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One of the most vulnerable and growing populations within the United States (U.S.) are youth involved in the juvenile justice system. Each day, approximately 60,000 youth are currently incarcerated in the U.S., signifying a necessary demand for community re-entry success. Having been incarcerated makes it more challenging for youth to attend school, obtain a license, find public housing, and attain public benefits. Furthermore, because of the effects following being a part of the juvenile justice system, the youth exemplify a lack of social interaction skills, hindered relationship patterns, altered values and beliefs. These underdeveloped skills and patterns interfere with the youth's occupational participation as they re-integrate into their communities. As such, this paper elaborates the creation of a doctoral capstone project to address this population's needs. This capstone project aimed to create an occupation-based program geared towards community reintegration to address the youth's underdeveloped skills and patterns to improve their participation in occupations. The methods of this program included 5 phases the strengths and needs assessment phase, program development phase, program implementation phase, program evaluation phase, sustainability and partnership phase. During the 14-week capstone experience, a self-regulation program to facilitate the youth and staff's occupational performance was developed at an employment reintegration center. The results are intended to highlight the role of occupational therapy in this emerging practice setting.

Publication Date

Fall 12-9-2021


University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences


Youth, juvenile justice system, incarcerated, capstone project, community reintegration, experience, self-regulation, methods, occupational performance

Medical Subject Headings

Adolescent, Prisoners, Social Adjustment, Employment, Occupational Therapy, Needs Assessment, Program Development


Law Enforcement and Corrections | Occupational Therapy | Social Work


Poster presented at the Fall 2021 Virtual OTD Capstone Symposium held online at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences, December 9-10, 2021.

An Occupation-Based Program for Formerly Incarcerated Youth and Staff in an Employment Re-integration Program