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Patterns of Incarceration Among Youth After Detention: A 16-Year Longitudinal Study.

NCJ Number
Children and Youth Services Review Volume: 108 Dated: January 2020
Anna J. Harrison; Jessica A. Jakubowski; Karen M. Abram; Linda A. teplin; Leah J. Welty
Date Published
January 2020
10 pages
Since little is known about demographic differences in patterns of incarceration among delinquent youth as they age, the current study examined gender and racial/ethnic differences in patterns of incarceration in a sample of youth after they left detention.
Study participants were 1,829 youth detained in Chicago, IL between 1995 and 1998. Data on lifetime dates and locations of incarcerations were obtained from state and county correctional records. Cluster analysis was used to identify distinct groups based on the number of incarcerations, length of each stay, and setting. The study found that by young adulthood, nearly all youth had multiple incarcerations. Five distinct groups were identified among men, ranging from those incarcerated only as juveniles to men with long prison stays. Among women, four groups were identified, ranging from women with one juvenile incarceration to women who had been incarcerated in prison. Overall, men were incarcerated more frequently and for longer periods of time compared with women. Racial/ethnic minorities were likely to be included in groups with the most extensive incarceration histories. Overall, men and people of color were found to be at high risk for re-incarceration as they aged. The study recommends that policymakers expand policies that promote alternatives to incarceration as a means of preventing entrenchment in the justice system. 3 tables and 2 figures (publisher abstract modified)