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Decreasing the Rate of Juvenile

Recidivism
Throughout the last few decades, data shows a decrease in juveniles being convicted of
crimes. Time in a prison can greatly affect a persons life. Unfortunately, prisons see a high level
of recidivism, which means these teens will spend a percentage of their life in the prison system.
Juveniles in the Prison System
Depending on the state, juveniles can be tried as an adult. It will depend on their crime
and their age. In the adult federal and state prison systems, there are around 2,646 juveniles
facing life without parole due to their offense. However, many states find life without parole a
cruel and unusual punishment for a juvenile.
The number of juveniles in residential programs was 55,000 in 2013. This means, for
every 100,000 juveniles, 173 are in custody. The rate has slowly decreasing; many are being
tried as adults instead of juveniles. Unfortunately, juveniles in adult facilities will experience
victimization at a higher rate.
According to sentencingproject.org, the ethnicity rate per 100,000 for juveniles were at
this levels in 2013.
White Custody Rate: 100
African American Custody Rate: 464
Latino Custody Rate: 173
American Indian Custody Rate: 334
Asian Custody Rate: 28
Recidivism Rates
Many juveniles face problems that will result in their criminal ways. Often times, they
have parents that were negligent, abusive, abused alcohol or drugs or were sexually molested. It
is a terrible cycle that is difficult to break.
Recidivism is repeating a criminal behavior that results in an incarceration. The U.S.
Department of Justice doesnt have a national recidivism rate; they depend on the states to track
and record this data. However, not all states do nor do they all track the data in the same way.
In 2006, data from New York, Florida and Virginia indicated a 55% re-arrest recidivism
rate. The same states have a 24% reconviction rate of these offenders.
Factors that Change Recidivism
Not all of the juveniles will return. Some systems offer strong rehabilitation programs, and
one sentence is enough to deter them from ever committing another crime. There are some other
positive life experiences that can affect it as well.
High school graduation
Employment
Job stability
Marriage
Parenthood
There are a number of rehabilitation options for juvenile offenders. One of the best ways to
reduce recidivism is to provide counseling intervention. Research shows that counseling reduces
recidivism by 13%. Multiple coordinated services and skill building programs followed closely
behind with 12% rate reductions.
This same research shows that disciplinary interventions actually caused an increase of
recidivism. The rates increased by 8%; this is a step in the wrong direction.
In-home probation has a lesser rate of recidivism. A study completed in Los Angeles County
showed a 48% rate of violent juvenile offenders committing another crime and being arrested.
Whereas, in the same county, this rate was 2.12 times greater than those juveniles who faced
probation camps, group homes or in-home probation.

Yearly, more studies are being conducted each year to show that juvenile offenders have a
better chance at living a normal life with rehabilitation.