27 J. Soc. & Soc. Welfare 63 (2000)
Pathways to Prison: Life Histories of Former Clients of the Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice Systems

handle is hein.journals/jrlsasw27 and id is 463 raw text is: Pathways to Prison: Life Histories
of Former Clients of the Child
Welfare and Juvenile Justice Systems
STEPHEN A. KAPP
University of Kansas
School of Social Welfare
This study examines the relationship between child maltreatment and
future offending from the viewpoint of former clients. Imprisoned adults
describe their experiences in child welfare and juvenile justice system
services. Specifically, those placed out of the home originally into the child
welfare system have a different perspective on their path to prison than
those placed into the juvenile justice system as delinquents. The study
contributes to the literature by examining the relationship between the
services children receive in the child welfare system as well as the juvenile
justice system and their imprisonment as adults from a former service
recipient's point of view.
One of the primary goals of the child welfare system is to
provide a safe alternative for abused and neglected children to
grow and develop. Unfortunately, the children placed in that
system often end up as recipients of juvenile justice services for
committing illegal acts later in their youth. In some cases, these
individuals continue to offend and are eventually imprisoned
as adults. This paper describes a research project designed to
explore the relationship between child welfare and juvenile justice
services and eventual adult imprisonment. Unlike much of the
previous research assessing the link between maltreatment and il-
legal behavior, as both a juvenile and an adult, this project is based
on the impressions of former clients of these service systems. In
the context of life history interviews, former service recipients,
currently incarcerated as adults, provide alternative explanations
for their imprisonment based on whether their legal and service
Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, September, 2000, Volume XXVII, Number 3

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