Adolescent Brain Development and Research Evidence for Juvenile Justice

Research conducted over the past several decades has documented both the various pathways that children and youth follow into juvenile delinquency and the intersection of those pathways with the development of the adolescent brain, which continues into the mid 20′s. Accordingly, reentry strategies are more likely to succeed if they aid youth and young adults in achieving developmental milestones related to education, peer groups (and relationships more broadly), the youth’s role in the community, health, and the youth’s creativity and sense of self within their world. This session provided an overview of the research on adolescent brain development and the implications of developmental factors on efforts to engage youth and young adults in reentry.


  • David Altschuler, Principal Research Scientist, Institute for Policy Studies, Johns Hopkins University (moderator)
  • Jennifer Woolard, Associate Professor of Psychology, Georgetown University
  • Kent Berkley, Senior Associate Director, Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative
  • Jeffrey Butts, Director, Research Evaluation Center, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York

Video of the Conference Session

Watch complete session (1.25 hours)