Study Finds Severe Punishment Does Not Reduce Offending Among High-risk Adolescents


Aug 05, 2015, 10:00 ET from Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs

WASHINGTON, Aug. 5, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Severe punishment—such as correctional placement or a longer stay in correctional placement—does not meaningfully reduce offending or arrests among high-risk adolescents, according to a study released today by the Office of Justice Programs' Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. 

The Pathways to Desistance study followed 1,354 high-risk adolescents from Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, and Maricopa County, Arizona (metropolitan Phoenix), for seven years after their adjudication. This study has collected the most comprehensive data set currently available about how youth who have committed offenses transition from adolescence to adulthood and the factors that lead them to persist in or desist from offending. This bulletin examines whether high-risk adolescents are deterred from crime by their perceived threat of sanctions and their experience of punishment in the juvenile justice system.

TITLE:   Studying Deterrence Among High-Risk Adolescents

AUTHORS:     Thomas A. Loughran, Robert Brame, Jeffrey Fagan, Alex R. Piquero, Edward P. Mulvey and Carol A. Schubert


About the Office of Justice Programs (OJP)

OJP, headed by Assistant Attorney General Karol V. Mason, provides federal leadership in developing the nation's capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice and assist victims. OJP has six components: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; the Office for Victims of Crime and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking. More information about OJP can be found at


SOURCE Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs