Participatory action research: reducing juvenile recidivism rates

The purpose of this study is to capture the opinions of juvenile offenders regarding their perspective of how to best lower recidivism rates using Participatory Action Research (PAR). This study employed a quantitative questionnaire which was distributed to fifteen juvenile offenders who were incarcerated in a juvenile facility located in the central valley of California. The survey was distributed over the course of a three-month period. Major findings via a univariate analysis showed that juvenile offenders thought the following suggestions would best reduce juvenile recidivism rates: (1) individual and/or group counseling; (2) individual/group counseling offered by someone who has been in a similar situation as them; (3) relocation services; (4) focusing on the individual needs of the offender; (5) developing healthy relationships with others; (6) encouragement from family members; and (7) military recruiters. Discovering new methods of reducing juvenile recidivism rates can benefit the juveniles, their families, local communities, and the larger society. Subsequent studies could place greater emphasis on qualitative analysis and use a larger sample size to increase further insight and gain more perspective on this subject.