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Youth Corrections Act - An Overview of Research

NCJ Number
Federal Probation Volume: 51 Issue: 1 Dated: (March 1987) Pages: 30-34
T R Kane
Date Published
5 pages
During the past decade, the U.S. Bureau of Prisons has conducted a variety of research into the Youth Corrections Act (YCA), including YCA offender population trends, offender characteristics, and the impact of the YCA on prison functions.
Several patterns of findings have emerged. Studies of individuals with age-related eligibility indicate that adjudication has met the intent of the YCA, with YCA sentences given to younger, less criminally sophisticated offenders with more substantial needs for rehabilitative services and programs. In recent years, the YCA population has shown steady decreases, which will continue as a consequence of the 1984 repeal of the YCA. YCA inmates have presented a number of management problems for prison staff. They have proven to be violent, especially when housed exclusively with other YCA inmates. They comply with prescribed programs, but are less motivated to participate than other inmates; insulation from family and friends because of centralized facilities has had deleterious consequences for both institutional behavior and postrelease adjustment. Finally, working with this volatile population has had negative consequences for staff job satisfaction, morale, and turnover. 17 references and 1 figure.