U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Teaching Young Men in Correctional Education: Issues and Interventions in Male Identity Development

NCJ Number
Journal of Correctional Education Volume: 58 Issue: 3 Dated: September 2007 Pages: 249-261
Robert K. Pleasants
Date Published
September 2007
13 pages
This paper addresses particular aspects of male identity development through an analysis of masculinity in the lives of young male offenders offering practical applications for teachers working with young incarcerated men.
In order to better serve male youth in correctional facilities, teachers, counselors and researchers must understand young men’s relationship to dominant forms of masculinity. With this understanding, teachers and counselors must also help young men critically examine their own engagement with masculinity. Specifically, professionals and youth within correctional facilities must engage with the intersections of masculinity and violence, the social networks that positively and negatively affect young men, identity construction, emotional expression, and literacy in the lives of male youth. Through an analysis of incarcerated males, professionals in the field can foster a deeper understanding of the roots of violent and delinquent behavior in young men. If young men in the juvenile justice system examine their identity as men and adopt nonviolent forms of masculinity, they will be less likely to engage in recidivist behavior. Males constitute a disproportionate percentage of the incarcerated population in the United States, including the population of the juvenile justice system. However, despite this correlation between gender and incarceration, the relationship between masculinity and violence remains under-examined with regards to incarcerated youth. This paper argues that teachers, counselors, and researchers in correctional facilities can better understand, and better serve, young men if they consider their relationship to dominant forms of masculinity. References