Study aids PA courts' effort to curb juvenile recidivism

Written by Matt Paul and Radio Pennsylvania | Jul 1, 2013 3:59 AM

(Harrisburg) -- A new report is shedding light on young repeat offenders in Pennsylvania. Now, the Juvenile Court Judges' Commission wants to use it to help reduce recidivism rates.

The commission's Justine Fowler says specific services will be provided to specific offenders. "We really can pinpoint down to the individual juvenile, what it is that is causing them to commit crimes," explains the commission's Justine Fowler, who says they will provide specific services to specific offenders.

Overall, the Juvenile Justice Recidivism Report finds 20% of juvenile offenders were back in trouble with the law within two years, and 80% percent of the repeat offenders came from so-called "disrupted" family situations.

Other factors that can be predictors of recidivism may include education levels, substance abuse or behavior issues.

Fowler says the commission will use this report as a baseline from which they can measure success.

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