restorative justice - Rethinking the Sanctioning Function...

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Rethinking the Sanctioning Function in Juvenile Court: Retributive or Restorative Responses to Youth Crime This article details how the U.S. juvenile justice system has strayed away from its initial objective, which was to provide treatment in the “best interest of the child,” and has increasingly become more punitive, thus adopt ding a more retributive model of justice. It also provides information about an alternative to the retributive model, the restorative model. Bazemore and Umbreit state that the juvenile justice system has now adopted a “one- dimensional approach” to sanctioning. This approach is known as the retributive model. The retributive model is characterized as a “ broad ideological framework that gives priority to punishment and lesser emphasis to rehabilitative goals, places central focus on “desert” as the primary rationale for decision making and expands the role of formal, adversarial, adjudicatory, and dispositional processes (297).” This model is “incompatible with the rationale for a separate and distinct justice system for juveniles based on their special developmental status and a concern with rehabilitative objectives (297).” However, its popularity among the public and policymakers has grown because it allegedly operates to “affirm community disapproval of proscribed behavior, denounce crime, and provide consequences to the lawbreaker (297).” However, Bazemore and Umbreit argue that the retributive model has failed to accomplish any of these tasks. Instead, “treatment appears to be unrelated to the offense, to be solely to the needs of juvenile lawbreakers, and to require nothing of offenders beyond participation in counseling or remedial services (297).” The current method of sentencing juveniles began in existence when policymakers began to adopt a “just deserts” philosophy in their application of juvenile justice due to professionals under the
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This note was uploaded on 06/30/2011 for the course CJ 530 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '08 term at Sam Houston State University.

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restorative justice - Rethinking the Sanctioning Function...

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