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Study Indicates Technology Can Support Reduced Juvenile Justice Recidivism

When researchers from Arizona State University and the Oregon Research Institute set out to determine how to reduce recidivism in juvenile justice offenders, they began with two questions:

  1. Were youth receiving technology-enabled support services less likely to recidivate than peers who weren’t receiving these services?
  2. Were any specific components of these supports significantly associated with recidivism reduction?

Youth in the treatment group received services such as: 

  • technology-enhanced education and cognitive restructuring; 
  • individualized and intensive educational and vocational programming; 
  • access to a transition specialist prerelease to at least 30 days post release; and 
  • intentionally integrated technology practices. 

Results of the non-randomized comparison study published in 2023 showed “the comparison group had a significant 201% greater odds to recidivate two years post-release from the facility.” While technology played an integral part in supporting the youth in the treatment group, the study offers a powerful example of the importance of considering each component of the instructional core. Transition specialists served as teachers, technology delivered individualized content, and the youth were called on to be actively involved in their own education. Such studies show the power of what is possible when the design divide is closed in support of all learners.