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Violence Exposure, Continuous Trauma, and Repeat Offending in Female and Male Serious Adolescent Offenders

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2018
75 pages
This is the Final Technical Report of a project whose primary goal was to develop juvenile justice reform that reduces reoffending among juvenile offenders at the highest risk for reoffending.
In addressing this issue, the project recognized the need for prospective research on serious juvenile offenders that will determine both the prevalence and impact of continuous exposure to violence in multiple settings that inflicts re-traumatization, leading to reoffending. In this effort secondary analysis was conducted on data from the Pathways to Desistance Study (Mulvey, 2004). The findings indicate that juvenile offenders are exposed to disproportionately high levels of community violence, as well as violence exposure in correctional and residential settings. This indicates the need for policies and practices that support trauma-informed care and services that mitigate the impact of violence exposure on thoughts and behaviors. This suggests the need for universal screening that will identify trauma exposure and trauma-related impairments. Such screening should be done when youth enter the juvenile justice system. Trauma-responsive treatment should be made available in both community-based settings and in juvenile detention/correctional facilities. Evaluation research is also needed to determine the long-term effects of such treatment on trauma exposure, trauma-related impairment, re-offending, and re-arrest. The findings on the levels of violence exposure in correctional settings and residential settings indicate the need for staff training on how trauma-informed practices must be used in interactions with and the management of juvenile residents. 4 tables, 1 figure, and 79 references

Date Published: September 1, 2018