Our Kids – Elizabeth Cauffman


Joining your hosts for this episode of “Our Kids” is Dr. Elizabeth Cauffman, a Professor of Psychology and Law, who provides a glimpse into the sobering reality of our juvenile justice system. For the past three years Dr. Cauffman has led the UC Irvine Crossroads study, hoping to examine the long-term ramifications of putative measures on juvenile development, whether academically, behaviorally, or economically. With over 1000 participants ranging from 13-17 years of age in three different cities including Orange County itself, preliminary findings have strongly supported the growing movement against harsher sanctions. A disregard for developmentally appropriate punishment tends to exacerbate underlying issues, rather than correcting the problematic behavior as originally intended — propagating a cycle of poverty, encouraging repeat offenses, and ultimately failing generations of our kids.