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Indiana juvenile centers taking part in 2-year study

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Wednesday, January 15, 2014 - 8:17 am

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana's juvenile detention centers have been enlisted in a study exploring whether incarcerated youths' behavior can be improved by increasing their visits with relatives.

The Indiana Department of Correction last year expanded family visitations for juvenile detainees to as many as six days a week. The new policy by the state agency's Division of Youth Services led to family visitation rates doubling within a few months.

The Vera Institute of Justice will examine whether this increase in family contacts improves juveniles' behavior and educational performance while in custody and following their release.

The two-year study funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice will also examine the impact, if any, of enhanced visitation policies on recidivism rates for young people released from juvenile correction centers.