Research on Pathways to Desistance Series

The Pathways to Desistance study is a multi-site, longitudinal study of serious adolescent offenders as they transition from adolescence into early adulthood. Between November, 2000 and January, 2003, 1,354 adjudicated youths from the juvenile and adult court systems in Maricopa County (Phoenix), Arizona (N = 654) and Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania (N = 700) were enrolled into the study.

The enrolled youth were at least 14 years old and under 18 years old at the time of their committing offense and were found guilty of a serious offense (predominantly felonies, with a few exceptions for some misdemeanor property offenses, sexual assault, or weapons offenses).

Each study participant was followed for a period of seven years past enrollment, with the end result a comprehensive picture of life changes in a wide array of areas over the course of this time.

The study sought to inform the ongoing debate in the juvenile justice system regarding the treatment and processing of serious adolescent offenders. The larger aim of the Pathways series is to improve decision-making by court and social service personnel and to clarify policy debates about alternatives for serious adolescent offenders.

Additional datasets from the Pathways study will be released during 2013. These datasets will include official records information (e.g. re-arrest, placement), and monthly life-calendar data on a range of topics (e.g. school, work). These additional datasets will not be publicly available, but rather made available through ICPSR's restricted data access system.

For more information, please visit the Research on Pathways to Desistance web site.