Literacy levels of male juvenile justice detainees

Kevin Wheldall*, Renae Watkins

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The assessment records etailing the reading and spelling performance of a group of male juvenile justice detainees admitted over a 3-month period were examined in an attempt to quantify the basic literacy levels of juvenile offenders. Results of student self-ratings of their reading ability were also analysed. The participants comprised 68 males on remand within a secure care facility in New South Wales. The results showed, contrary to expectations, that a large percentage of detainees appeared to have attained functional literacy but that their spelling achievement levels were low, however. Detainees' self-ratings correlated with their reading test scores, indicating a realistic appraisal of their reading levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-11
Number of pages9
JournalEducational Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2004


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