The Relationship Between Group Size And Outcomes In Juvenile Corrections:A Partial Review Of The Literature

The Ohio Department of Youth Services (ODYS) proposed changes to the American Correctional Association’s (ACA ) Standards for Juvenile Training Schools to eliminate the limits on living unit and institutional sizes, relying instead on “rated” capacity. The ODYS argument has several points; one is that the standard’s requirement for smaller populations is not based on research but more on anecdotal assumption. A brief, non comprehensive review of the literature finds sufficient evidence to support the ACA standard and to reject the ODYS “lack-of-research” argument. Several of the studies are discussed in detail. A more comprehensive and thorough search is recommended, along with recommendations for the support of additional research on the effects of institutional size on juvenile correctional outcomes.