarding young people revolves around resources within the family and focuses on adults directly transmitting or negotiating transmission of resources and opportunities to the young people in their lives (Curran, 2002; Furstenberg & Hughes, 1995; Woolley & Bowen, 2007). Kim and Schneider (2005) use the conceptual model of brokerage to describe this activity. The assumption here is that “parents act as contacting resource agents” (p. 1185) for children by tapping into their own weak ties, or using bridging social capital on behalf of adolescents. The ability of parents and families to broker access to these resources is a more powerful influence than is bonding capital, either within the family itself or among peers (Bourdieu, 1985; Granovetter, 1973). Much like the peer-to-peer network bonding social capital, strong familial relationships— in particular, close relationships between two parents and children—have been linked to positive outcomes, such as high school graduation, labor force participation, and robust mental health (Coleman, 1988; Furstenberg & Hughes, 1995; Kim & Schneider, 2005; Wright & Fitzpatrick, 2006). Although these findings are promising, this area of the literature is hindered by a lack of qualitative and quantitative research and the need for a more adequately specified variable for bridging social capital to be used alongside current bonding social capital variables. However, reflecting Granovetter’s idea of the strength of weak ties, some studies have suggested that bonding social capital alone

Making a Place for Youth: Social Capital, Resilience, and Communities

is not enough and that, in the absence of bridging social capital, tight-knit families tend to fare only as well as their family members (Kim & Schneider, 2005; Morgan & Sorenson, 1999). Kim and Schneider (2005) found that in the absence of bridging social capital, closed family units become insular and diminish the members’ capacity to gain access to resources. Hawkins (2010) found a similar pattern in his study of low-income, formerly homeless, single mothers who were seeking higher education. The women’s close friends and families offered a mixture of support and criticism, while persons with loose ties to the women and sometimes even complete strangers were supportive of the women’s educational goals. In the preceding examples, crediting relationships beyond close peers and family members may be crucial to understanding how social capital can help youth over time. Social Capital in the Community Much youth-oriented social capital research has focused on the role of formal and informal community-level social capital and its constitutive relationships and networks of relationships. Much like peer, familial, and child–adult relationships, neighborhood bondedness is related to school achievement, safety, employment, and even savings behavior for the families of low-income children (Brisson et al., 2009; Woolley et al., 2008; Wright & Fitzpatrick, 2006). In addition to the positive impacts on children, there is a growing interest in this community-based social capital as a tool that may affect “community capacity as a vital form of social capital grounded in informal networks of social control and social support” in a broader way (Bazemore & Erbe, 2003, p. 261). Rather than linking individual children to resources outside a community, then, the development of this genre of social capital

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may provide a platform for young people to be reintegrated inside their own communities as productive and civically empowered agents (Bazemore, 1997; Sampson, 1997; see also Dym, Tangvik, Gerena, & Bartlett, Chapter 19, this volume). A number of researchers have shown that although social networks and social support can help individuals cope with daily struggles, because of the tension of resource sharing and reciprocity and lack of structural supports, low-income bonding often cannot contribute to elevating socioeconomic status (Belle, 1982; Dominguez & Watkins, 2003; Farrell, 2007; Hero, 2003; Lin, 2001; Miller-Cribbs & Farber, 2008). Bridging happens, for example, when a family moves to a new area or a child attends a new school or camp, enters college, or starts to look for work. When the dynamics of a community change, so too can its social capital, such as when a neighborhood starts to attract economically mixed families and its socioeconomic nature changes. As family members are introduced to more individuals or have more experiences, their weak ties, or linking social capital, develop. For low-income families in unchanging communities, however, the bridging and linking social capital may be slow to or never develop, making it difficult, if not impossible, to enhance their job options, take advantage of learning or training experiences, or improve their life chances. What develops then is a “chicken and egg” situation: In order to improve outcomes for youth, the community must be strengthened, but in order to improve the community, positive social capital should be developed. Often, the extent to which youth can develop bridging capital is hindered by barriers instituted by communities. While a bonded group with resources and power does not have to bridge, communities with little power need

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the bridging and linking capital in order to be able to gain economic and social advantages for its members. For many communities, however, the incorporation of the values of mainstream culture is a particularly challenging issue to navigate. In this regard, Bedolla (2007) argues that bridging and linking social capital are affected by race and class dynamics that play a critical role in promoting some activities and inhibiting others. Due to structural barriers and institutionalized racism, racial or ethnic minorities or economically marginalized groups have limited access to bridging and linking social capital. The relative power of the groups to which one is associated may dictate exactly what social capital is available and how it can be used, and thus the resources useful for economic or political advancement may not be available to marginalized groups that populate juvenile justice systems.

CONSIDERING SOCIAL CAPITAL WITHIN A JUVENILE JUSTICE CONTEXT There is clear benefit in applying the concept of social capital to models of community reentry, being mindful of the differences among types of social capital and the variations in patterns of social capital utilization among young people. A particular emphasis should be placed on promoting relationships outside of youth’s bonded groups, as absence of bridging social capital hinders one’s capacity to gain access to resources needed for growth and success. This is of particular importance to those working with delinquent youth, as this population is often unwilling to rely on mainstream services and authority figures for support (Letourneau, Stewart, Reutter, Barnfather, & Hungler, 2008).

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Consistent with this position, several interventions for reentry of delinquent youth to their communities have suggested a focus on social network participation and the strength of community ties. For example, Nicholson, Collins, and Holmer (2004) see the importance of connecting youth to the community by providing services, supports, and opportunities. These elements constitute a meaningful investment in community by the youth, thus creating positive ties. Mears and Travis (2004), too, suggest a community perspective focusing on justice, and placing pressure on government agencies, justice, educational, mental health, and social services departments through program development and advocacy. Further, the community plays a major role in Bazemore, Nissen, and Dooley’s (2000) restorative justice model, the idea of which is to build supportive relationships around the youth reentering the community. In one of the few analyses focusing on social capital and reintegration, Bazemore and Erbe (2003) emphasize a restorative justice model to strengthen neighborhood informal social control and social support. They suggest increasing social exchange by encouraging the offender to “earn redemption” or “repair” his or her relationship with individuals and collectives by greater community engagement. However, despite their attention to the importance of social networks, these interventions are not sufficiently comprehensive to be of enough value to change the lives of young people, especially if the youth’s network is homogenous or reflects bonding capital (Hawkins & Maurer, 2009; Morgan & Sorenson, 1999). Considering what results from those social networks—the social capital— adds a more effective option for intervention. Homogeneous networks are not all bad. The strength of ties in a homogenous network, such as in bonding-level relationships, may have other positive effects, such as

Making a Place for Youth: Social Capital, Resilience, and Communities

increased social support that decreases stress or facilitates activities of daily life. However, some argue that unless access to power, wealth, and the reputation of the dominant class is gained, there is little real change in the lives of young people (Lin, 2001; Morgan & Sorensen, 1999). Further, because close ties can have either prosocial or delinquent features, the characteristics of the network itself are critical. As it is only natural for individuals experiencing uncertainty to seek routine, reliability, and trust to protect the psychological self from chaos (Giddens, 1991; Mitzen, 2006; Wakefield & Elliott, 2000), it is likely that upon returning from confinement, youth will rejoin the same bonded group of individuals who participate in the kinds of activities that led them to be incarcerated in the first place. For instance, young men who have been struggling with substance abuse and mental health problems were often observed to return to where they felt safest, which included the bonding or close relationships that resulted in a community that abused substances (Hawkins & Abrams, 2007). Hawkins and Maurer (2011) and Hawkins (2009) observed, in research using data from victims of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, that individuals often seek ontological security following disasters—in other words, they seek out that which is familiar and safe. Giddens (1990) defines ontological security as the “confidence that most human beings have in the continuity of their self identity and in the constancy of their social and material environments of action” (p. 92). It is in these relationships that bonding has a strong importance when it came to day-to-day survival and other activities (Hawkins & Maurer, 2011). In sum, while there is clear benefit in applying the concept of social capital to models of community reentry, one needs to be mindful of the differences among types

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of social capital and the variations in patterns of social capital utilization among young people. A particular emphasis should be placed on promoting relationships outside of youth’s bonded groups, as absence of bridging social capital hinders their capacity to gain access to resources needed for growth and success. This is of particular importance to those working with delinquent youth, as this population is often unwilling to rely on mainstream services and authority figures for support (Letourneau, Stewart, Reutter, Barnfather, & Hungler, 2008). Programming for Reentry, Keeping Social Capital and Resilience in Mind The risk and resilience literature provides an overarching framework for understanding the mechanisms by which social capital impacts individuals and communities. Like resilience, social capital is a process in which interactions between the individual and his or her environment are the unit of analysis. In the resilience framework, it is the unique constellation of individual and community risk and protective factors interacting with each other that is behind each person’s adaptive outcome. In other words, different youth reentering the same community may follow very different trajectories as a function of their unique strengths and vulnerabilities, different person–context relations and exposure to different risk and protective factors. Similarly, the same individual may thrive in one community but not in another; and each community’s makeup, structure, and circumstances are likely to affect each individual differently. Following the same logic, we argue that individuals are likely to be differentially affected by their social capital. Some individuals may benefit from the positive aspects of social capital, such as family members who

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can provide babysitting so that a parent may take a better paying job or a community church group that provides a scholarship for low-income, well-performing students; both of these examples allow the combination of bonding and bridging social capital. Other young people may be hindered by the negative aspects of their social capital (e.g., strong presence of youth gangs), while still others may actually benefit from an opportunity to learn how to overcome challenges presented by these negative aspects. Regardless, none of this happens outside of social and structural contexts. The outcomes would vary as a function of person–context relations and the relative power or social position of an individual or network in the social hierarchy. Homogeneity or heterogeneity of network members and the strength of social connections influence the outcome, much as the ecological model is important to risk and resilience. The approach of seeking to identify protective factors while allowing for multiple pathways toward successful adaptation provides important insights to our conceptualization of the role of social capital in reentry processes. Only a few studies have attempted to identify protective factors within various ecological domains of the incarcerated youth returning to their communities that may promote successful adaptation (e.g., Todis, Bullis, Waintrup, Schultz, & D’Ambrosio, 2001). The model of social capital described in this chapter certainly allows us to assume that some aspects of this construct may serve a protective role against the risks to which youth returning from correctional facilities are exposed. It cautions us, however, against the simplistic view of social capital as a panacea. The resilience framework also cautions that it is the unique constellations of individual and contextual factors that give social

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capital protective functions in some cases, and benign or even negative functions in others. Programs trying to promote optimal trajectories of the youth reentering communities after incarceration must be mindful of these complex interactions. Our proposed approach for youth community reentry interventions (see Figure 12.2) integrates the protective model of resilience, which aims to uncover the complex, dynamic relationships among individual and environmental risk and protective factors, and our multidimensional model of social capital. This multilayered framework provides a road map for interventions that take into account the dynamic relationships among various aspects of social capital and risk and protective factors. As follows from the model, the role of social capital in the process of adaptation is complex and multilateral. Some aspects of social capital may promote resilient outcomes by (a) directly influencing the outcome as a protective factor or (b) increasing the protective effect of a different factor; other aspects of social capital may play a negative role by (c) intensifying the detrimental effects of adversity on adaptation. Interventions for young people reentering the community should start with a detailed assessment of risk and protective factors present within each type of social capital (bonding, bridging, and linking). To be clear, this is an effort to make the sometimes intangible nature of social capital more tangible, by identifying those key elements related to the concept. As outlined in Table 12.1, a focus on the young person’s “geography” speaks to the importance of the youth’s physical environment, followed by who exists with the youth within that environment. Further, defining the role each person plays is essential to identifying the protective or risk components of the relationship.

Making a Place for Youth: Social Capital, Resilience, and Communities

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Figure 12.2 Framework for Youth Community Reentry Interventions

Negative outcome (e.g., recidivism) Adversity (e.g., youth incarceration)

or Resilient outcome (e.g., success in college)

Social capital (bonding)

Protective factor

(e.g., close) friends, family)

(e.g., family) resources)

Social capital (bridging) (weak ties: business associates, parents’ friends, community leaders, etc.)

Social capital (linking) (businesses, jobs in the community, neighborhood quality, access to education)

Table 12.1. Questions for Assessing Social Capital in Youth Relationships Bonding

Bridging

Linking

What is the geographic makeup of the young person’s close social network (household, neighborhood, school, etc.)?

Are there social links that lead outside of the closed network?

What relationship does the youth have with enrolling in, or continuing in, schools?

Who exists within the youth’s social network? Are youth still in touch with individuals? What role does this individual or individuals play in the life of the young person? What positive elements does this person or persons bring? What are the negative elements? What risk factors (e.g., low school engagement, poverty, high crime rates) and protective factors (e.g., sociability, stable family relationships, availability of adult mentors) are at play?

Where do they lead? Who is in that network? How? Why? Where are the strong/weak ties in the young person’s relationships? What positive and negative factors do they bring? How are these factors operationalized? What are the connections, if any, to human capital development opportunities, such as employment or education?

What groups and associations, if any, are the youth connected with in order to help the youth maintain a prosocial lifestyle? What is the potential future of the youth’s relationship with these institutions? How can the youth remain connected to these larger institutions in a positive manner?

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Support may be present at the bonding level, but if there is not enough of it, the development of equally critical bridging or linking social capital would likely be more difficult. While bonding can stop at the boundaries of a network, it can also lead to bridging social capital, as individuals have other experiences and are introduced to new social stimuli. Therefore, interventions to promote positive adaptation of reentering youth must pay attention to the aspects of youth’s bonding situations that may connect them with bridging opportunities. Examination of the nature and value of bridging capital should be guided by questions that look outside of the closed network. Like bonding relationships, it is important to highlight the risk and protective factors of any existing strong weak ties, especially those that may be connected to human capital development opportunities, such as employment or education. This assessment of the bridging relationship should document both the relative strength of the ties beyond those that are close and their positive and negative elements. Bridging social capital can lead to linking, so the questions are fewer, but some can still be examined. In considering linking social capital, the questions should be asked about the youth’s connections to larger institutions. These questions should include an examination of a youth’s relationship with school, his/ her associations with other groups or organizations, and an assessment of both potential and ongoing relationships. Once a full picture of the youth’s social capital is obtained, the intervention program should help the youth identify which social capital elements are protective and which are interfering with positive adaptation. Given that this population of youth might have difficulties taking advice from those whom

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they see as authority figures, it is critical to establish mutual trust and acceptance. The program might involve a member of the young person’s bonded network to act as a mentor. For example, a skills-building program could include the programmatic units to help reentering youth learn work and educational skills, but with a focus on social capital these programs could assess the young person’s social environment, and identify the bonding, bridging, and linking connections. A General Educational Development (GED) program could also include a social capital component. In many programs, GED graduates still do not find jobs that pay a livable wage. One way to assist them is to facilitate their establishing community and civic connections and then assess the varying kinds of social capital, both positive and negative, available to the youth. The final step is to help the youth acquire access to additional social capital that would open up new avenues to success, reduce isolation, support existing individual strengths, and optimize peer influences. The focus of the intervention should be helping the youth build a new identity that gives him or her a sense of competence and control without the need to engage in risky or destructive behaviors. When this new identity is constructed in the context of supportive and trusting social relationships, it becomes empowering and gives the young person the skills to challenge the identity of delinquent assigned by the larger society.

CONCLUSIONS While the reentry of youth following incarceration can be a serious challenge for communities, social capital can be a useful tool to help with the transition of young people back to the community. Youth reentering

Making a Place for Youth: Social Capital, Resilience, and Communities

communities are faced with issues ranging from education to employment to cultural behaviors that make their transition difficult. Lack of engagement in work and/or school puts youth at risk of repeated offending and can set off a vicious cycle of negative life events. Social capital has become a popular concept in the social sciences to help illustrate the range of individual, family, and community resources, yet it has seen little usage in juvenile justice in general, and reentry in specific. In this chapter, we define social capital as a byproduct of social interactions that are embedded in and accessed via formal and informal social relationships with individuals, communities, and institutions and explore how it can be used as a conceptual and practical model for juveniles reentering communities after incarceration. We present a multilayered framework to help youth placed at risk, especially as they reenter or try to reconnect with the community. Our model borrows several key ideas from the risk and resilience literature to provide a theoretical approach for understanding the pathways to optimal functioning of individuals and communities. Examining the multilayered framework of social capital is necessary to its operationalization and use in juvenile justice. Understanding that social capital is related to, but distinct from, social networks and social support is essential to its use. Also understanding that there are real structural, economic, and social barriers to benefiting from social capital is critical to developing any community supports for formerly incarcerated youth. Youth program developers and practitioners should attempt to gain a complete picture of the young person’s social capital at each level of his or her ecology. This understanding can help the youth evaluate which existing outcome of their social relationship

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might help him or her capitalize on available protective factors and manage any negative outcome. It can also help the practitioner identify what resources will be helpful and which obstacles to avoid or divert, when possible. Identifying a youth’s social capital at multiple levels can also be a vehicle to help youth acquire access to additional resources, especially bridging and linking opportunities. It is these additional resources that facilitate the growth of new social relationships, helping youth develop new skills, competencies, values, and beliefs about themselves and their prospects.

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Zatura, A. J., Hall, J. S., & Murray, K. E. (2010). Resilience: A new definition of health for people and communities. In J. W. Reich, A. J. Zatura, & J. S. Hall (Eds.), Handbook of adult resilience (pp. 3–29). New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Juvenile Justice: Advancing Research, Policy, and Practice Edited by Francine T. Sherman and Francine H. Jacobs Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

CHAPTER

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The Developmental Impact of Community Violence EDMUND BRUYERE

AND

JAMES GARBARINO

W

ith the 2008 election of our first African American President, Barak Obama, we turned a page on a new chapter in U.S. history—one that promises to bring hope and change to millions of children and families. From the personal letter sent to daughters Sasha and Malia, to town hall meetings on health care, President Obama has been explicit in his intentions regarding many of the core issues continuing to plague children and families living in the United States (e.g., education, health care, women’s rights). In fact, it appears President Obama, “walks the talk,” because within his first 100 days in office he signed major legislation likely to improve the lives of many children and families. Nonetheless, despite the apparent progress in promoting child and family outcomes, there are many social and economic concerns yet to be addressed. For example, how do we intend to sever the grip of intergenerational and chronic poverty on millions of American children and youth? How will we reduce the stressors associated with child maltreatment? How do we assure every child access to a quality education? Finally, how will we address the factors disturbing child well-being and leading to juvenile incarceration? This chapter responds to this last question by extending the analysis first presented by Garbarino (1999) more than 10 years ago.

In that volume, he describes how the social environment surrounding young men contributes to the development of psychopathologies and violent behavior that, in turn, lead to outcomes such as juvenile incarceration (Garbarino, 1999). We begin here by summarizing core concepts of the ecology of human development, which serves as a theoretical framework used to guide our subsequent discussion. We then discuss the effect of risk accumulation, community violence, and trauma on juvenile incarceration. The second half of the chapter details how ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child could provide important guidance for community development, particularly in how it relates to creating social support networks known to prevent and ameliorate many of the factors associated with community violence and juvenile incarceration.

AN ECOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE ON THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF CHILDREN Three principles underlie the ecology of human development (Bronfenbrenner, 1979). First, children are recognized as active participants who influence, and are influenced by, the direct and indirect actions of others and 267

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surrounding environmental systems. These reciprocal transactions create subjective, meaningful representation of experiences for children. Second, children, as well as environments, adapt and respond accordingly to changes over time. Finally, a series of interrelated systems—the micro-, meso-, exo-, and macrosystems—directly and indirectly influence development, with the child at the focal point of that influence. These structures coalesce as the child’s human ecology (see Hawkins, Vashchenko, & Davis, Chapter 2, this volume; Lerner et al., Chapter 5, this volume; Oliveri, Towery, Jacobs, & Jacobs, Chapter 18, this volume). Ecology of Human Development Microsystems are immediate environments in which a child is influenced by place, time, roles, and activities. This system has the most direct influence on development (Bronfenbrenner, 1979). Here, a child engages in activities that should become more complicated and meaningful with time. There is a reciprocal relationship between the child and environment, meaning that not only does the child influence surrounding environments but also environments influence the biological and social outcomes of the child. In addition, across time a child develops cognitive, social, emotional, psychological, and behavioral competence, which enables him to assume more complicated social roles. And, of course, by engaging with others, a child forms relationships with caregivers and other family members. Each of these experiences influences perceptions of surrounding environments and future interactions. The mesosystem—the relationship between two or more settings in which a child is directly involved—also influences development (Bronfenbrenner, 1979). A few examples of mesosystem structures include relationships

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between a child’s home and school; home and places of faith; and among home, welfare, and health-care institutions. Similar to the microsystem, the extent to which a child is influenced by mesosystem environments depends in part on the strength of reciprocal transactions, communication, and knowledge between settings. For example, the likelihood that a child will be maltreated has been shown to be correlated with the extent to which parents receive social support from surrounding environments, including community-level resources and relationships (Garbarino & Crouter, 1978). Similarly, it is widely known that social workers, as well as other service agency personnel, must provide parents with a feeling that the community they live in is willing to communicate and encourage participation (Bronfenbrenner, 1979). Many of the same principles (e.g., reciprocal relations, knowledge and communications between settings) that apply to the mesosystem also apply to the exosystem (Bronfenbrenner, 1979). However, in contrast to the micro- and mesosystems, children typically have no direct involvement or influence on decisions made in the exosystem. Nevertheless, they are directly and indirectly affected by decisions, legislation, and tenets set forth by policy makers, judges, and bureaucratic administrators at multiple levels of government (local, city, state, and national levels) and in private organizations. The macrosystem represents a blueprint of how a society as a whole decides how it will live and what and who it will value (Bronfenbrenner, 1979). Within the macrosystem lie the micro-, meso-, and exosystems, each of which is influenced by the morals and values of a society. It is here where state and federal lawmakers, judges, and international governmental bodies—such as the United Nations—produce influential judicial decisions, legislation, and policies.

The Developmental Impact of Community Violence

Ecological Perspective on the Human Rights of Children Two principles are vital to understanding an ecological perspective on the human rights of children (Bruyere & Garbarino, 2009). First, such a perspective attempts to describe and explain the direct and indirect influence of the micro-, meso-, exo- and macrosystems on the behavior and development of children. Second, by taking a position on the risks and opportunities influencing the social environment of children and families, an ecological perspective on the human rights of children attempts to make the world a better place to live through acknowledging and supporting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. It is our view that only through macro-level change—that is, through United States ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child—will we be able to permanently support and protect the social and economic rights of all children and families living in the United States, to include youth involved in the juvenile justice system (see Sherman & Blitzman, Chapter 4, this volume). An underlying assumption of the ecological perspective on the human rights of children is this: Rarely is there a direct causal association between variables that are universal and invariant across contexts (Garbarino, 2008). This can be expressed as follows: When the question is “Does X cause Y?” the best answer is almost always, “It depends.” In other words, what we think of as “cause and effect” must be considered in the context of a number of mediating variables. To illustrate, consider the question: “Does exposure to community violence cause youth to behave in a way that places them at risk for juvenile incarceration?” The answer is: “It depends.” It differs from youth to youth, and from community to community, as a function of both the range and quality of social resources

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available to the youth, and a host of other factors as well (see Beyer, Chapter 1, this volume). In short, it depends on a number of mediating variables that include the interaction of the child with other adults, family functioning, income level, neighborhood conditions, and the national social consensus to place the best interest of all children and families at the forefront of the political, social, and economic agenda. It depends on the net effect of the accumulation of developmental risks and assets. Risk Accumulation One of the essential concepts in understanding the developmental pathways characterizing violent young men (and more and more young women) is “risk accumulation” (Garbarino, 1999, 2001). Rarely, if ever, is a single risk factor decisive in the development of children. For one thing, children differ temperamentally in how and to what degree they will react to particular experiences. For another, assessing the impact of particular risk factors depends to a large extent on the larger context of the child’s life (see Dym et al., this volume). Thus, it is the accumulation of risk factors that tells the story, in counterpoint to the number and quality of compensatory supports (developmental assets) provided (Garbarino, 2008; see also Beyer, Chapter 1, this volume). What is more, the particulars of any one child’s development reflects the individual nature and characteristics of that child (Garbarino, 1999). Thus, two equally traumatized children might react in different ways as a result of temperamental differences. A passive child might resort to internalized symptoms; a more outwardly oriented child might respond with externalizing symptoms. This gross differentiation often distinguishes between girls and boys in the same abusive family. The boys are likely be more aggressive and antisocial, the

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girls more withdrawn and self-destructive (see Baker, Cunningham, & Harris, Chapter 11, this volu