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Academic Potential Among African American Adolescents in Juvenile Detention Centers: Implications for Reentry to School

NCJ Number
Journal of Offender Rehabilitation Volume: 49 Issue: 8 Dated: November-December 2010 Pages: 551-570
Ivory A. Toldson; Kamilah M. Woodson; Ronald Braithwaite; Rhonda C. Holliday; Mario De La Rosa
Date Published
November 2010
20 pages
This study examined the academic potential of African-American youth in juvenile detention centers, in an attempt to establish priorities for detention-based education and programs designed to reintegrate former youth detainees into mainstream schools.
The study explores Black adolescent detainees' academic potential and motivation to return to school, to inform best practices and policies for juvenile reentry to educational settings. Adolescent detainees (N = 1,576) who were recruited from 1 male and 1 female youth detention facility, responded to surveys that assessed postdetention educational plans, as well as social and emotional characteristics, and criminal history. Multivariate analysis techniques were used to compare factors across race and gender, and plot linear relationships between key indicators of academic potential with associate factors. Findings revealed that youth were more likely to evince academic potential when they had a healthy level of self-esteem, adequate future goal orientation, positive mood, family and community involvement, fewer traumatic events, and less delinquent activity. (Published Abstract) Figures, tables, and references