Em Sandman

Document Type


Degree Comments

Submitted to the College of Graduate Studies Bridgewater State University Bridgewater, Massachusetts in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts in English

Degree Program

Criminal Justice

Degree Type

Master of Science In Criminal Justice


Contact with the juvenile justice system can seriously impact life chances for youth. System contact can lead to significant challenges by disrupting paths to traditional life attainments. Research overwhelmingly points to negative projections from juvenile system exposure. Labeling theory has been used to determine poor educational outcomes, but little work has been done to directly gauge why contact affects the graduating for system-involved students. Further, concepts of strain theory have yet to be sufficiently applied to the prospect of completing high school. Given the systematic similarities between school and the juvenile justice system, the likelihood of reaching academic expectations required to graduate can be shaped by strained encounters connected to experiences with the legal system. Expanding on previous studies that explore the harm of education disruption and academic inadequacies resulting from involvement, the current study conducts a quantitative analysis on Connecticut juvenile court and education records from 2006-2012 to explore whether and how high school graduation rates are affected by different features of contact with the juvenile justice system. This study aims explain the path to graduation for youth with criminal histories by examining the educational effects of detention and judicial handling. Findings contribute to the growing body of knowledge regarding the application of juvenile justice and the intersecting treatment of juveniles in both school and legal settings.


Feodor Gostjev