The Epidemiology of Recurrent Violence and Its Relationship with Sentence Time in the Romanian Juvenile Prison System: A Two-Year Cohort Study
Open Journal of Epidemiology
Research suggests that a small number of persistent violent offenders are responsible for a majority of prison violence and tend to behave violently to a disproportionate amount. However, literature on patterns of violence in juvenile prisoners is limited. Method: In order to explore how subjects engage in violence while incarcerated in the juvenile prison system, the authors will examine both proximal and distal predictors of violent behavior among juveniles in custody. This study adds to the
... urrent empirical research by longitudinally examining dynamic risk factors of recurrent violent behavior across a population of juvenile prisoners (Mage = 16.21; 94.8% male) in custody in the Romanian juvenile justice system, starting from their entry date until the end of the follow-up period (Me = 2 years). Results: Results from a series of repeated aggressive events survival analyses show evidence of a long-term deleterious association between pre-incarceration risk factors and poor developmental trajectory associated with violence. Adherence to destructive conduct in prison was consistently influenced by low ability to cope with the prison environment, although education level and family factors also mattered. Implications for prison professionals and forensic practitioners are presented. Conclusion: Recurring aggressive behavior is frequent for individuals who experience complex adverse experiences during childhood, suggesting that screening youths upon their admission into juvenile justice settings should include an assessment of their basic self-regulation needs. A greater focus on longitudinal studies may help improve the screening process and also follow the progress of each juvenile to warrant the efficacy of preventive programs in self-harm, according to their emerging needs.