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Arrested Development: Confinement Can Negatively Affect Youth Maturation

Published Oct 29, 2013, National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN)

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Common sense tells us that teenagers are different from adults, and a large, growing body of psychological and neurological research confirms that young people's brains mature far less rapidly than previously thought--developing well into a person's twenties. 

According to recent research funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation's Models for Change initiative, and summarized in this brief summary from the National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN), incarceration can further stymie young people's psychosocial maturation--meaning that youth who experience incarceration may be more impulsive and susceptible to negative peer influence upon release, increasing the risk of re-arrest. 

Click here to see all of NJJN's Models for Change-related publications.


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Models for Change is supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, website operated by Justice Policy Institute.

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