Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Post-Bac Cert/Applied Studies



First Advisor

Jane Berry


Gaps in the literature on juvenile justice and mental health within a juvenile correctional center prompted a study that focused on self-esteem, emotions, and empathy in residents living in a juvenile correctional center related to their participation in a storytelling course. First-year students from a local university visited the correctional center as part of a community-based learning component. They met with residents to swap stories about their lives. Several limitations and obstacles complicated the data collection process, forcing the researchers to pivot their study from quantitative analyses to qualitative observations. The experience of conducting a study within a juvenile correctional center is documented in this paper. Strategies are suggested to future researchers who may be interested in studying, understanding, and advocating for the mental health and well-being of incarcerated juveniles in a secure facility.