Course Name: Juvenile Justice Administration Course Code: MCJ6002 Week: Four Assignment: Four Assignment Name: Submit Final Report Veronica Elliott Problem Statement “According to research estimates of the Office of Juvenile Justice andDelinquency Prevention (OJJDP) of 2004, 60 percent of all adolescents whobecome part of the juvenile justice system before they are 11 years old willcommit a violent crime by the time they are 16.”
As an advisor to juvenile justice policy makers, you have been asked toassess alternative juvenile treatment programs and present some alternativejuvenile treatment and present evidence of their success with persistentoffenders. Assessment Report Critical Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Contemporary Responses to Juvenile Offenses Juvenile crime and the juvenile justice system is a growing concern in America. No oneknows the main cause of juvenile delinquency or why juveniles commit crimes. Manycontemporary juvenile justice experts and I believe that institutionalization should be the lastresponse for handling juvenile offenders, and a number of mental health and child welfareagencies promote community-based programs. Recent literature suggests that a system ofdeinstitutionalization is appropriate and manageable and needs to be pursed as a viablealternative for juvenile offenders. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Preventionhave established guidelines to reflect what a least restrictive environment should include.Those guidelines consider size, distance, from home, degree of security, population mix, andcommunity programming. With variance in labels and treatment programs, it attempts toevaluate the effectiveness of community based methods are troublesome. In general, howeverstudies indicate more negative consequences for youth committed to institutions than tocommunity-based programs. An evaluation of juvenile detention in Nebraska indicates that theprocess by which trouble juveniles are managed needs to be evaluated. Opportunities exist formoving in the more positive direction of community-based treatment (NCJRS). Some responses to juvenile offenders are treating them as adults and let them get themaximum sentence for them crime. That is for those who commit serious offenses. In juvenilecourts judges wavier juvenile offenders to criminal courts and they get tried as adults. Some saythat is used to help decrease the juvenile crime rate I think it adds to it. I think the besteffective response to juvenile offenses is to find out what the root of the problem is and try tofix it by using counseling or any alternative treatment program.
Critical Evaluation of Alternative Treatment Programs for Juvenile Offenders Some people believe that alternative treatment or rehabilitation programs do not work.I believe that they help a great deal on juvenile offenders. There is several different alternativetreatment programs design for juvenile offenders. The court selects the best program for thejuvenile. The court chooses the one that is the best for the treatment needed for the juvenile.There are lots of alternative treatment programs that the juvenile or the juvenile court canchoose from that will benefit the juvenile. Programs such as Multisystem Therapy, PoochPrograms, Boot camps, wilderness programs, restorative justice programs, counseling, and drugabuse treatment programs. Multisystem Therapy (MST) this is a program that empower parents with skills andresources needed to help address difficulties that they may find in their teenagers. Thisprogram also empowers youth to cope with family, school, peers, and problems in theirenvironment. MST helps to overcome barriers to service access, allows for the provisionintensive services resulting in low caseloads for therapists, increases family retention intreatment, and enhances the maintenance of treatment gains. The effectiveness of MST comesfrom controlled studies that focused on violent and chronic juvenile offenders. Results fromthese studies showed that MST outcomes were similar for youths across the adolescent ageranges that are 12-17 years (South University 2008). Pooch Programs combine unwanted dogs with trouble youths. In these programs theoffenders are to learn patience, self-esteem, and responsibility and relationship skills. As thejuvenile train the dogs they learn anger management skills, deferred gratification, patience,forward-thinking and planning, logical consequences, responsibility, and self-awareness (SouthUniversity 2008). Boot Camps are the most familiar programs for trouble youths. Most parents use thisprogram for the teens when they sense that it is something going on with their teen. Bootcamps are considered an intermediate punishment, and they are very effective for certain typesof offenders those that need structure and can retain the structure upon release. Researchershave indicated that boot camps are effective for short term, but not long-term (SouthUniversity 2008). Wilderness Programs is an outward-bounding program. This program is an alternative tothe institutional programs. Evaluation studies of wilderness programs indicate that the short-
term, positive effects of therapeutic wilderness camp programs could potentially provide apromising alternative to traditional juvenile justice placements (South University 2008). The most common alternative treatment program that is the most effective iscounseling it is also the most court referred program. Counseling provides comprehensivepsychological services by combining the youth, family, school, and community perspective inassessing the needs of the youths (University of Georgia). I believe that counseling is the mosteffective is because it is an ongoing process and it is done as a group and individual. Some people believe that community-based programs are the most effective such asprobation because it has state of the art supervision. I think probation is more effectivebecause it help the offender get back into society. It also lets the offender give back to theirvictims. Probation is a second chance for the offender to get his/her life on track. Howeverthere are many who have violated their probation and was sent to a juvenile detention centerto serve a sentence. Center for Child and Adolescent Treatment Services (CCATS) Program specializes intreating adolescents with diagnosed psychiatric disorders, drug or addiction problems, or both.To get involve in this program youths are not just referred by courts but their parents can enrollthem as well. CCATS is a 12 step program that allows each individual 12-16 weeks, the actual,time is solely dependent upon their personal needs. Natchaug Hospital offers services for adolescent who have emotional or behavior healthissues that put them at risk of needed psychiatric residential or inpatient care. “The intensiveday treatment programs that Natchaug offers can help prevent hospitalization as well asprovide an environment that can help adolescent who were formerly in an inpatient orresidential setting transition back into their community and into regular life more smoothly(Hollerbach 2006). This program is effective it help treat juvenile that can not help theirdelinquency because they have behavior issues, which are medically related. Restorative Justice is a good source of treatment for juvenile offenders. BCRJP usrestorative justice and it help decrease the juvenile crime rate. This involves the victims ofcrime the opportunity to meet the offender in a safe place and structured setting, with the goalof holding the offender directly accountable for their behavior while providing importantassistance and compensation to the victim. The victim gets to tell the offender how the crimeaffected him/her the can receive answers to their questions and get involved with a restitutionplan for the offender. The offender is able to take direct responsibility for his/her behavior andto learn the full impact of what they did, and develop a plan for making things right with theperson they the victimized (BCRJP 2005).
Juveniles must acknowledge that they have a problem and want to get treatment for it.If the individual does not want the treatment then it is not going to be effective. For anyTreatment and program to work and decrease juvenile crime they all must work together. Theparents, schools, programs, communities, local law enforcement must work together to helpdecrease juvenile crime. Key Components of a Strategy to Prevent Juvenile Delinquency and Recidivism There are several different programs that are design to help reduce recidivism rates.Probation‘s primary goal is to reduced recidivism. They do this by holding offendersaccountable and by assisting offenders change their behavior. Probation Officers also workwith victims in ensuring they are heard through Victim Impact Statements and by collectingRestitution. DPCA’s primary strategies in reducing recidivism are realized through providingquality training to probation officers in Evidence-Based Practices (EPB) well researchedpractices. They train probation officers in case planning, Motivational Interviewing,understanding the Stages of Change and we teach probation officers how to engage offendersin skill-building exercises. DCPA strategies to reduce recidivism also include the provision of riskand need actuarial assessment instruments to local probation departments. Uniform andcontinuous assessments of the offender are essential. Measuring the risk of recidivism for thejuvenile as well as the adult is essential in determining which offenders fall into the low,medium and high risk categories. Like risk and need assessment, the risk principle is a primarycomponent of what we commonly refer to as EBP. It determines how we allocate resources.There is strong evidence that over supervising low risk offenders can actually increase theiroverall risk of recidivism. They diverted low risk offenders from the system because there is alow probability they will re-offended (DPCA 2008). A study was conducted in 2005 and theresults show that DPCA had a 24.2% reduction in recidivism among juvenile offenders wasrealized when their protective factors increased. DPCA realized that to be effective they mustmove their interventions to an earlier time in the lives of our youth and families. The best wayto correct or fix a problem is to catch it before it grows or get bigger. “When applied to an aftercare model, intervention strategies counseling, behaviorprograms, restitution, probation, employment, vocational and academic programs seek toprevent delinquency by changing individual behavior. Despite early skepticism regardingintervention programs, recent literature reviews and meta-analyses demonstrate that
intervention program can effectively reduce delinquency. In fact, that the important issues usnot whether something works but what works for whom (NCJRS).” Programs must have a specific plan and design. Research indicates that incomplete orpoorly implemented programs delivered by untrained personnel to offenders who spend only aminimal amount of time in the program will not successfully reduce recidivism. Systemicbarriers to implementing interventions programs include unstable operating environments,competing agency priorities, crowded facilities and aggressive diversion practices, poor staffselection and training, staff turnover and vacancies, and poor access to services because ofinadequate transportation or along distance between the community and the institution(NCJRS). According to Aftercare Services, treatment for delinquent behavior is most effectivewhen it is provided to juveniles with the highest risk of recidivism. Programs that target low-risk offenders show little reduction in recidivism because few of those offenders tend to repeatdelinquent behavior. In review of 200 studies, Lipsey found that the average intervention effectfor programs directed at serious offenders was positive, statistically significant, and equivalentto a recidivism reduction of about 6 percentage points from a 50 percent baseline, but variationacross studies was considerable (NCJRS). It is a steady drop in teen offender recidivism rates in Pierce County and it is not theresult of institutions. Pierce County focus on programs proven to keep kids out of stateinstitution to use state dollars not on detention facilities but in the communities. The countybegan collecting much more precise and compressive data on the teen felons it had released,tracking them for two years on probation. After the first arrest, offenders and their families gothrough risk assessment a detailed interview to screen out those less likely to become chronic,violent offenders. The high risk kids are detained, schooled and given therapy to help themcontrol anger and make decision based on reason, not impulse or peer pressure. Theresearcher is pretty clear the more dependent they become on it and the harder it is to keepthem for developing a criminal lifestyle. The lesser offenders and their parents sign agreementsthat obligate the children to pay fines and restitution, stay away from their victims and attendschool and counseling. Community accountability boards staffed by local volunteer’s adultsand teens make sure they comply. Ninety-four percent of their kids successfully complete thesix month program, 70 percent of them is not arrested again (IBT 2007). “Post release reintegration programs are now often part of broader crime preventionstrategies that are designed to provide a comprehensive approach to public safety. Crimereduction strategies developed in the Uk, the US and few other countries for youth and adultoffenders attempt to reintegrate the various elements of the criminal justice response to crime,develop based interventions in an unbroken continuum of intervention. Several communities
in British Columbia and elsewhere in Canada are in the early stages of developing similarstrategies. These strategies are premised on interagency cooperation and coordination,integrated responses and partnership with community (Griffiths, 2007).” “Depending on local public safety priorities, many of these crime reduction strategieshave had to consider ways of preventing recidivism by known offenders, particularly those whoare very dangerous and/or prolific. Often, the expression priority offenders are used to reflectthe fact that crime prevention priorities can vary from one community to another. A commonfeature of these initiatives is the objective of developing cost effective programs that willprevent crime and enhance public safety. Not surprisingly, the language of evidence-basedprogramming is often being used to guide, design, and justify various interventions. Some verylarge scale initiatives, particularly in England, were designed on the basis of the best availableresearch evidence on the causes of crime, crime patterns and effective methods ofintervention. Some significant investments have been made in the U.S. and the U.K. to attemptto evaluate the outcomes of these various strategies (Griffiths, 2007).” Unfortunately, almost without exception, complex, integrated and comprehensiveinterventions to promote reintegration and to prevent recidivism have failed to produceconclusive results. Or, if positive outcomes have been generated, these have not beenmeasured. The apparent failure of many is due to program implementation issues, rather thanto the validity of the concept and principles of the intervention itself. A review of selectedintervention for youth and adult offenders has generated a number of lessons learned aboutprogramming that is design to reduce rates of re-offending and to promote the reintegration ofoffenders. That the outcome to date has been less than stellar serves as a reminder that theeffective prevention of recidivism by known offenders is far more complex than wasanticipated.
ReferencesThe Social Reintegration of Offenders and Crime Prevention Facilitating Offender Reintegrationand Preventing Recidivism: Lesson Learned Curt Griffiths April 2007 Retrieved on November 1,2008 http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/res/cp/res/soc-reint-eng.aspxInternational Business Times Community is Focus to Prevent Recidivism Todd Lewan December30, 2007 Retrieved on November 1, 2008http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/20071230.community-is-focus-to-prevent-recidivism.htmAfter Services Juvenile Justice Practices Series Retrieved on November 1, 2008http://www.ncjrc.gov/html/ojjdp/201800/page2.htmlDivision of Probation and Correctional Alternatives Probation Strategies to Prevent RecidivismRobert Maccarone February 6, 2008 Retrieved November 1, 2008National Criminal Justice Reference Service Response to Recidivism Retrieved on November 1,2008 http://www.ncjrs.gov/app/publication/abstract.aspx?id=136974Juvenile Treatment and Corrections Dina Hollerbach December 18, 2006 Retrieved October 29,2008http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/101908/juvenile_treatment_corrections_in_coRestoring Justice: The Decrease in Juvenile Crimes in Barron County 2005 Retrieved on October16, 2008 http://bcrjp.org/articles/restorative%20justice%20%20Crime%20Reduction1-KasJuvenile Counseling and Assessment Program The University or Georgia Retrieved on October28, 2008 http://www.coe.uga.edu/chds/jcap/index.htmlWeek 4: Juvenile Justice Administration Alternative Programs in Juvenile Justice SouthUniversity Retrieved on October 30, 2008