Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Administration


College of Business and Public Administration

First Reader/Committee Chair

Dr. Ann Johnson


Since the founding of the juvenile justice system, minimal attention or research effort has been contributed to the understanding of factors affecting the rates of juvenile arrests, detainment, and return to community. Over time, studies have seen juvenile recidivism rise and fall. Counties and states do not keep solid empirical data on recidivism because minors are constantly reentering juvenile detention centers. States and counties only keep compacted empirical data on arrest of minors. It makes it hard for counties and states to differentiate who has been arrested multiply times.

The following study investigates the juvenile justice and questions the rehabilitative function and ability of the system. Various methods of rehabilitation have been used and have been deemed null or effective. If certain practices have been deemed ineffective, are they still in practice, and why? Also, if other practices have been deemed effective in rehabilitation, at what rates are they being used and why?

Studies that have focused on the contributing factors of youth at risk of recidivating or becoming offenders have birthed interventions that could potentially decrease juvenile recidivism significantly. This study will look into those interventions and analyze the results.

Multisystemic therapy, as well as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has been deemed valid therapy methods that have impacts on juvenile recidivism. We will delve into the science of juvenile detention and society’s efforts on decreasing rates of incarceration as well as recidivism.