Helms School of Government


Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice (PhD)


Christopher Sharp


therapeutic jurisprudence, juvenile drug court, recidivism, rehabilitation


Rehabilitation and Therapy | Social and Behavioral Sciences


The number of youths entering the juvenile justice system is a viable concern throughout the United States. A gap in the existing literature surrounding juvenile justice is recidivism rates among young offenders who are incarcerated or sanctioned to a community-based level of supervision after committing a transgression of a law. Federal juvenile justice practitioners, such as the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ), the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), and others, in addition to individual states and localities throughout the United States, have taken various approaches to address juvenile delinquency. One notable strategy is the therapeutic jurisprudence approach or theory that focuses on intervention by the judiciary to kingpin the rehabilitation of offenders through providing specific resources to meet offender needs; thus, promoting successful reintegration into society once released from incarceration or completing a rehabilitation program. This study aimed to investigate juvenile recidivism among juvenile drug court graduates from 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018. Juvenile recidivism data were analyzed through the Chi-square test of Independence, multiple linear regression, and an ANOVA to ascertain the impact of the therapeutic jurisprudence approach, highlighting the efficacy of juvenile drug court in a state located in the Southeastern region of the United States.