Family Attachment and Juvenile Justice Outcomes

This project will examine the practice of family visitation within a juvenile justice system which has been virtually ignored in the research literature but may have implications for improving the adjustment of youth committed to residential facilities and their post-release outcomes. Empirical data on visitation events and information collected through surveys of committed youth in the FDJJ will be captured to determine the impact that stronger family bonds, as measured by family member visitation, has on institutional adjustment and post-release recidivism. The findings will provide empirical evidence to practitioners and policymakers in which to base possible policy changes to the current practices related to family visitation.


Principal Investigator: William Bales, Ph.D.

Project Director: George Pesta, Ph.D.

Research Advisor: Thomas Blomberg, Dean and Sheldon L. Messinger Professor of Criminology

Research Partner: Mark Greenwald, Department of Juvenile Justice

Graduate Students: Julie Mestre Brancale and Melissa Nadel

Dates: January 2014 to December 2017

Funding Agency: U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice

Funding Amount: $495,000

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