Examining the Effectiveness of Juvenile Residential Programs

Doris Layton MacKenzie, Rachel Freeland

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Scopus citations


Much controversy exists about the use of juvenile residential programs for delinquents. They are argued to be inherently detrimental by some, means of rehabilitation by others, and still others argue that they should be employed only when the juvenile is a danger to self or others and that appropriate programming can be successfully employed in such institutions. This article reviews the literature on the effectiveness of juvenile residential programs with an emphasis on the impact on later criminal or delinquent behavior. The research reviewed does not support the perspective that incarceration is successful in deterring juveniles, nor do all facilities have detrimental impacts. But the article does state that programming brings about cognitive transformations and may be the most effective method in reducing recidivism. In general, the impact of programs is similar for different races, ethnicities, genders, or ages. Studies have not demonstrated differences between these groups in terms of the impact on recidivism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Juvenile Crime and Juvenile Justice
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199940776
ISBN (Print)9780195385106
StatePublished - Dec 23 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences(all)


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