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Collateral Consequences for Juveniles in the Justice System: Change in Perceptions After an Educational Intervention

NCJ Number
Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy Dated: 2019
Jennica. Janssen; Suraji Wagage; Lindsey M. Cole; Elizabeth Gale-Bentz; Naomi E. Goldstein
Date Published
20 pages
Since there is a dearth of empirical research that has investigated public awareness or perceptions of the impact of collateral consequences of juvenile justice system involvement on youths lives, the current study recruited 555 Pennsylvania residents through Amazon Mechanical Turk to participate in a brief, educational intervention on collateral consequences of system involvement.
Participants read a short vignette about a hypothetical youth who was adjudicated delinquent in Pennsylvania, answered 20 knowledge-based questions, and provided pre- and postintervention ratings of the impact the delinquency finding would have on the lives of youths in the short term and in the long term. Results of linear mixed model analysis revealed significant fixed effects of both phase (pre-post educational intervention), b = .62, p < .001, 95 percent CI [.47, .78] and timing (before the youth turns age 18 and after the youth turns age 18), b = -.98, p < .001, 95 percent CI [-1.18, -.78], on impact ratings (i.e., how big an impact a juvenile adjudication will have on the life of a youth). Participants provided incorrect responses to approximately half of collateral consequences, indicating a gap in knowledge. Findings from the current study can inform targeted intervention efforts to increase public awareness of the consequences of juvenile justice system involvement. (publisher abstract modified)