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Juvenile Inmates in an Adult Prison System: Rates of Disciplinary Misconduct and Violence

NCJ Number
Criminal Justice and Behavior: An International Journal Volume: 35 Issue: 9 Dated: September 2008 Pages: 1186-1201
Attapol Kuanliang; Jon S. Sorensen; Mark D. Cunningham
Date Published
September 2008
16 pages
This study examines differences in severity of violent misconduct rates of juveniles incarcerated in adult prisons in Florida.
The study found that the prevalence and frequency of prison misconduct and violence were higher among juveniles than comparison groups of nearest age youthful adults and adult prisoners generally, and this disparity between juvenile and adult inmates increased along with the severity of violence. This relationship was found to hold true even when other known correlates of prison violence were considered. In a logistic regression model that included educational level, gang affiliation, offense of conviction, and sentence length, age was found to be the most consistent and strongest determinant of prison violence, with those younger than 18 years old at entrance to prison being far more likely than adults to be involved in various levels of prison misconduct and violence. Rates of disciplinary misconduct and violence among juvenile male inmates admitted to the Florida State Department of Corrections prison system from 1998 to 2002 were retrospectively examined. Data were derived from computerized files containing disciplinary behavior, as well as demographic, conviction offense, sentence, and institutional information for 740 juvenile inmates, 703 males, and 37 females. A comparison group of 3,640 youthful adults aged 18 to 20 was subset from a group of 33,114 adult prisoners to serve as the most similar to the juveniles for comparison. Tables, figures, notes, and references