Adolescents With Disabilities in the Juvenile Justice System: Patterns of Recidivism Academic Article uri icon


  • Juvenile delinquency is a persistent problem in the United States, and students with disabilities are particularly vulnerable to become recidivists. This study examined patterns of and factors associated with recidivism. The sample included 5,435 juveniles with disabilities. Findings indicated intragroup variability regarding the number of referrals and the percentages of adolescents who were adjudicated, had a record of determinate commitment, and had a record of probation. African American males who were from delinquent families tended to have more referrals than adolescents from poorer families with fewer family problems. There is a need to examine further the reasons why certain groups of adolescents with disabilities are more likely to become recidivists and a need to develop intervention strategies that are effective in reducing juvenile offenses committed by these groups. A promising intervention that may ameliorate the effects of family criminal history involves the implementation of wraparound and family empowerment services.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Zhang, D., Hsu, H., Katsiyannis, A., Barrett, D. E., & Ju, S.

citation count

  • 28

complete list of authors

  • Zhang, Dalun||Hsu, Hsien-Yuan||Katsiyannis, Antonis||Barrett, David E||Ju, Song

publication date

  • April 2011