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Restorative Justice Programs 1Running 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 2Abstract 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.