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Youth in Adult Jails and Prisons

Comparison of Correctional Services for Youth Incarcerated in Adult and Juvenile Facilities in Michigan

Few studies have compared correctional service experiences of youth in adult prisons and juvenile facilities. This study compared 47 youth in juvenile facilities and 49 youth in adult prisons in Michigan. Controlling for offence history, socioeconomic background, and demographic characteristics, juvenile placement was found to be associated with more positive responses for counseling, medical services, and staff quality. Experiences with the quantity of education and work programs were similar, although the quality of education and work might have differed. Poor correctional services in adult prisons might be a reason for less effective rehabilitation, leading to lower deterrence.

Incarcerating Juveniles in Adult Prisons: Examining the Relationship Between Age and Prison Behavior in Transferred Juveniles

The experiences of juveniles in adult prisons have gained increased attention over the last several decades. This article adds to understandings of these experiences by examining the relationship between age and prison behavior among transferred juveniles (N = 763). Results reveal that juveniles committed to prisons at younger ages accumulate more misconducts than those committed at older ages. Results also indicate that African American youth, youth with mental health issues, youth with more extensive prior histories in the juvenile system, and youth committed for property and weapons offenses accumulated more prison misconducts. Policy and practice implications are discussed.

Incarceration's Front Door: The Misuse of Jails in America

This report examines existing research and data to take a deeper look at our nation’s misuse of local jails and to determine how we arrived at this point. The research and data include characteristics of the people currently being held; the key policies that have contributed to their cycling in and out; and the negative impacts that jail incarceration can have on people, their families, and the communities to which they return.

National Prison Rape Elimination Commission Report

*Note Youthful Inmate information is on pages 31-43 and 155-159

This executive summary briefly discusses the Commission’s nine findings on the problems of sexual abuse in confinement and select policies and practices that must be mandatory everywhere to remedy these problems. It also covers recommendations about what leaders in government outside the corrections profession can do to support solutions. The findings are discussed in detail and thoroughly cited in the body of the report, where readers will also find information about all of the Commission’s standards.

OJJDP Compliance Guidance on Jail Removal and Separation Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions answered by the OJJDP. 

OJJDP Compliance Guidance on Jail Removal and Separation Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions answered by the OJJDP. 

Prison Rape Elimination Act Data Collection Activities

The Prison Rape Elimination Act  requires the Attorney General to submit—no later than June 30 of each year—a report that lists institutions in the sample and ranks them according to the incidence of prison rape. BJS has developed a multiple-measure, multiple-mode data collection strategy to fully implement requirements under PREA.

Revised Guidance on Jail Removal and Separation Core Requirement

The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) statute requires a more expansive approach to the application of two of the four core requirements, jail removal and separation. Specifically, the jail removal and separation requirements apply not only to certain juveniles in secure custody, but also to those juveniles in nonsecure custody.  

Sexual Victimization in Prisons and Jails as Reported by inmate 2011-2012

This report observes into the levels of sexual misconduct in prisons. The study looked to determine the amount of sexual misconduct occurring in prison and if the acts are by officials of the prison or by other prisoners. The report determined that juveniles reported similar rates of sexual misconduct in prison as adults.

Tried as an Adult, Housed as a Juvenile: A Tale of Youth from Two Courts Incarcerated Together

Research has questioned the wisdom of housing juveniles who are convicted in criminal court in facilities with adult offenders. It is argued that minors transferred to criminal court should not be incarcerated with adults, due to a greater likelihood of developing criminal skills, being victimized, and attempting suicide. Alternatively, it has been suggested that the other option, housing these youth with minors who have committed less serious crimes and who are therefore adjudicated in juvenile courts, might have unintended consequences for juvenile court youth. The present study utilizes a sample of youth incarcerated in one secure juvenile facility, with some offenders processed in juvenile court (n = 261) and others processed in adult court (n = 103). We investigate whether youth transferred to adult court engage in more institutional offending (in particular, violence) and experience less victimization than their juvenile court counterparts. Results indicate that although adult court youth had a greater likelihood of being convicted of violent commitment offenses than juvenile court youth, the former engaged in less offending during incarceration than the latter. In addition, no significant differences in victimization were observed. These findings suggest that the concern about the need for separate housing for adult court youth is unfounded; when incarcerated together, those tried in adult court do not engage in more institutional violence than juvenile court youth.

Youthful Inmate Implementation of PREA

In a recent two-part webinar series, The Vera Institute of Justice (Vera) profiled three jurisdictions using various strategies to implement PREA’s “youthful inmate” standard:

- Oregon: Scott Taylor and Craig Bachman, from the Multnomah County Department of Community Justice, described the county’s policy of housing youthful inmates in juvenile facilities.  Philip Cox, from the Oregon Youth Authority, also spoke about Oregon’s policy of keeping youthful inmates in juvenile facilities until the age of 25.
- North Carolina: Warden Bianca Harris, from the North Carolina Correctional Institution for Women, explained her facility’s creation of a separate housing unit for female youthful offenders.
- Indiana: Michael Dempsey and James Basinger, from the Department of Corrections, outlined Indiana’s recent legislative changes, which enable youth sentenced as adults to be committed to a juvenile facility, and described Indiana’s approach to youth not covered by the new laws.