Do positive perceptions of correctional staff mitigate institutional violence among youthful offenders?

Juvenile justice facilities can be dangerous places for adolescents and may promote violent behavior among incarcerated youth. With high rates of violence among detained juveniles, youth who do not feel safe may resort to violent behavior to protect themselves. However, this cycle of violence may be interrupted if youth can turn to correctional staff for support. Using a 3-wave, longitudinal sample of 373 male incarcerated adolescents, the results indicated that compared with violence exposure prior to incarceration, exposure to institutional violence more strongly predicts violent behavior. Furthermore, the findings indicated that perceptions of staff serve as a buffer to violence exposure and may interrupt the cycle of violence. Policy implications are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)