Transition services for incarcerated youth: A mixed methods evaluation study

Laura S. Abrams, Sarah K.S. Shannon, Cindy Sangalang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Despite a considerable overlap between child welfare and juvenile justice populations, the child welfare literature contains sparse information about transition and reentry programs for incarcerated youth. Using mixed methods, this paper explores the benefits and limitations of a six-week transitional living program for incarcerated youth offenders. Logistic regression analysis found that only age at arrest and number of prior offenses predicted the odds of recidivism at one-year post-release. Youth who participated in the transitional living program and dual status youth (those involved in both child welfare and juvenile justice systems) were slightly more likely to recidivate, but these differences were not statistically significant. Qualitative interviews with youth and staff revealed that both groups viewed the transitional living program as having many benefits, particularly independent living skills training. However, follow-up with youth in the community lacked sufficient intensity to handle the types of challenges that emerged. Implications for future research and transition programming with vulnerable youth are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)522-535
Number of pages14
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2008


  • High risk youth
  • Independent living skills
  • Juvenile justice
  • Mixed methods
  • Transition services

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Transition services for incarcerated youth: A mixed methods evaluation study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this