Free Article: Juvenile Justice Interventions

offrehabThe Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, published by Taylor & Francis, has made the following article available free of charge until the end of 2014. To access the article please click the title of the article below. To download a PDF of the article, please click here.

Juvenile Justice Interventions: System Escalation and Effective Alternatives to Residential Placement

Authors:

STEPHANIE BONTRAGER RYON, The Justice Research Center, Tallahassee, Florida, USA
KRISTIN WINOKUR EARLY, The Justice Research Center, Tallahassee, Florida, USA
GREGORY HAND, The Justice Research Center, Tallahassee, Florida, USA
STEVEN CHAPMAN, The Justice Research Center, Tallahassee, Florida, USA

Abstract:

The overarching goals of the evaluation are to assess the use of community-based interventions as an alternative to residential commitments for delinquent youth, and determine why some youth escalate from community-sanctions to residential placement. Using logistic regression and propensity score matching techniques, the study examined pathways through the continuum of care, and the relative effectiveness of probation and residential dispositions. All youth disposed to either juvenile probation (n = 2,823) or residential facilities (n = 269) in Connecticut between July 1, 2005 and June 30, 2007 were included in the study. The results demonstrate that delaying delinquency and increasing family protective factors help prevent youth escalation through the system. Further, an assessment of comparable probation and residential placements revealed that probationers had significantly lower recidivism than those placed in commitment programs. These findings suggest that community-based supervision is an effective alternative to more restrictive and costly residential services for some juvenile delinquents; and highlight important considerations for reducing system escalation.

KEYWORDS: community-based programs, juvenile, probation, recidivism, residential

15 Free Articles on Current Approaches and Perspectives in the Treatment of Sexual Offending

IJBCTThe International Journal of Behavioral Consultation and Therapy has made available an entire special issue on published a special issue on Current Approaches and Perspectives in the Treatment of Adult and Juvenile Sexual Offending. The special issue consists of  the introduction to the special issue as well as 15 articles written by a “dream team” of high profile researchers and clinicians who have a vast amount of expertise in this area. The articles are available free of charge by clicking the links below. The entire special issue can be accessed (for free) here.

International Journal of Behavioral Consultation and Therapy

Introduction to the Special Issue | Phil Rich

Lessons Learned from History and Experience: Five Simple Ways to Improve the Efficacy of Sexual Offender Treatment | Deirdre M. D’Orazio

Some Essential Environmental Ingredients for Sex Offender Reintegration | Douglas P. Boer

Taking a Developmental Approach to Treating Juvenile Sexual Behavior Problems | Kevin Creeden

Using Mindfulness in the Treatment of Adolescent Sexual Abusers: Contributing Common Factor or a Primary Modality? | Jerry L. Jennings, Jack A. Apsche, Paige Blossom, & Corliss Bayles

Expensive, Harmful Policies that Don’t Work or How Juvenile Sexual Offending is Addressed in the U.S. | Elizabeth J. Letourneau & Michael F. Caldwell

The Risk Need Responsivity Model of Offender Rehabilitation: Is There Really a Need For a Paradigm Shift? | Jan Looman & Jeffrey Abracen

A Community Treatment Model for Adolescents Who Sexually Harm: Diverting Youth from Criminal Justice to Therapeutic Responses | Russ Pratt

The Rashomon Dilemma: Perspectives on and Dilemmas in Evidence-Based Practice | David S. Prescott

Youth Sexual Offending: Context, Good-Enough Lives, and Engaging With a Wider Prevention Agenda | Stephen Smallbone, Susan Rayment-Mchugh, & Dimity Smith

Why Prevention? Why Now? | Joan Tabachnick

Implications of our Developing Understanding of Risk and Protective Factors in the Treatment of Adult Male Sexual Offenders | David Thornton

Altruism, Empathy, and Sex Offender Treatment | Tony Ward & Russil Durrant

Putting the “Community” Back in Community Risk Management of Persons Who Have Sexually Abused | Robin J. Wilson & Andrew J. McWhinnie

What were we thinking? Five erroneous assumptions that have fueled specialized interventionsfor adolescents who have sexually offended | James R. Worling

Treatment of Sexual Offenders: Research, Best Practices, and Emerging Models | Pamela M. Yates

IQ Moderates the Relation between Psychopathy and Juvenile Offending

lhbIQ was found to moderate the relation between psychopathy and juvenile offending such that the highest levels of offending were found in youth with relatively higher levels of psychopathy and relatively higher IQ. This is the bottom line of a recently published article in Law and Human Behavior. Below is a summary of the research and findings as well as a translation of this research into practice.

Featured Article | Law and Human Behavior | 2014, Vol. 38, No. 1, 23-33

Does IQ Moderate the Relation Between Psychopathy and Juvenile Offending?

Authors

Ashley S. Hampton, Temple University
Deborah A. G. Drabick, Temple University
Laurence Steinberg, Temple University 

Abstract

Although evidence indicates that both psychopathy and intelligence independently predict juvenile offending, relations among IQ, psychopathy, and offending are inconsistent. We investigated whether intelligence moderates the relation between psychopathy and both income and aggressive offending concurrently and over time among 1,354 juvenile offenders enrolled in Pathways to Desistance, a prospective study of serious juvenile offenders in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Phoenix, Arizona. Participants were assessed on intelligence, psychopathy, and self-reported offending at their initial interview (age range: 14–18 years old), and at 36 and 84 months later. Results indicate that intelligence moderates the concurrent relation between both income and aggressive offending and total psychopathy, as well as scores on Factor 1 (interpersonal/affective) and Factor 2 (social deviance); the 36-month prospective relation between all aspects of psychopathy and income offending; and the 84-month prospective relation between Factor 2 psychopathy and aggressive offending. As expected, higher levels of psychopathy are associated with higher levels of offending, but the highest levels of offending are evinced among youth with relatively higher levels of psychopathy and relatively higher IQ.

Keywords

psychopathy, intelligence, adolescence, juvenile offenders, offending

Summary of the Research

“The current study investigated whether IQ moderates the relation between total, Factor 1, and Factor 2 psychopathy scores and both income and aggressive offending among a large, diverse sample of adjudicated adolescents cross-sectionally and longitudinally” (p. 25).

A total of 1,354 serious juvenile offenders enrolled in the Pathways to Desistance prospective study in Philadelphia, PA and Phoenix, AZ participated in this study. Participants were between the ages of 14 and 17 at the time of their arrest for any felony, excluding less serious property crimes, or a similarly serious nonfelony offense, including misdemeanor sexual assault or misdemeanor weapons offenses. Each participant was administered a computer-assisted interview as well as a number of assessment measures, including the PCL:YV (Psychopathy Checklist: Youth Version) to assess psychopathy, the WASI (Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence) to assess intelligence, and the Self-Report of Offending (SRO) to assess offending behavior. Data were analyzed to determine the relations between psychopathy and offending and to determine whether IQ acts as a moderating variable in the relation between psychopathy and juvenile offending behavior (broken into aggressive offending and income-generating offending). Data were analyzed in terms of concurrent relations at baseline as well as in terms of predictors at 36- and 84-month follow-ups.

Results indicate that IQ moderates the relation between psychopathy and both aggressive and income-generating offending such that the highest levels of both aggressive offending and income-generating offending at baseline were found among youth with higher levels of IQ and higher levels of psychopathy.

Specifically, “Although higher scores on all measures of psychopathy are associated with greater offending in both IQ groups [higher and lower], the relation between psychopathy and baseline aggressive offending was stronger among offenders who had relatively higher IQ scores. More specifically, the highest levels of baseline aggressive offending were found among youth with higher levels of IQ and higher levels of psychopathy” (p. 27).

In addition, “Although higher scores on all measures of psychopathy were associated with greater offending in both IQ groups, the relation between psychopathy and baseline income[-generating] offending was stronger among offenders who had relatively higher IQ scores. Ore specifically, the highest levels of baseline income offending were found among youth with higher levels of IQ and higher levels of psychopathy” (p. 27).

At 36-month follow-up, “among juvenile offenders assessed as high in psychopathy, high IQ was associated with the highest levels of 36-month follow-up income offending variety scores” (p. 27). IQ did not appear to moderate the relation between psychopathy and aggressive offending at 36-month follow-up.

At 84-month follow-up, “among juvenile offenders assessed as high in psychopathy, high IQ was associated with the highest levels of 84-month follow-up aggressive offending variety scores” (p. 29). IQ did not appear to moderate the relation between psychopathy and income offending at 84-month follow-up.

Translating Research into Practice

“The most important finding from this study is that intelligence and psychopathy interact in their contemporaneous influence on juvenile offending, with higher levels of psychopathy and intelligence conferring the greatest risk among adolescents adjudicated delinquent. There are significant policy implications of this finding. Psychopathy was found to have a significant main effect in predicting juvenile offending both cross-sectionally and longitudinally, and thus may be a valid component in the assessment of risk in juvenile offender populations. However, courts must be cautious not to overrely on assessments of psychopathy in decision-making about juvenile sentencing, and instead consider multiple variables. For example, when making decisions about sentencing or treatment options, intelligence should also be assessed in conjunction with measures of psychopathy in determining outcomes for adolescents. Because adolescents with higher psychopathy and IQ may be at particularly elevated risk for offending, specialized interventions could be tailored to this at-risk group (e.g., programs that place a greater emphasis on teaching problem-solving and perspective-taking skills). Adolescents in this at-risk group are also more likely to reduce their offending gradually over time; thus, it may be beneficial to retain them in supportive, therapeutic services until they reach adulthood to increase their likelihood of ceasing to offend following adolescence” (p. 31).

Other Interesting Tidbits for Researchers and Clinicians

Additional aspects of this paper that are worth noting include the clear presentation of current hypotheses and rationale, the clear and well-defined data analytic plan, and the manner in which psychopathy was assessed.

The last paragraph of the introduction (p. 25) presents clear, well-delineated hypotheses that provide a nice example of how current hypotheses should be linked to the underlying rationale provided by results of earlier research.

In addition, the data analytic plan as set out on page 27 provides a nice example of a clear, well thought out a priori data analytic strategy that allows for testing of current hypotheses as well as additional probing post hoc to determine directionality and significance of interactions.

Finally, “another important strength of this study was its assessment of psychopathy. Psychopathy was assessed using the PCL:YV, which involved a diagnostic interview and review of information from collateral sources and institutional files, which increases confidence in the accuracy of the assessment of psychopathy. Additionally, the analyses examined multiple aspects of psychopathy, which enabled an examination of whether a single factor was driving the results. The use of both cross-sectional and prospective data derived from multiple time points also adds to the evidence that the PCL:YV predicts juvenile offending concurrently and prospectively” (p. 31).

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Young Offenders with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Demonstrate More Impairment on Psycholegal Abilities

lhbYoung offenders with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) demonstrate more impairment of psycholegal abilities than young offenders without prenatal alcohol exposure. This is the bottom line of a recently published article in Law and Human Behavior. Below is a summary of the research and findings as well as a translation of this research into practice.

Featured Article | Law and Human Behavior | 2014, Vol. 38, No. 1, 10-22

Evaluating the Psycholegal Abilities of Young Offenders With Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

Authors

Kaitlyn McLachlan, University of Alberta
Ronald Roesch, Simon Fraser University
Jodi L. Viljoen, Simon Fraser University
Kevin S. Douglas, Simon Fraser University

Abstract

Individuals with a diagnosis of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) experience a range of physical, cognitive, and behavioral deficits thought to interfere with their ability to competently navigate the arrest, interrogation, and trial process. This study examined the psycholegal abilities of young offenders with FASD, including their understanding and appreciation of Miranda rights, and adjudication capacities (factual knowledge of criminal procedure, appreciation of the nature and object of the proceedings, ability to participate in a defense and communicate with counsel). Two groups of young offenders (50 with FASD and 50 without prenatal alcohol exposure) completed Grisso’s Instruments for Assessing Understanding and Appreciation of Miranda rights and the Fitness Interview TestRevised to assess overall rates of impairment in youth with FASD, as well as differences between the groups. Potentially important predictors of psycholegal abilities were also evaluated. Results indicated the majority of young offenders with FASD (90%) showed impairment in at least one psycholegal ability, and rates of impairment were significantly higher than the comparison group. However, considerable within-group variability was observed. IQ and reading comprehension emerged as robust predictors of participants’ psycholegal abilities, while the FASD diagnosis differentiated participants’ scores on the FIT-R. These findings underscore the importance of individualized and comprehensive forensic assessments of psycholegal abilities in this population when warranted. Additional system level strains for this population are discussed, including problems in approaching competency remediation, and the potentially growing need for accommodation and forensic assessments in the face of limited financial and professional resources in legal settings.

Keywords

fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, psycholegal abilities, juvenile justice

Summary of the Research

Two groups of young offenders—50 offenders with FASD and 50 offenders with no history of prenatal alcohol exposure—were compared with respect to their scores on two measures of psycholegal abilities: Grisso’s Instruments for Assessing Understanding and Appreciation of Miranda Rights and the Fitness Interview Test – Revised.  In addition, predictors of psycholegal abilities, such as IQ and reading ability, were also examined in these two groups.

After being recruited and providing informed consent to participate, participants were administered a battery of measures, including a semi-structured interview asking about demographic information and previous legal experiences, clinical forensic assessment measures (Grisso’s Miranda Instruments; Fitness Interview Test – Revised; Canadian Rights Comprehension Supplement; Rights Comprehension Confidence), and intellectual and academic testing (WASI; WRAT-4). Scores on the various measures for the offenders with FASD were compared to those obtained by the offenders without prenatal alcohol exposure.

Comprehension of Rights

Results indicated that the offenders with FASD had considerable difficulty with comprehension of rights as measured by Grisso’s Instruments for Assessing Understanding and Appreciation of Miranda Rights and the Canadian Rights Comprehension Supplement. More than half (60%) of the offenders with FASD demonstrated impaired performance on the Comprehension of Miranda Rights (defined as earning a “zero” on one or more of the four warnings). Approximately one-third (34%) demonstrated impaired understanding of at least one warning prong on the comparatively easier Comprehension of Miranda Rights-Recognition (CMR-R) instrument. Finally, near three-quarters (72%) demonstrated impaired performance on the Comprehension of Miranda Vocabulary (CMV) instrument.

“Participants with FASD earned significantly lower scores across [Grisso’s] four instruments, relative to the comparison group, indicating that offenders with FASD had substantial difficulty both understanding and appreciating their rights” (p. 15).

“In spite of substantially more impaired performance across Grisso’s four instruments, participants with FASD provided similar mean ratings of both understanding and confidence about waiver decisions relative to the comparison group” (p. 16). While there was a relationship between higher scores on Grisso’s instruments and confidence in the group of offenders without prenatal alcohol exposure, this “relationship did not hold up in the FASD group, suggesting their confidence judgments did not as accurately reflect actual understanding and appreciation of their rights” (p. 16).

With respect to predictors of comprehension, as a general finding “young offenders with weaker intellectual and reading abilities, regardless of diagnostic group [FASD v. no prenatal alcohol exposure], experience significantly more difficulty understanding and appreciating their arrest rights compared with participants with stronger skills in these areas” (p. 17).

Fitness to Stand Trial

Results indicated that participants in the FASD group demonstrated considerable difficulty across the three sections of the FIT-R: Understanding, Appreciation, and Communication.  “In total, 76% of young offenders in the FASD group demonstrated impaired performance on the Understanding scale, 24% had impaired scores on the Appreciation scale, and similarly, 24% had impaired scores on the Communication scale” (p. 17).

“Participants in the FASD group earned significantly lower scores on the FIT-R (with lower scores reflecting a greater degree of impairment) across the three subscales. They had more difficulty understanding elements of the arrest and trial process, appreciating their involvement and possible consequences of the proceedings, and adequately participating in their defense through appropriate communication with counsel, than comparison participants” (p. 17).

“Overall, 76% of young offenders with FASD demonstrated impairments in one or more domains on the FIT-R, compared to only 28% in the comparison group” (p. 17).

Even after controlling for IQ, group membership (FASD v. no prenatal alcohol exposure) “remained a significant predictor of scores on the Understanding and Communication subscales, suggesting that some aspect of the FASD diagnosis contributed to raters’ evaluation on these indicators” (p. 18).

Translating Research into Practice

“As a group, a high proportion of young offenders with FASD showed deficits in their psycholegal abilities, and rates of impairment were substantially higher in this group compared with other young offenders” (p. 18).

“Offenders with FASD may not demonstrate flagrant symptoms of mental illness, such as poor orientation or appreciation of the trial process that is delusional in nature. However, they are more likely to have significant cognitive impairments, coupled with behavioral and emotional challenges that may substantially increase their risk of meeting the threshold for a finding of incompetence in court. These findings speak to the need to carefully assess these [competence-related and decisional] capacities in young defendants with an FASD diagnosis” (p. 19).

With respect to remediation of these deficits, it appears that “extra time and effort on the part of lawyers and judges to explain important case-specific concepts and court procedures is likely warranted. Intervention recommendations designed to optimize learning for young offenders with FASD might include using simple language, repeating information, ensuring attention is captured before communicating information, gauging comprehension frequently to assess adequacy of learning, and using applied or multimodal methods of presenting information” (p. 18).

Of course, it is also important to highlight that not all offenders with FASD demonstrated impaired performance on measures of psycholegal ability, thus there is a variability of legal skills within this group of offenders, just as in all adolescents more generally. Thus, while it may be important for police, lawyers, and clinicians to remain mindful of the increased vulnerability of this group of offenders in legal contexts, “it is nevertheless important to undertake an individualized approach when assessing the psycholegal abilities of a young person with FASD” (p. 19).

“A final result worth highlighting is the limited awareness and misplaced confidence young offenders with FASD held in terms of their own legal knowledge, lending mixed support to speculation about whether they have sufficient insight to make decisions about their rights. Though many young offenders with FASD showed compromised understanding and appreciation of their rights, as a group they tended to feel more confident about their decision-making abilities than was warranted. Combined, these factors may increase a young suspect’s risk for making poor decisions based on limited understanding of their rights while expressing misplaced confidence to police or lawyers” (p. 19).

Other Interesting Tidbits for Researchers and Clinicians

Waiver of Rights in Canada v. United States

“Many young offenders with FASD showed substantial deficits in their arrest rights comprehension, raising the question of whether they faced an increased risk of providing invalid rights waivers without substantial efforts to clarify their meaning and relevance. The U.S. case law does not require extensive clarification efforts from police, Canadian officers are tasked with ensuring that young suspects understand and appreciate arrest warnings in order to secure a knowing and intelligent waiver. Unequipped to identify vulnerable suspects, it remains unclear whether they have the necessary training or skill to accomplish this task. This may constitute an area of inquiry for forensic clinicians who are tasked with assessing the admissibility of waivers and statements in court” (p. 18).

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Developmental Factors May Contribute to Adolescent Offending

lhbDevelopmental factors serve to tip adolescents’ risk appraisals toward risk-taking, which contributes to adolescent offending. This is the bottom line of a recently published article in Law and Human Behavior. Below is a summary of the research and findings as well as a translation of this research into practice.

Featured Article | Law and Human Behavior | 2013, Vol. 37, No. 6, 412-423

Reward-Biased Risk Appraisal and Its Relation to Juvenile Versus Adult Crime

Author

Elizabeth P. Shulman, University of Pennsylvania and Temple University
Elizabeth Cauffman, University of California, Irvine

Abstract

To what extent is criminal behavior in adolescence attributable to risk appraisal? Using two large cross-sectional samples (N = 929, age range: 10 –30 years; and N = 1,357, age range: 12–24 years), we examine whether (a) reward bias in risk appraisal is more prominent in adolescence and (b) the association between risk appraisal and criminal behavior is stronger during adolescence than at other ages. In Study 1, criminal behavior was self-reported; in Study 2, it was defined by involvement with the court. Perceived chances of a negative outcome, seriousness of consequences, and benefits versus costs of various risky activities were assessed to gauge reward bias in risk appraisal. The findings indicate that reward bias is elevated during the adolescence years. Also, risk appraisal bears a stronger relation to self-reported crime in middle adolescence and to official law-breaking behavior in early adolescence than at other ages. The findings are consistent with a dual-systems model of adolescent development and align with recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions addressing juvenile offenders’ culpability.

Keywords

risk perception, crime, risk-taking, adolescence, reward-bias

Summary of the Research

This research used two large datasets to test hypotheses regarding the relations between adolescent development (risk perception) and juvenile crime. The researchers “theorized that criminal behavior in adolescence results, in part, from reward bias in adolescent risk appraisal, reduced capacity to temper initial responses, and weaker ability to restrain approach impulses (resulting from risk appraisal) in the face of potential rewards. To the extent that this developmental model is correct, we would expect that reward bias in risk appraisal—the tendency to perceive greater rewards, fewer costs, and less danger associated with risky activities—would be generally more pronounced in middle adolescence than in earlier or later stages of development. In addition, if adolescents are less likely to modulate or reappraise their initial risk judgments and are less able to restrain their impulses, then we would expect the relation between risk appraisal and law-breaking behavior to be stronger among adolescents than among adults” (p. 414).

Study 1: To examine whether adolescents have elevated levels of reward bias and whether reward bias is more strongly associated with law-breaking among adolescents than adults, data from 929 participants, aged 10-30 years, recruited from 5 geographic locations (Denver, CO; Irvine, CA; Los Angeles, CA; Philadelphia, PA; Washington, DC) were analyzed. Participants in this study had completed measures of law-breaking, risk perception, age, and several control variables. Results indicated that adolescents had elevated levels of reward bias compared to adults (reward bias increased steadily until age 16-17, at which point it peaked and began to decline into adulthood). In addition, results indicated that reward bias is more strongly associated with (self-reported) law-breaking behavior among adolescents than adults. “Age, IQ, and sex were also linearly associated with law-breaking behavior such that older individuals, higher IQ individuals, and females reported less law-breaking behavior than did younger individuals, lower IQ individuals, and males” (p. 416). One shortcoming of this study is that the data for both risk perception and law-breaking behavior were self-reported. The next study addressed this limitation.

Study 2: To examine whether the results of Study 1 were replicable, data from 1,357 participants, aged 11-24 years, drawn from 4 geographic regions (Los Angeles, CA; Philadelphia, PA; Virginia; Florida) were analyzed. Half of the participants were court-involved individuals, recruited from juvenile detention facilities and adult jails, whereas the other half of the participants were drawn from the community and had no court involvement. Court involvement was used as an index of law-breaking behavior (as a means of addressing the limitation of using self-reports of law-breaking behavior in Study 1). Results indicated that community (non-court involved) adolescents showed elevated levels of reward bias compared to adults (reward bias increased steadily until age 14-15, at which point it peaked and began to decline into adulthood). In addition, results indicated that reward bias is more strongly associated with law-breaking behavior (court involvement) among adolescents than adults.

“The findings [from both of these studies] support the hypothesis that reward bias is more strongly associated with law-breaking behavior among adolescents than adults…Overall, the results support the hypotheses that adolescent risk appraisal (compared to that of adults) is biased toward reward (over cost) and translates more directly into criminal risk-taking” (p. 419).

Translating Research into Practice

“The results of the two studies included in the present analysis support two conclusions. First, adolescents are more reward-biased in their risk appraisals than adults or preadolescents. Second, even accounting for this age effect, reward bias correlated more strongly with both self-reported law-breaking behavior (in a large community sample) and with officially alleged law-breaking behavior (in a large sample of detained/incarcerated individuals and a community comparison sample) during early-to-middle adolescence than during adulthood. These patterns are robust to adjustments for sex, intelligence, and social class. In all, the findings are consistent with the dual-systems model of adolescent development, and they support the view that adolescent offending is partly attributable to developmental factors that tip adolescents’ risk appraisal toward risk-taking” (p. 420).

The authors of this article included an important section on the study implications for legal policy. They note that this research serves to reinforce the notion that adolescent crime is, in part, a product of developmental immaturity and argue, “in light of the developmental evidence, adolescence itself should be viewed as a mitigating circumstance and adolescent defendants should be considered categorically distinct from adult defendants” (p. 421). Thus, developmental considerations might serve to mitigate blameworthiness or culpability.

The authors note that the U.S. Supreme Court has shown signs of agreeing with this position as it has considered the issue of whether immaturity mitigates culpability three times in the past decade (Roper v. Simmons, 2005; Graham v. Florida, 2010; Miller v. Alabama, 2012).

Another implication of this research is with respect to the issue of incapacitation. “If a juvenile is likely to ‘outgrow’ the factors (e.g., reward-biased risk perception, weak self-regulation) that contributed to his or her criminal behavior, then it may be unnecessary (and perhaps counterproductive [refs omitted]) to institutionalize a youth in the interest of protecting the public” (p. 421).

Finally, the authors note that “the nature of adolescent risk perception may not only increase the chances of criminal behavior, it may interfere with the deterrent intent of legal sanctions. If, as suggested by the developmental literature, adolescents tend to discount risks and future consequences, the are unlikely to give sufficient weight to the potential legal consequences of law-breaking prior to indulging in it. Rather, they will be more swayed by the potential short-term rewards of the illegal action (e.g., thrill, novelty, revenge, enhanced social status)” (p. 421).

“To summarize, developmental immaturity, insofar as it contributes to criminal behavior, diminishes adolescent culpability, reduces the benefit-to-cost ratio of incarcerating juvenile offenders, and impedes the deterrent effect of punitive responses” (p. 421).

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