With funding from an Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Field-Initiated Research and Evaluation grant, Vera will examine the impact of family visits on behavioral and educational outcomes in Indiana for young people in custody. This currently ongoing project is a follow-up to a 2012 project studying family engagement standards for the Indiana Division of Youth Services (DYS).

Using key administrative data—such as visitation records before and after the policy went into effect, education data, and infraction data, and interviews with DYS staff, youth, and parents—Vera will work with Indiana DYS to study increased visitation, its implementation and outcomes. The study assesses the effect of these visits on young people in a juvenile correction setting and explores how visitation affects the rate at which youth return to correctional facilities after release. If significant changes in youth outcomes are found in this study, advocates in other states will be able to use the information to continue to fight for increased visitation

Project Objectives

  • To research the effect of family visitation on youth in custody.

  • To develop recommendations for visitation policies based on educational and behavioral outcomes for young people.