Unraveling the Effects of Juvenile Transfer on Recidivism: The Post-Release Behavior of Juveniles Sentenced to Adult Versus Juvenile Correctional Institutions

Donna M. Bishop, Northeastern University
Lonn Lanza-Kaduce, University of Florida
Charles E. Frazier, University of Florida
Jodi Lane, University of Florida

A growing body of research suggests that prosecution and punishment of juveniles in the criminal courts may exacerbate re-offending. One possible explanation for this result is that incarceration in juvenile facilities differs from incarceration in adult institutions in meaningful ways that have important implications for recidivism. In this presentation we report results of a follow-up study of 144 serious male adolescent offenders whom we interviewed in Florida penal institutions in 1997 and 1998. At the time of the interviews, half of the youths were incarcerated in "deep end" juvenile correctional facilities, while the remainder were housed in adult correctional institutions to which they had been sentenced following transfer to the criminal courts. Recidivism data are reported for those youth who have been released. We then explore whether and to what extent re-offending is related to what youth earlier reported about their experiences in and reactions to incarceration in the two systems.

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Updated 05/20/2006