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Title:Rehabilitative practices in juvenile detention: invoking multiple perspectives to explore implementation
Author(s):Walden, Angela Lecia
Director of Research:Allen, Nicole E.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Allen, Nicole E.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Greene, Jennifer; Neville, Helen A.; Aber, Mark S.; Kral, Michael
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Juvenile Detention
Abstract:The dual purpose of the juvenile justice system is to protect community members and deter minors from engaging in criminal behavior. Thus, one perennial challenge faced by this system is “balancing” punishment and rehabilitation. Notably, research exploring the utility of rehabilitation with juvenile justice-involved youth is often focused on particular interventions or treatment modalities. However, the focus on implementing programs is only one component of rehabilitation practice. This study contributes to a growing body of literature documenting rehabilitative practices in the context of service providers’ daily routine. Specifically, this study examined rehabilitative practices in a juvenile detention via an ethnographic case study cast in a mixed methods framework to address the following research questions: a) In what form and to what extent are rehabilitative practices implemented in juvenile detention? and b) What processes and factors are associated with the implementation (or lack thereof) of rehabilitative practices? In response to the first question, this study found evidence of four primary forms of rehabilitative practices in the context of staff members’ everyday activities: a) promotion of detained youths’ emotional safety, b) provision of rights-based information and explanations, c) the orientation of detained youth to the culture of the justice system to promote youths’ success in this system, and d) investment in youth that extended beyond detention. Further, these practices were observed across four critical contexts: a) staff-led group activities, b) routine contact between individual youth and staff (e.g., formal intake procedures, informal conversations in a dayroom), c) staff-only spaces, and d) in staff members’ contact with formerly detained youth living in the community. Findings related to the second question revealed an overarching tension between rehabilitation and punishment evident within each factor of interest: Staff members who exhibited a more contextually based understanding of youths’ involvement in the juvenile justice system generally exhibited a rehabilitative orientation and were observed engaging in rehabilitative practices more often. Not surprisingly, organizational factors were found to operate in unique and interconnected ways. This study provides empirical support for the assertion that the implementation of rehabilitative practices is possible in the context of detention staff members’ routine practices and provides important information about the factors that may shape implementation in a detention setting.
Issue Date:2015-07-06
Rights Information:Copyright 2015 Angela Walden
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-29
Date Deposited:August 201

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