Several years after being held in a juvenile detention center, more than half of a sample of young people had severe impairments in their abilities to function within their communities.
This study investigated the behavior of young people who participated in the Northwest Juvenile Project, a study of youth arrested and detained at the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center (CCJDC) in Chicago between 1995 and 1998. For this report, researchers conducted follow-up interviews three and a half years after participants were detained at CCJDC. Interviewers completed functional impairment ratings using the Child and Adolescent Functional Assessment Scale (CAFAS). CAFAS assessed behavior in eight domains, including: School/Work, Home, Community, Behavior Toward Others, Moods/Emotions, Self-Harmful Behavior, Substance Use, and Thinking. Participants received an impairment score for each domain. The sum of the scores determined each participant’s overall level of functional impairment.
Previous studies of the juvenile justice system employed limited behavioral measures and were not representative of the substantial minority and female populations that now comprise juvenile offenders.