The New York State Optometric Association Vision Screening Battery (NYSOA) and the Developmental Eye Movement Test (DEM) were administered to 50 adjudicated adolescents in order to isolate which particular visual factors are most responsible for the learning difficulties of juvenile offenders. F!fty-four graduate students served as a control group. A multiple regression statistical analysis indicated that the Tracking and Convergence subtests of the NYSOA were statistically significant predictors of reading and language arts achievement scores. A chi-square statistical analysis revealed that the juvenile of fenders scored significantly lower on the Tracking, Visual Acuity-Near, and Color Vision subtests. The most significant finding was the high failure rate of juvenile offenders on both tracking tests. Forty eight percent failed the tracking subtest of the NYSOA. Sixty-eight percent failed one or more of the DEM subtests.
The impact of juvenile delinquency on our society and its ramifications, such as crime, are well known and undisputed. American youth are being incarcerated at a continually increasing rate and cost. American prisons now hold an ever increasing number of prisoners as many juvenile offenders develop into adult criminals. In 1994 there was a total of 950,000 prisoners incarcerated at a cost of $35,000 to $60,000 per inmate . . .