Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.

Department (Legacy)

Department of Leadership, Foundations, and Human Resource Education

Committee Chair

Wagner, Christopher R.

Author's Keywords

Job; Practices; Satisfaction; Program; Best; Efficacy; Job satisfaction; Juvenile detention; Education faculties; Program efficacy; Best practices


Juvenile detention homes--Employees--Job satisfaction; Juvenile detention homes--Kentucky; Juvenile delinquents--Education


Federal legislation in 1992 entitled the Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention Act reordered many of the previous methods employed in the detention of juvenile offenders. Among the reform measures required by the act, there was a mandate to separate adult and juvenile offenders, provide educational opportunities, and established a process for ensuring juvenile rights. The shift in emphasis from simply incarcerating young offenders to providing educationally sound programs including both academic and life skills continues to be a challenging concept. Even though the legislation was passed in 1992, not all juvenile detention facilities have adopted every reform measure. One of the purposes of this study is to examine the possible relationship between job satisfaction levels of juvenile detention faculties and their use of best teaching practices. Juvenile arrests for violent crimes ranged from an all time high of over 500 per 100,000 juveniles in 1994 to approximately 300 per 100,000 in the year 2000. In 1997, there were over 100,000 juveniles in custody in the United States in one type of facility or another (Juvenile Offenders and Victims, 1999). A study conducted by associates from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention found that more than seventy-five percent of the confined population was being housed in facilities that violated at least one regulation relating to living space and/or failure to provide educational opportunities (Allen-Hagen, 1993). A large percentage of juveniles in detention also have alcohol, drug, and mental health disorders which, if left untreated, will likely lead to their continued participation in the juvenile and later adult justice systems (Teplin, 2001). With the Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) of 1992, the issue of over population was addressed; leaving the major concern of education for today's focus. This study expands the present knowledge base for developing a successful educational program at Juvenile Detention Centers in Kentucky. Job Satisfaction and Best Teaching Practices were significantly related with a strong correlation between facility and teaching practices. This finding suggested the need for facilities and faculties to be united in their programming efforts. One disappointment from the findings revealed that Kentucky Educational Collaborative for State Agency Children (KECSAC) employs a state evaluation tool, which is not sufficient to evaluate program efficacy. It is a commonly accepted fact that without effective evaluation, there can be no accountability. According to Quint Studer (2004), founder and CEO of the Studer Groups, "The most satisfied employees work in organizations that have systems and processes in place that are designed to sustain service and operational excellence." While KECSAC attempts to evaluate programs, their instrument has not been found to have validity or reliability, and the researcher was unable to find a correlation between it and the other two explored factors: job satisfaction and/or the implementation of best practices.