Listening to Juvenile Offenders: Can Residential Treatment Prevent Recidivism?

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This paper explores clients' perspectives on their treatment in two different residential correctional facilities for juvenile male offenders. Although a wealth of literature has investigated risk factors for recidivism, little is known about how youth offenders experience the treatment or deterrence aspects of institutional confinement. Through an ethnographic study of two correctional facilities and in-depth interviews with 19 young men, the author provides a rich description of how youth offenders understand their time in residential care and examines how these programs influence offenders' motivations to desist from crime. The principles derived from this study will provide critical information for social workers and researchers seeking to enhance the effectiveness and quality of institutional care for male juvenile offenders.

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