Date of Conferral







Kimberly Rynearson


Treating mental illness is imperative to help reduce criminal justice involvement within the juvenile population. Receiving mental health care will help decrease the likelihood for youth to reoffend, ultimately reducing recidivism rates. Past studies showed there are risk factors associated with juveniles and recidivism; however, very few studies have examined what factors are prevalent after services have been received. The purpose of this study was to identify factors that increase the risk of recidivism among juveniles who have received psychiatric stabilization in Harris County, Texas. Risk factors that were assessed included age, gender, ethnicity, and criminal offense. The psychodynamic perspective guided this study and archival data were obtained from the Harris County Psychiatric Center Database. Several statistical analyses were used in this study to include a t test, chi square analysis, and a binary logistic regression analysis. Results from this study found no significant relationship with mental health diagnosis and recidivism nor did it find a significant difference in the length of stay at the psychiatric center. This study did find that simple demographics were stronger than any predictor, concluding that younger Black males were more likely to recidivate. Based on the findings from this study, juvenile justice representatives will be able to evaluate and develop programs specifically targeted to the risk factors found to be associated with recidivism.