Juvenile Detention as Social Barrier in Education


The presented paper revolves around problems adolescents with juvenile detention might face when trying to rehabilitate and acquire appropriate education. The question remains topical as the number of young people with such problems continues to grow, meaning that there is a need for effective strategies to help them. The paper focuses on neglect, lack of financial support, biased attitudes, policies, and recidivism as the factors that impact adolescents with previous experience of juvenile detention and their desire to acquire needed skills and knowledge. It offers information on all these aspects and how they might impact rehabilitation processes. Engagement in social activity and collaboration with peers is viewed when working on various projects is taken as a potent way to improve socialization patterns. The paper concludes that more research on the given problem is needed.


The rates of juvenile detention continue to grow today, which means that the problem becomes more topical. The increasing number of young people in detention experience preconditions the need for strategies to address the issue and resocialize them to avoid recidivism and new problems in the future (“Key facts about juvenile incarceration,” n.d.). However, the rehabilitation of adolescents with the experience of juvenile detention depends on their ability to find a job, which is impossible without appropriate education. Unfortunately, their attempts to acquire the demanded skills and knowledge might fail because of the social barriers limiting their opportunities. For this reason, the research focuses on the idea that adolescents with juvenile detention have previous experience face multiple social obstacles such as neglect, lack of financial support, biased attitude, ineffective policies, and a high risk of recidivism when trying to rehabilitate and acquire the appropriate education.

Regarding the thesis, the following research question is formulated:

What social factors prevent adolescents with juvenile detention’s previous experience to acquire appropriate education in their later life and successfully rehabilitate?

The choice of the topic is justified that the improved understanding of social factors preventing young people from acquiring education is vital for creating a practical solution to the problem. It is expected that the project will form the framework for the in-depth investigation of the issue. Additionally, the problem’s analysis will contribute to a better understanding of existing limits and how the problem can be resolved using specific strategies.


The nature of the project and the research question formulated above presuppose the choice of the qualitative research method. It helps to collect data about a specific issue and answer the research question. First, the literature review is employed to investigate the existing literature on the topic and create the theoretical framework for the discussion (Creswell & Creswell, 2018). The central facts acquired from the body of research linked to the problem of adolescents with juvenile detention and their learning will also help to outline the major barriers that might affect this category’s attempts to acquire needed skills and knowledge. Second, interviews can be used as another qualitative data collection tool (Creswell & Creswell, 2018).

The project presupposes discussion of personal experience, which means that answers provided by participants of the research will help to create a list of the most topical barriers and think about the ways to resolve them. Moreover, the employment of this research paradigm presupposes inductive reasoning as data acquired in the course of the research will help to formulate the hypothesis. In such a way, the methodology’s choice is justified by the nature of the research question and the research issue.

Literature Review

Main Ideas

The relevant literature acknowledges the existence of multiple problems related to the sphere of juvenile detention. Tracey and Hanham (2017) state that young people’s past criminal experience serves as a sign and contributes to labeling. Individuals with this feature are viewed as different and corrupted ones, meaning that they will face multiple problems in the future. Moreover, the discovery of this fact during communication can change the attitude toward a person and precondition his/her isolation (Tracey & Hanham, 2017).

For this reason, juvenile detention’s previous experience becomes a factor significantly affecting young people and their chances for resocialization and rehabilitation. Akhtar (2015) supports this vision and assumes that there is a limited number of opportunities for people with such experience to become members of communities again. It comes from the lack of social skills needed to align cooperation with their peers from usual families, the absence of support, and the problematic families or living conditions usually associated with such adolescents (Akhtar, 2015). For this reason, the given group becomes isolated and has low opportunities for further development and career growth.

The researchers also admit the problematic access to education and establishments that can help adolescents with juvenile detention’s previous experience to acquire skills needed for employment. Akhtar (2015) states that some educators might also have a biased attitude to such people and have fears because of their criminal past. For this reason, they can feel confused and suffer from a lack of understanding and support. However, the scope of the problem is not limited to only emotional and moral issues. Nichols and Sullivan (2016) say that contemporary society does not have effective reintegration mechanisms that can help young offenders to forget their past and start a new life as a part of a specific community.

The absence of such tools creates multiple barriers preventing adolescents from juvenile detention’s previous experience from acquiring education and improving their skills, which is critical for their chances to have a good job and avoid recidivism (Ho & Rocheleau, 2020). In such a way, the existing body of literature accepts the existence of the problem and emphasizes the fact that barriers preventing young people from the investigated group from acquiring education slow down the process of their rehabilitation and deteriorate the state of communities.

Problem Definition and Social Barriers

Juvenile detention presupposes imprisonment of people under age as a form of punishment for various crimes. However, the given measure might have multiple adverse effects on young people’s future life and prevent them from socializing and integrating. Moreover, adolescents the experience of juvenile detention experience multiple social barriers such as poor financial states, neglect, biased attitude, and strategies failing to assist them (Tracey & Hanham, 2017). Communities have prejudiced perspectives on this group, which prevents them from achieving success in the future. For this reason, social barriers become one of the vital aspects that are linked to vulnerable cohorts and their chances for resocialization.

Factors Affecting Adolescents and Educational Attempts

Financial Issues

Among factors related to the problem, lack of financial support plays an important role. The inability to find money becomes a problem affecting adolescents with juvenile detention experience and might impact their behaviors. Education programs might be unavailable or unaffordable for such individuals, which means that they cannot find jobs and turn back to criminal activity (Ho & Rocheleau, 2020). It reduces young people’s chances to reintegrate and acquire education vital for their future. Moreover, increased topicality of financial issues can trigger the development of undesired behaviors and aggressive inclinations among young people (Ho & Rocheleau, 2020). The unacceptability of such outcomes shows the topicality and significance of this barrier.

Neglect and Biased Attitudes

Neglect also affects the ability of adolescents with juvenile detention experience to acquire appropriate education in the future. Most peers and some social workers might demonstrate inappropriate attitudes linked to the given experience and deteriorating the cooperation (Akhtar, 2015). Additionally, such discriminative patterns might precondition isolation and the growth of violent behaviors among adolescents belonging to the investigated cohort, which increases the risk of new crimes committed by them (Akhtar, 2015).

Considering the need to reduce the number of crimes committed by young offenders, this factor becomes a significant obstacle to attaining success. Neglect is also linked to the biased attitude to the representatives of this cohort. This factor is one of the most important factors influencing the lives of adolescents with juvenile detention experience and their attempts to acquire the needed education (Nichols & Sullivan, 2016). For this reason, the inability to engage in sound relations with other young people becomes a barrier to acquiring education.

Ineffective Strategies

Furthermore, there is a gap in knowledge of how to work with such individuals. Research shows that educators who work with this cohort might apply methods with reduced effectiveness because of the poor understanding of the current needs of adolescents and their moods (Akhtar, 2015). It introduces the need for reconsideration of existing practice and implementation of new strategies to work with the youth.

The insufficient and irrelevant methods also generate negative attitudes to studying among adolescents with the previous experience of detention and make them look for other ways to survive. That is why the recidivism rates might grow and threaten various communities. The outlined social barriers can force young to commit a crime again to attract attention to their problems or as the only way to survive and find the money (Tracey & Hanham, 2017). It means that the elimination of these obstacles is vital for the improvement of the situation in the future.

Engagement and Collaboration

The problem of trust issues, neglect, and poor attitudes can be resolved by close collaboration and engagement. Thus, activities aimed at involving adolescents from this cohort in social actions are vital for successful education and rehabilitation (Nichols & Sullivan, 2016). For this reason, educational programs should be supported by attempts to make individuals a part of the collective and socialize them to help to understand how to cooperate with peers. It will also help to acquire the motivation needed to cope with the rest of the barriers mentioned above (Tracey & Hanham, 2017). However, to achieve successful integration and create the basis for future success, it is also critical to consider other barriers and find methods to affect all these factors as they cannot be viewed separately, and the resolution of the problem demands the combined effort of multiple institutions and actors responsible for rehabilitation.


Altogether, adolescents with the experience of juvenile detention suffer from neglect, lack of support, and biased attitudes preventing them from acquiring the needed education and finding a job. The provided information proves that the factors mentioned above serve as social barriers and affect adolescents with juvenile detention’s previous experience and deteriorate their attempts to become educated. For this reason, some steps should be made to improve the situation, reduce the influence of outlined aspects, and help this cohort to rehabilitate. Future research should be focused on how these barriers can be eliminated to provide adolescents with an opportunity to rehabilitate and find appropriate jobs as the resolution of the problem will improve the quality of life in communities and create the basis for future achievements.


Akhtar, Z. (2015). Young offenders, ‘secure colleges’ and reforming criminals. The Journal of Criminal Law, 79(3), 211–228. Web.

Creswell, J., & Creswell, D. (2018). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches (5th ed.). SAGE Publications.

Ho, T., & Rocheleau, G. C. (2020). A follow-up study on recidivism among adjudicated juveniles with special education in the juvenile correctional facility. Youth Justice. Web.

Key facts about juvenile incarceration. (n.d.). Child Trends. Web.

Nichols, J., & Sullivan, B. M. (2016). Learning through dissonance: Critical service-learning in a juvenile detention center as field experience in music teacher education. Research Studies in Music Education, 38(2), 155–171. Web.

Tracey, D., & Hanham, J. (2017). Applying positive psychology to illuminate the needs of adolescent males transitioning out of juvenile detention. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 61(1), 64–79. Web.

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ChalkyPapers. (2022, May 3). Juvenile Detention as Social Barrier in Education. Retrieved from https://chalkypapers.com/juvenile-detention-as-social-barrier-in-education/


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"Juvenile Detention as Social Barrier in Education." ChalkyPapers, 3 May 2022, chalkypapers.com/juvenile-detention-as-social-barrier-in-education/.


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ChalkyPapers. "Juvenile Detention as Social Barrier in Education." May 3, 2022. https://chalkypapers.com/juvenile-detention-as-social-barrier-in-education/.