Children's Health

Behavioral scientist to present findings from the Northwestern Juvenile Project at AAAS meeting

Northwestern University behavioral scientist Linda Teplin will present research on Saturday, Feb. 19 from her groundbreaking Northwestern Juvenile Project at the upcoming 2022 annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The meeting, “Empower with Evidence,” will take place online Feb. 17-20.

For information about media registration, email [email protected] and include “AAAS Annual Meeting” in the subject line.

Teplin, the Owen L. Coon Professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, will participate in the scientific session “How Have Studies of Crime Impacted Criminal Justice Policy and Racial Inequality?” at 1 p.m. EST Saturday, Feb. 19.

On the same day, Teplin also will participate in a media availability (MA) session from 11-11:30 a.m. EST. A new offering at AAAS this year, MAs are casual discussions between reporters and experts over Zoom. Teplin will discuss “Long-Term Outcomes of Juvenile Justice Youth: How Data Drives Reform,” the topic of her scientific session presentation.

Drawn from the 25-year longitudinal study, the Northwestern Juvenile Project, Teplin will discuss findings that are influencing policies and addressing racial inequalities in the criminal justice systems. She also will recommend future directions for research.

About the media availability (11 a.m. EST):

“Long-Term Outcomes of Juvenile Justice Youth: How Data Drives Reform.”

The presentation is based on data collected in the study, the Northwestern Juvenile Project. In the mid-1990s, researchers interviewed 1,829 randomly selected youth who were newly admitted to juvenile detention. The investigators then followed them for the next 16 years no matter where they were living -; conducting a total of 17,766 face-to-face interviews. The study’s overall goal was to ascertain the health needs and outcomes of youth in the juvenile justice system.

About the scientific session (1 p.m. EST):

“How Have Studies of Crime Impacted Criminal Justice Policy and Racial Inequality?”

Although crime rates overall in the U.S. have dropped since the late 1990s, the U.S. compares unfavorably alongside other developed countries by several metrics: Homicide rates are 17 times higher in the U.S. than the United Kingdom; the U.S. has one of the highest incarceration rates among industrialized nations; and Black individuals are disproportionately affected.

In this interdisciplinary panel discussion organized by Teplin, four behavioral scientists who have spent decades studying crime will discuss studies focusing on successes and failures in the implementation of scientific research designed to reduce crime.

Moderated by Daniel Nagin of Carnegie Mellon University, panelists include Robert Sampson, Harvard University; Teplin, Northwestern University; and Alex Piquero, University of Miami.

The topics to be discussed are: The Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods, a 25-year longitudinal study that examines how family, school and neighborhood characteristics affect criminal behavior in juveniles and adults (Sampson); the Northwestern Juvenile Project, a 25-year longitudinal study of needs and outcomes of detained youth that has precipitated reform in the juvenile justice system (Teplin); and a body of studies focusing on successes and failures in the implementation of scientific research designed to reduce crime (Piquero).

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