exposure to violence
The Lives of Juvenile Lifers: Findings from a National Survey
Researchers sent a survey about their childhoods to 2,309 inmates serving life without parole sentences for crimes they committed as juveniles. The Sentencing Project received 1,579 responses, and the findings suggested high rates of exposure to violence: Many of the inmates were first victims of domestic and sexual violence prior to committing crimes 79 percent of the respondents witnessed violence at home 50 percent experienced physical abuse 77 percent of female inmates reported being sexually abused 54 of the juvenile lifers witnessed acts of violence on at least a weekly basis Based on the statistics, the report states that these juvenile lifers were exposed to violence, which in turn influenced their decisions to commit serious crimes.
Positive Relationships Critical to Triumph Over Violence, Trauma
Bryan Samuels is the commissioner of the Administration of Children, Youth, and Families at the Department of Health and Human Services. He wrote the column below for the National Council on Crime and Delinquency’s month-long feature on the work of the Defending Childhood Task Force.