Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Brian Watkins

Second Advisor

Arlene Taich

Third Advisor

Betty Lemasters


Juvenile crime has steadily risen in the United States over the past ten years. There appears to be no decrease in the juvenile crime rate in sight. New facilities to hold juvenile offenders are being built, but the juvenile crime rate continues to rise. Most states are passing tougher laws against juvenile offenders. Many states are certifying juveniles who commit violent crimes as adults.

Both California and Florida spend more on corrections than they spend on higher education. Other states are not far behind. The average cost of incarcerating a juvenile for one year is between $35,000 to $641 000. In contrast, the current cost of Head Start's intervention program is S4,300 per child a year, and the annual tuition cost of attending Harvard is under $30,000 per student, "5-14-96 -- ACLU Fact Sheet on Juvenile Crime", ( l.)

It is important to emphasize rehabilitating juvenile offenders rather than just incarcerating them. Incarcerating juvenile offenders without teaching offenders skills such as education or job training that will help transition the offenders back into society is useless. Without rehabilitation the offenders will be returned t o society without the skills to live a crime-free life.

Juvenile Rehabilitation Facilities need to look at each juvenile offender as an individual and set up individualized treatment programs to best serve the needs of each juvenile offender. This program should look into the social needs of the offender, job and educational t raining, and drug and alcohol rehabilitation when needed .

The purpose of the paper is to develop plans for a facility that will rehabilitate a higher percentage of juvenile offenders than facilities currently being used in the area . The proposed residential facility is a high security, lockdown, juvenile rehabilitation facility. The facility will house up to 48 severe juvenile offenders aged thirteen to eighteen, who have been adjudicated by the Missouri juvenile courts. These offenders will all be convicted of major felonies, or "A" & "B" felonies. Murder, rape, arson, and assault are included in this category.

The program uses the Balanced Approach as a treatment model. The basic components of the mode l are community protection, competency development, and account ability to victims and the community (http://www.cyberhi 1 ).

The facility will utilize Plato 2000, a computerized educational curriculum which will allow offenders to develop academic skills in a variety of areas. Through the program, offenders will be able to receive credit toward a regular high school diploma or pursue a GED.

Each juvenile will develop a plan to compensate victims for their losses . Any money received as a result of work at the facility will go to repay victims. Empathy for the victim will be emphasized throughout the juvenile's placement at the facility . Such activities as letters of apology and role playing will facilitate a better understanding of the victim's feelings.