The Code of the Street and Reentry

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The problem for reentry of an exclusive focus on CBT techniques without any reference to cultural contextual issues that are studiously avoided in most juvenile corrections programs

From:  Juvenile Corrections in the Era of Reform: A Meta-synthesis of Qualitative Studies  in  the August 2017 International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology  

Once they return, young people must navigate a minefield of challenges to maintaining their commitment to law-abiding lives. The researchers found that in their almost absolute focus on cognitive behavioral programming without attention to issues surrounding residential and employment services, many of the residential placement facilities studied are ill-prepared to tackle the structural issues that youth face, particularly in urban communities. These young people, who are disproportionately youth of color, are more likely than their non-institutionalized counterparts to lack the hard and soft skills that make them attractive job candidates (Inderbitzin, 2009). They face significant barriers to finding steady employment that pays more than minimum wage, including racial discrimination, lack of access to job networks, and spatial disconnection from well-paying jobs (Fader, 2013; Nurse, 2010). These deficits are rarely addressed during their period of confinement. Many experience pressure to get a job, but use a “scattershot” approach to applying for positions. Once they find work, they discover that daily conditions involve a lack of respect from customers and supervisors (Nurse, 2010).


Sankofa, J & Cox, A. & Fader, J.  & Inderbitzin, M & Abrams, L.& M. Nurse, A.. (2017). Juvenile Corrections in the Era of Reform: A Meta-Synthesis of Qualitative Studies. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology. 62. 0306624X1772707. 10.1177/0306624X17727075.