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Quattrone Center Presents Research at the Conference on Empirical Legal Studies

October 05, 2015

Megan Stevenson, a Post Doctoral Research Fellow with the Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice, is presenting some of her juvenile justice research at the Conference on Empirical Legal Studies this October.

Stevenson’s paper, titled Breaking Bad: Mechanisms of Social Influence and the Path to Criminality in Juvenile Jails offers a detailed analysis of peer influence in juvenile incarceration facilities.  She shows that incarcerating a teenager among a cohort of high-risk prisoners leads to an increase in the teenager’s conduct of future crime as well as an increase in measures of aggression and anti-societal attitudes.  She argues, based on a constellation of evidence, that the mechanism behind this effect is the social contagion of crime-oriented non-cognitive factors.

Megan Stevenson is an economist studying crime and the criminal justice system.  Her work focuses on juvenile justice, exploring areas such as peer influence during incarceration, the impacts of prosecuting juveniles as adults, public vs private juvenile incarceration facilities, non-cognitive factors and crime, and plea bargaining.  She expects to receive a PhD in Agricultural and Resource Economics from UC Berkeley in December 2015.