The lived experience of twenty-one adolescent offenders who resided in the Denton County Courage to Change Program from September 2016 through July 2017



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This study explored the lived experiences of 21 adjudicated adolescent offenders who resided in the Denton County Courage to Change Program. It was a qualitative study which used secondary data. The intent of the study was to add to the body of research on the topic of institutional placements within the juvenile justice system. The data set used in this study was comprised of questionnaires completed by the residents of the program as they neared the completion of their time in the secure residential treatment program. This study used the actual words of the residents to answer the central research question: “What are the experiences of adolescent offenders in the Denton County Courage to Change Program?”
This study was grounded in narrative therapy which suggests the experiences of individuals provide valuable information about the particular phenomena that is their experience. Findings of this study indicated that residents perceived their stay in the program as beneficial. The adolescents experienced the program as having had a positive impact on how they viewed themselves, what they were capable of, and what they wanted for their future.



family therapy, adolscent offenders