Integration of culture in reading studies for youth in corrections: A literature review

Pamela Harris, Heather M. Baltodano, Alfredo Artiles, Robert B. Rutherford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The majority of youth in corrections have had negative school experiences and below average academic achievement. Longitudinal research indicates that both academic failure and a negative life-long trajectory are a probability for many youth confined to correctional facilities. Given the high number of youth from ethnic and cultural minority backgrounds who are incarcerated in the United States and the low rates of achievement, the purpose of the current review is to assess the empirical literature on reading interventions for youth in corrections. In particular, the literature was analyzed to determine the extent that cultural factors were considered in the development and implementation of reading interventions for youth in corrections. It is disconcerting that in reviewing more than 170 articles only four were empirical intervention studies with incarcerated youth. This finding speaks clearly to the need for more research behind the fence. The small body of literature dealing with incarcerated youth is primarily comprised of studies that identify academic deficiencies rather than programming that may strengthen reading skills in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)749-778
Number of pages30
JournalEducation and Treatment of Children
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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