McNair/Gateway Scholars Program USC

Brenda Bower

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Major and Classification

Psychology

Faculty Mentors

  • Professor Thomas Lyon

Department

McNair Project

"Cellmate Suicides: Factors Affecting Rehabilitation of Incarcerated Adolescents Through Behavior Modification Treatment Programs in Detention Facilities"

This paper provides a double case-study of the suicides of two incarcerated adolescents at the California Youth Authority (CYA) in Ione, California. Drawing from information published in six privately-funded evaluative reports on the Preston Youth Correctional CYA facility commissioned immediately following the suicides, and legal documents pertaining to the lawsuit against the CYA on behalf of the families of the deceased, I outline and discuss the implications of these particular cases to encourage future research dealing with the safety and rehabilitation of juvenile detainees. This study examines the design and use of current behavior modification treatment therapies given to incarcerated adolescents, and reviews media coverage surrounding the deaths of two youth offenders receiving these treatments. I provide definitions and explanations of psychological theories as applied to juvenile recidivism and rehabilitation to illustrate the need for improved treatment programs in juvenile correctional and detention facilities