Pretrial Juvenile Detention
Roughly one in four juveniles arrested in the U.S. spend time in a detention center prior to their court date. To study the consequences of this practice for youth, we link the universe of individual public school records in Michigan to juvenile and adult criminal justice records. Using a combination of exact matching and inverse probability weighting, we estimate that juvenile detention leads to a 31% decline in the likelihood of graduating high school and a 25% increase in the likelihood of being arrested as an adult. Falsification tests suggest the results are not driven by unobserved heterogeneity.
We received valuable feedback from Joseph Doyle, Ezra Goldstein, and Max Gross. We appreciate Jonathan Hartman and Kyle Kwaiser for their help with record linkage and Jasmina Camo-Biogradlija, Andrea Plevek, and Nicole Wagner Lam for coordinating data access. The project received approval from the University of Michigan's Institutional Review Board: HUM00104615. This research used data structured and maintained by the MERI-Michigan Education Data Center (MEDC). MEDC data are modified for analysis purposes using rules governed by MEDC and are not identical to those data collected and maintained by the Michigan Department of Education and/or Michigan's Center for Educational Performance and Information. This research was funded with help from training grant R305B170015 through the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not reflect the views of any other entity, nor those of the National Bureau of Economic Research.