Adolescent Parents and the Juvenile Justice System: Toward Developmentally and Socioculturally Based Provision of Services
Adolescent parents in the juvenile justice system represent a culturally diverse population for whom societally‐based opportunities for optimal transition into successful adult functioning are limited. Facing consequences of early parenthood and the commission of a delinquent or criminal act, these young adults need services and policies that are developmentally and socioculturally informed. This chapter discusses adolescent parents’ risks for entry into the juvenile justice system, the impact on parenting of current services and policies associated with juvenile confinement, and the developmental and identity issues with which confined adolescent parents contend. The chapter concludes with a discussion of policies and services that could enhance services not only to adolescent parents, but also their children, thereby increasing the odds of disrupting an intergenerational pattern of incarcerated or confined parents.