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Reentry of Young Offenders from the Justice System: A Developmental Perspective

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Abstract:

This article presents a developmental perspective on the reentry of young offenders into the community. We begin with a discussion of the psychosocial tasks of late adolescence. Next, we discuss contextual influences on the successful negotiation of these psychosocial tasks. Third, we examine whether and to what extent the contexts to which young offenders are exposed in the justice system are likely to facilitate normative psychosocial development. Finally, we argue that the psychosocial development of youthful offenders is disrupted, or "arrested," by their experiences within the justice system. Interventions designed to facilitate the successful reentry of young offenders into the community must be informed by what we know about healthy psychosocial development in late adolescence.