Restorative Justice in the 21st Century

The effects of this process are magnified with youth

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Unformatted text preview: f this process are magnified with youth. During adolescence the need to belong, have a place that is valued, and be bonded to others intensifies. Youth who are not bonded to conventional community institutions such as school, work, religious and recreational organizations are much more likely to engage in criminal behavior. At the time youth most need to be connected, conventional adults are likely to pull away from them because of extreme styles of dress, music, language, etc. Media stories about youth crime promote a generalized fear of young people among adults. That fear is both deeply disturbing but at the same time provides a sense of power to adolescents and creates image problems for even those who are not engaged in criminal behavior. Traditionally, the juvenile court and juvenile justice system have been assigned responsibility for meeting the needs of troublesome adolescents and responding to youth crime and delinquency. Founded as a quasi-welfare agency, the court has focused primarily on providing treatment in the “best interests” of the juvenile offender. But whi...
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