Juvenile delinquency is a problem as old as time, and it is a continuing issue in our society. Why is this a continuing issue, and what can we, as a society, do about it? If, that assumption is true, juvenile delinquency is not going away. How do we propose to deal with this perceived problem? One possible solution we propose is education through the Intensive Literacy Education of Incarcerated Adolescents.

In some jurisdictions, approximately 70% of the incarcerated juvenile population is believed to be illiterate (Bureau of Statistics, 1997) and have not completed high school (Maguire and Pastore, 1996). Those statistics leave a dispiriting outlook for the future of adolescent offenders being released back into your community.

However, there are programs that are attempting to deal with the issue of illiteracy in juvenile offenders. One such program is the literacy program that has been developed at the Oak Hills Youth Center in Laurel Pennsylvania. The program is a nonprofit program that was developed in the early 1990s. The program purports to lower criminal offending rates. Also, this program reports ?positive gains with respect to oral fluency, grade placement and attitude (Cohen & Piquero, 2009).

We will collect data to evaluate the effectiveness of this program through the initial intake anonymous surveys supplied to the incarcerated individuals, exit surveys and follow-up surveys given at six, twelve and 48 month time periods. Theses surveys will be attempted to be given via supplied e-mail addresses and also sent to the last known address of the participants. Due to the likely hood of a low response rate our survey will have to be given to all participants of the program for a two year period.
The data collected will be cross referenced with the data from the department of corrections from the state of Maryland. Juvenile records may be hard to access due to the legality of confidentiality. However, it is our belief that an acceptable number of records for a statistically significant number of respondents should be available from the adult criminal records with waivers being used from the original juveniles surveyed.
It is our belief we can give a fair insight into this particular program. In this age of economic ?belt tightening? and cost cutting it is imperative only programs that are cost effective and socially productive should be funded.
There are many variables that will be addressed in our research. A few of the variables include age, race, and the crimes committed by the offenders. Due to the limited length of this introduction I will not address all of the variables that have an impact on the research.