Date of Award

Spring 5-3-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

MAE - Master of Arts in Expressive Therapies


Expressive Therapies


Sarah Hamil


The Juvenile Justice System differentiates itself from the adult criminal justice system by running on a rehabilitative model for youth offenders as opposed to a punishment and deterrence model. It is not uncommon that the youth placed in these facilities suffer from many mental health issues and have extensive trauma backgrounds leading to their delinquent behavior and crimes. Juvenile offenders are a population who are labeled as deviant and isolated from the world due to their behaviors often stemming from unhealed trauma. If left without care, these mental health concerns and unhealthy trauma responses may only perpetuate into their adult lives. This literature review explores the history of the juvenile justice system and its efforts to uphold the rehabilitation model for youth offenders. The implementation of art therapy with juvenile offenders is also examined as an expressive method to reinforce mental health care in these facilities. Different art therapy directives with this population were explored in helping juvenile offenders improve self-esteem, build on strengths, connect to the community and one another while also working to process their trauma. The literature suggests that more research and implementation of arts-based therapy along with rehabilitative models as a whole are necessary in the care of juvenile offenders while detained.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.




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