Date of Graduation

5-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science Education

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Rehabilitation, Human Resources and Communication Disorders

Advisor

Frazier, Kimberly

Reader

Glade, Rachel

Second Reader

Brown, Kristy

Abstract

Young offenders in juvenile detention centers (JDCs) have a higher than average incidence of communication difficulties. There is limited published research on incidence of communication disorders and intervention techniques on this population in Arkansas. Speechlanguage pathologists (SLP) have been implemented in the JDC setting in other countries to determine if having speech-language therapy services will benefit juvenile offenders with their legal experiences and their lives post release. The limited research that is available identifies the need for a full range of speech-language therapy services to lower recidivism rates and provide offenders with the necessary tools for functional communication. The first aim of this study is to determine whether professionals involved within the juvenile justice system believe that there is a need for speech-language therapy services. The second aim is to determine what services each professional group believes would be beneficial in the JDC setting and how the services would benefit their interactions with juvenile offenders. An anonymous online survey was conducted and categorized into three groups; speech-language pathologists, juvenile detention employees and legal professionals. Questions were tailored to opinions given their experiences with juvenile offenders on topics including current services provided in juvenile centers, the effect that communication disorders have on offenders’ legal experiences and the benefits that could be seen if full-time SLPs were implemented in the JDC setting. Literature has shown that speechlanguage therapy services are integral to assisting juvenile offenders especially those who enter the center with undiagnosed communication difficulties. The limited research on the topic in Arkansas shows the need for more attention from professionals associated with JDCs. This study 2 identified a need for more research to be conducted within Arkansas JDCs to identify the incidence of communication difficulties and the steps needed to provide full-time services.

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