Social scientists have long recognized that individual experiences in particular settings shape behavior, and as a result, many service sectors regularly evaluate client perceptions. This is not the case in the juvenile justice system. Using a sample of 519 serious juvenile offenders (92% male, ethnically diverse) from two sites, this study evaluated the impact of youth perceptions along eight dimensions of an institutional experience on recidivism following release, with recidivism measured as self-reported antisocial activity, rearrest, or a return to a facility. The authors demonstrated that more positive perceptions within and across dimensions of the juvenile setting reduce involvement in the outcomes assessed, even after controlling for individual characteristics and facility type. Implications for juvenile justice practice and policy are discussed.
- juvenile justice
- youth perceptions
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine