242_paper_example_restorative_justice_program_evaluation

242_paper_example_restorative_justice_program_evaluation -...

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Restorative Justice Programs 1 Running Head: RESTORATIVE JUSTICE PROGRAMS AND RECIDIVISM Examining Alternatives to Punitive Consequences; Restorative Justice Programs, Incarceration, Recidivism, and Youth in San Jose, CA By Roberto Martinez San José State University
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Restorative Justice Programs 2 Abstract In the U.S., the current method of addressing juvenile delinquency is dominated by punitive practices, i.e. incarceration. However, more studies are showing that punitive consequences as responses to youth crime are neither making society safer nor inhibiting delinquency. In response to the punitive ideology dominating the juvenile justice system, Restorative Justice Programs (RJP) have emerged as an alternative method of dealing with juvenile offenders. This study will attempt to examine the effectiveness an RJP in Santa Clara County, California of reducing the rate at which youth re-offend. Through the use of a prospective quasi-experimental research design, RJP efficacy of reducing recidivism will be compared to ‘treatment as usual’ methods, Sentencing Alternative Programs and juvenile hall incarceration. The study hypothesized that the participants assigned to RJP will have a lower recidivism rate as compared to ‘treatment as usual’ participants. It is also hypothesized that participants assigned to incarceration for their offenses will increase their chance of re-offending in the future.
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Restorative Justice Programs 3 Introduction The United States currently incarcerates over 2.2 million of its citizens. This number has been growing steadily since the 1970s, as is particularly evident in its youth incarceration. In order to address the steady increase of juvenile incarceration, alternative programs have emerged with the purpose to reduce the number of youth that enter the juvenile justice system. The purpose of this research is to examine the efficacy of Restorative Justice Programs (RJP) (i.e. community circles and crime accountability mediation) aimed at reducing the recidivism rate of youth aged 13 to 17 into punitive institutions such as juvenile halls and state Youth Authorities. More specifically, the study will compare the correlation of reducing youth recidivism through RJP compared to punitive sentences, i.e. juvenile hall incarceration. Relevance to Social Work This research is relevant to social work because RJPs’ proactive methods of intervening in youth from entering the juvenile justice system mirror the professions’ ideals of community empowerment and social justice. These concepts are important in order to address the increased cyclical incarceration that many underprivileged youth are facing today. Social workers will also benefit from increased knowledge of RJP practices and philosophies. The examination of RJPs efficacy at reducing juvenile recidivism rates will allow social workers to make a strong case to promote the use of rehabilitation programming as an alternative to punitive consequences. Literature Review
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This note was uploaded on 09/08/2010 for the course SCWK 242 at San Jose State.

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242_paper_example_restorative_justice_program_evaluation -...

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