2020 Issue


Healing Lives and Communities: How Can NGOs Support Restorative Justice Involving Youth?

Caroline M. Petrilla, Dorienne J. Silva, Stacy L. Huggins and Robert McNamara
Youth Advocate Programs, Inc.
Harrisburg, PA

Galen Sylk
Rutgers University School of Law
Camden, NJ
Pages 1-27

Restorative justice is gaining momentum as a more effective and holistic response to delinquent juvenile behavior.  Four decades of research relates restorative justice initiatives to positive outcomes including enhanced victim and offender satisfaction and sense of fairness, increased compliance with restitution, and reduced recurrence of offensive behaviors (Hansen & Umbreit, 2018).  This paper discusses the benefits of restorative justice, reviews four major restorative justice approaches, and then explores the value and potential roles of community-based, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in supporting restorative justice policies and practices, particularly involving young people.  The authors’ experience working with Youth Advocate Programs, Inc. (YAP), a U.S. based nonprofit organization that promotes community-based alternatives to institutionalization for juvenile justice involved youth with complex needs and challenges, informs their perspective.  The authors aspire through this paper to cultivate community interest and engagement in restorative justice through presenting several pathways for NGOs to promote its practices and related benefits. 

Keywords: restorative justice, juvenile justice, recidivism, VOM, NGO Download Article

Response to JJ-TRIALS Implementation and Collaboration: Impressions and Recommendations by Juvenile Justice Partners

Margaret Cawood, MS, Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice
Bill Grossi, MS, TCADC, Kentucky Department of Juvenile
Veronica Koontz, MA, Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice
Nancy Arrigona, BA, Council of State Governments Justice Center
Angela Robertson, PhD, Mississippi State University
Lindrell Blackwell, Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice
Teresa Scanu-Hansen, BA, New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives
Kelly Hammersly, BS, Florida Department of Juvenile Justice
George Schmaus, Mississippi Department of Human Services, Division of Youth Services
Ellen H. Steele, MA, Mississippi State University
Wayne N. Welsh, PhD, Temple University
Pages 28 – 40

This paper examines the perceptions of juvenile justice partners involved in a multisite cooperative agreement designed to improve the uptake of evidence-based strategies for addressing substance use among justice-involved youth as part of the Juvenile Justice Translational Research on Interventions for Adolescents in the Legal System project.  Participants included 31 juvenile justice administrators representing 34 juvenile justice agencies in 7 states, who were interviewed and asked about their experiences participating and implementing the various phases the project.  Results showed that implementation partners perceived the phases, including the strategic planning, data gathering, training tools, and change team meetings to be effective and valued, but logistical challenges (e.g., technical difficulties, work load) were associated with implementing the agreed-upon changes.  Strong and consistent communication was listed as a significant factor in helping to meet behavioral health goals.  Juvenile justice administrators emphasized that increased researcher knowledge of JJ system differences, challenges, and complexities would improve future research design and contribute to developing a more mutually beneficial relationship. Download Article

Examining the Prevalence of Adverse Childhood Experiences among Juvenile Offenders

Elizabeth Crouch, Rural and Minority Health Research Center, Arnold School of Public Health
University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC

Spencer Beeson, The Phoenix Center
Greenville, SC

Melissa Strompolis, Children’s Trust of South Carolina
Columbia, SC

Hayden P. Smith, Criminology and Criminal Justice
University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC

Shanada McFadden, The Phoenix Center
Greenville, SC
Pages 41-56

While prior research has examined trauma and maltreatment rates among juvenile offenders, there has been limited research using an ACE risk assessment to measure the ACE prevalence among juvenile offenders. Further use and examination of these risk assessments are needed, as these assessments provide screening results to target interventions and prevent reoffending.  The purpose of this study was to examine the prevalence of adverse childhood experiences among a sample of juvenile offenders (n=391) to examine whether the type of ACE experienced varied by recidivism, gender, or racial/ethnic differences. Our study findings demonstrate that juvenile offenders have higher prevalence rates of parental separation/divorce, parental incarceration, and household violence than adolescents nationally, and confirm previous findings that parental separation/divorce is significantly associated with recidivism. Our study also found significant differences in ACE exposure, by sex, among juvenile detention offenders. Implications and limitations are discussed.

Keywords: Juveniles, adverse childhood experiences, delinquency, recidivism Download Article

A Relationship Between Adolescent Males and Sexual Deviance

Christopher J. Abreu
Keiser University

Michael Webb
Capella University

Cassie Flanner
Commonwealth Institute of Funeral Services
Pages 57-74

The absence of male supervision in a home might explain why adolescent males are more likely to commit sexual misconduct misdemeanor offenses, and felony sex offenses.  For this study, the social control theory was the perspective that could explain why adolescent males may be prone to delinquent or criminal behavior.  The study included a sample of 539 adolescent males.  The study was a quantitative descriptive design utilizing data from Florida Department of Juvenile Justices’ male offenders’ Positive Achievement Change Tool (PACT) transcripts.  Sexual misconduct misdemeanor offenses and felony sex offenses inferential statistics from PACT was used to compare differences between adolescent male offenders who had a mother and father present at home and adolescent male offenders who did not have a father at home.  International Business Machines Corporation IBM® SPSS® software was used to provide inferential statistical data.  A chi-square statistical method was used to analyze and interpret the quantitative data.  The quantitative analysis was a descriptive analysis.  The results suggested there was no statistical significance.  However, the study illustrated that sexual offenses statistically were different from non-sexual offenses, and further research should be conducted to determine why there are differences. Download Article

Hiring Juvenile Delinquents: Employer Callbacks from a Correspondence Study

Melanie Taylor, Ph.D.
California State University, Bakersfield

Jena Casas, M. A.
University of Nevada, Reno
Pages 75-90

Employers are less likely to call back job applicants with criminal records; however, few studies have examined the impact of a delinquency history on employment outcomes in adulthood. Historically, juveniles have been protected from stigmas associated with delinquent records, as state policies allowed for the sealing or expungement of records. However, juveniles could now face similar stigmas as adults, as states are increasingly limiting the expungement protections for juvenile delinquents; juveniles are frequently posting personal information online; juveniles could feel pressured by potential employers to disclose a delinquency history; and juveniles transferred into criminal court do not receive record protections. A correspondence study was conducted using two fictitious resumes sent to employers in Northern Nevada, one with a delinquency history and one without a delinquency history. Unexpectedly, employers showed no bias toward delinquent applicants in the current study. Explanations for this finding, policy implications, and directions for future research are discussed.

Keywords: employment, delinquency, reentry, expungement, sealing, records Download Article

Examining What Works for High Risk Youth Involved in the Juvenile Justice System: Comparing the Effect of the Community Connections (CC) Program to Intensive Supervision Probation (ISP) Over A Nine-Year Time Period

Erin M. Espinosa, Ph.D.
National Council on Crime and Delinquency

Dan Sass, Ph.D.
University of Texas at San Antonio

Johanna Creswell Báez, Ph.D.
Columbia University

Cassandra Harper, MPH
Southwest Key Programs
Pages 91-111

Using administrative data collected by an urban juvenile probation department between January 2007 and August 2016, this study compared the impact of the Community Connections (CC) program to a matched sample of youth who received intensive supervision probation (ISP) on six time-to-event variables (i.e., time to second program, detention, out-of-home placement, another offense, violation of court order, and days in program). The study included youth who were assigned to court-ordered post-adjudication community supervision and who were deemed to have a high risk of re-offending by the department’s risk and needs assessment. CC and ISP youth were matched using propensity score matching that created a final sample of 381 youth in each program. When examining the program effect of CC vs. ISP on the time-to-event variables the findings were mixed. However, across both programs, the analysis revealed that youth who remained in the programs longer and youth with a successful program discharge generally experienced better long-term outcomes than their peers. Download Article

Building Blocks of Resilience: Applications for Justice Involved Youth

Dr. Frank Merenda
Marist College

Stephanie Ostrowski
Marist College

Frank Merenda II
Marist College
Pages 112-130

This paper describes potential benefits and empirical support for applying key components of Resilience theory and its associated models to intervention strategies within the field of juvenile justice. Traditionally, practitioners have utilized aspects of resilience theory for clients and patients within psychology, social work, and medicine. However, emerging research has demonstrated that the process of positively coping with risk can minimize factors that promote delinquency and criminality. Results have demonstrated that constructs such as low self-esteem, school detachment, poor socialization, and environmental influences can be positively affected by implementing critical features of resiliency. Additionally, implications are provided for practitioners seeking to develop or improve intervention programs such as restorative justice, and recommended areas for further research are provided.

Keywords resiliency, protective factors, promotive factors, risk factors Download Article

A Conceptual Framework for Creating Transition Plans for Incarcerated Youth

Sue C. O’Neill
School of Education, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, UNSW Sydney

Iva Strnadová
School of Education, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, UNSW Sydney

Therese M. Cumming
School of Education, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, UNSW Sydney
Pages 131-155

Incarcerated youth face many challenges as they transition back to the community. The development and implementation of person-centered transition plans have been shown to improve re-engagement in education and employment, and to reduce recidivism. There is, however, little research to guide personnel in juvenile justice settings as to what a transition plan should contain and how it could be implemented. This article offers a conceptual framework based on transition theories, the extant research literature on transition plans and services, and practitioner experience to inform transition plan components for all young people in custody, with a focus on youth with disabilities and in out-of-home care.

Keywords: Juvenile justice, transition plans, reentry plans, discharge plans, disability, out-of-home care, conceptual framework Download Article