Interventions Addressing Incarcerated Youth Behavior: A Review of Literature

Joseph Calvin Gagnon, Elizabeth Ruiz, Sarup R. Mathur, Loretta Mason-Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Many youth who are incarcerated have serious behavioral problems that negatively affect their ability to benefit from educational services. In the Guiding Principles for Providing High-Quality Education in Juvenile Justice Secure Care Settings published at the end of 2014, the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education address this issue in Principle 1, which asserts the importance of ensuring the safety and well-being of youth who are incarcerated. To address the research progress since publication of the Guiding Principles, ProQuest and Ebsco were systematically searched and a hand search was conducted. Ten intervention studies were identified that addressed youth behavior. The studies primarily employed a single subject research design and focused on increasing youth compliance and/or decreasing disruptive behaviors. Reviewed studies provide support for providing clear behavioral expectations and reminders, praise, and reinforcement, as well as cognitive-behavioral interventions. However, methodological limitations, including the lack of treatment integrity in nine of the studies, limit conclusions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)405-417
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Journal of Orthopsychiatry
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2022


  • Juvenile corrections
  • Systematic literature review
  • Youth behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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