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A new study by Florida State University researchers taps into the vastly unexplored area of incarcerated juvenile visitation, and their findings might not be what most expect.
The research, published in the International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, found that nearly 75 percent of juveniles received at least one visit during their confinement in Florida facilities. The majority of youth were positive about their interactions with visitors and their future. Somewhat surprisingly, the researchers found those who didn't receive visits also had positive perceptions of their future success.
Kids - Ones - Brae - Young - FSU
"Kids are generally optimistic, even the not visited ones," said Brae Young, FSU doctoral student and lead author. "The placement facilities in Florida do a great job at focusing on rehabilitation. A number of kids report a strong connection with staff workers. So, there may be this buffering effect. Although they're still in confinement, it's not always this terrible experience."
Researchers used data collected from more than 1,200 youth released from residential facilities in Florida. The state's Department of Juvenile Justice surveyed kids between August 2015 and March 2017.
Body - Research - Adult - Prison - Visitation
"There's a growing body of research on adult prison visitation," Young said. "But because there's not a lot of research on juvenile visitations, it was important to us to give a landscape of what visitation looked like."
The survey included questions about the nature of the visits—the quality, frequency and who visited. Data revealed that 82 percent of the visits were by mothers. On average, juveniles rated the quality of their visits a 4.5 on a 5-point scale. Visit quality differed depending on...
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