Revista de Cercetare si Interventie Sociala

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Resilience of Children Behind Bars

Resilience of Children Behind Bars



Cod: ISSN: 1583-3410 (print), ISSN: 1584-5397 (electronic)
Dimensiuni: pp. 64-79

How to cite this article:

Muntean, A., Cojocaru, S. (2016). Resilience of Children Behind Bars. Revista de Cercetare si Interventie Sociala, 52, 64-79.


This study focuses on the resilience of delinquent children, youth and children who are serving a sentence of imprisonment in an educational center. In Romania, according to official statistics in June 2014, there are a number of 218 children of both sexes, aged between 14-18 years, in this situation. By 2009, when the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) draws attention to the Romanian state on the rights of children deprived of liberty, these children were silenced, and the child protection system in Romania did not assume responsibilities on them. According to longitudinal internal statistics, approximately 75-80% of the children and youth serving a custodial sentence are found, years later, in adult prisons. These statistics are consistent with the percentage of resilience found internationally on populations of vulnerable children. Since the first research on resilience, in the 70s, it was noted a rate of 20-25% of resilient children, despite the vicissitudes that they faced during childhood, were able to overcome them. The percentage of natural resilience of children was later confirmed in other research aimed to highlight the resilience, and in recent years this proportion of resilience was confirmed on children adopted in England from institutions in Romania. Using three questionnaires specific for investigating the level of resilience of youth, data were collected on a total of 70 adolescents, 61 boys and 9 girls, aged between 14-18, from an educational center for children. Only 53 questionnaires were valid and entered into our database. The questionnaires aimed to highlight the risk and protection factors to which they were exposed, respectively, which the children benefited from in their existence and prior to their admission in the educational center. The third questionnaire identifies the elements of resilience of children. Data collection was conducted in November 2014. The results of the investigation can serve to a universal preventive strategy based on evidence (evidence-based) and to an ‘Assistance’ of the resilience of delinquent children in these centers. More than in the case of adults, in children and youngsters, the major concern in establishing educational measures running an offense should aim building their resilience. Society cannot close its eyes to these destinies loss or the increase of crime through the 75-80% of children and youth in educational centers who become adult criminals.


youth, delinquency, resilience, risk factors, protective factors.

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