Date of Award

Summer 4-14-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Douglas DeVore, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

George Giokaris, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Paulette Koss, Ed.D.

Fourth Advisor

Patricia Clark White, Ed.D.


Purpose: The purpose of this descriptive, qualitative study was to identify and describe the importance of the predictors of juvenile recidivism and the effectiveness of efforts to prevent/avoid juvenile recidivism as perceived by previously detained, arrested, convicted, and/or incarcerated adult students 18 years of age and older exiting from alternative education in Northern California. A second purpose was to explore the types of support provided by alternative schools and the perceived importance of the support to avoid recidivism according to adult students 18 years of age and older exiting from alternative education.

Methodology: This qualitative, descriptive research design identified and described the stories voluntarily shared by previously detained, arrested, convicted, and/or incarcerated young adult students 18 years of age or older from two alternative education programs. The study utilized semistructured interviews, with questions posed in a sequential manner. The qualitative semistructured interviews consisting of 13 standardized questions were administered to 12 participants in person. The results of the qualitative semistructured interviews guided the narrative by prioritizing data and themes. The population for the study included adult students 18 years of age and older who were detained, arrested, convicted, and/or incarcerated and either were exiting or would soon be exiting from an alternative education program in Northern California.

Findings: Examination of the interview responses resulted in 42 themes and 158 frequencies related to the perceived predictors of juvenile recidivism and types of support perceived as important to avoid recidivism. Seven key findings were identified based on the frequency of references by study participants. Conclusions: The seven key findings were summarized as four conclusions: (a) This study contributes to the growing body of qualitative research on juvenile recidivism; (b) alternative education is overlooked and underserved; (c) strong collective efforts through community engagement are highly encouraged to prevent youth incarceration and to deter youth from juvenile recidivism; and (d) overlooked and underserved alternative education programs contribute to the social phenomenon of juvenile recidivism; the ayes have it. Recommendations: Further research is advised in this area by replicating this study within elementary, middle, and high school settings as well as soliciting the perspectives of superintendents, teachers, and probation officers.

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