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Always in Custody?: An Agenda for Juvenile Reentry

NCJ Number
International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice Volume: 29 Issue: 1 Dated: Spring 2005 Pages: 33-51
Carol Zimmermann
Date Published
19 pages
This paper discusses the problems and issues surrounding the reentry of juveniles into the community, in particular the nature of “custody” as it applies to juvenile reentry.
In theory, a child re-entering the community after correctional confinement does not return to unabridged freedom but to some form of “custody.” However, there are major challenges in framing and implementing appropriate reentry strategies for juveniles. Even though reentry issues are important to all the various populations of offenders, the role of custody requires separate attention for minors. The status of the juvenile as a minor at the time of commitment, as well as at the time of reentry poses unique practical issues for successful community reintegration. The issues of dependency and custody challenge current assumptions about the definition of juvenile reentry and its implications. This paper discusses the problem of custody and minor children, the value of parental and community custody, the value of correctional custody, and research challenges. The harsh reality of juvenile offender reentry is that many children now return from confinement to families and communities that are unable to adequately socialize, support, and supervise them prior to incarceration. Tables, figures, and references