Childhood Victimization among Incarcerated Juveniles in Japan: Results of a National Survey of Inmates in Juvenile Training Schools

Kaoru Furuta, Ministry of Justice, Japan
Hideo Takasaki, Ministry of Justice, Japan

Japanese Juvenile Training Schools provide treatment and education in secure facilities for juvenile offenders. This paper presents the results of a survey of juvenile inmates who were in Juvenile Training Schools and who have been victims of child abuse or neglect. The aims of the study were: to assess the extent of childhood victimization among all juvenile inmates; to examine possible links between childhood abuse and later delinquent and/or criminal behavior and to outlie the key difference between the group of inmates with a history of childhood victimization and those without it. The survey was carried out in 2000. In total, 2354 inmates (60% of all juvenile inmates) took part in the survey conducted by the Research and Training Institute of the Japanese Ministry of Justice. Overall, 50% of the sample reported physical abuse, sexual abuse and/or neglect in childhood. Also, results showed that the female respondents were more likely to find the reason of their childhood victimization in later delinquent and/or criminal behavior than males. We found there were not significant differences in subsequent offending patterns between abused and non-abused groups. However, we did find that a history of childhood victimization seems to have an impact on the personality development.

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Updated 05/20/2006