Description: Serious and violent juvenile offenders cause a disproportionate amount of harm to society, yet this population receives very little attention within the realm of empirical research. This research study examined the recidivism outcomes of 296 serious and violent offenders previously exposed to rehabilitative treatment in the Capital and Serious Violent Offender Program provided by the Texas Youth Commission. This group of juveniles was followed for three years following their release from institutionalization. This analysis revealed that 52% of those released were rearrested at least once during the follow-up period for any offense, while 48% of those released desisted from crime altogether. Of those 296 released, 34% were rearrested for at least one new felony offense. The analyses indicate that those involved in various forms of institutional misconduct during institutionalization were significantly more likely to recidivate. African-American race and institutional misconduct in the form of rule infractions emerged as the most consistent predictors of recidivism for this sample. This study concludes with a discussion of policy implications and risk assessment related to the decisions that are made to release this population of violent juvenile offenders.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Haerle, Darin R.