Juvenile delinquents

The evaluation site for this study will be California, Los Angeles County. Cases of 50 juvenile delinquents will be archived from Los Angeles County Courts. Only cases falling within the 2000-2010 timeline will be used in the study. These cases will be examined and the progress of offenders analyzed to determine the presence of re-offending. IV. Evaluation Design a. Overview This evaluation study attempts to bridge the empirical gap in the effectiveness of conference community sentencing programs in California: Los Angeles County.Using a unique dataset comprising of 50 juvenile offenders enrolled in a restorative justice program, the study will investigate the effectiveness of community sentencing programs on recidivism outcomes over the period 2000-2010. Since the sample population will be drawn from Los Angeles County Department of Juvenile Justice records, information pertaining to past criminal history, the levels of restrictiveness assigned by judges, and the socio-demographic characteristics of the juvenile offenders, will be useful in determining individual variations in the propensity to recidivate.As opposed to solely linking the effectiveness of community sentencing programs in reducing recidivism rates, exploring individually unique propensity to recidivate rates using the aforementioned assessments is fundamental in explaining the reasons behind the success or failure of the community sentencing programs. b. The Design The study will utilize a longitudinal cohort retrospective study design. In a cohort retrospective study, the most reliable methodological approach for determining recidivism rates involves monitoring re-arrest, res-confinement and re-adjudication records.However, every single record has limitations as far as measuring recidivism is concerned. For instance, reliance on arrests alone may skew results by producing very high statistical means of recidivism. This is because not all arrests proceed to trial, conviction, and incarceration. Thus, to determine recidivism rates, this study will isolate 50 juvenile cases reported between 2000 and 2010. In line with the objectives of the study, all the 50 juvenile offenders must have been enrolled in a conference community sentencing program.Isolating the specific treatment methodology that the convicts enrolled in upon release is important in correlating the recidivism rates and the effectiveness of the restorative justice program. Further, since current research is unclear as to the underlying factors behind recidivism, the research will further examine five classes of possible stressors and motivators incriminated in juvenile recidivism.The five potential stressors and motivators are; (a) sex, (b) race, (c) family and neighborhood background, (d) age of committing the first offense and the nature of the offense, (d) and the offenders’ diagnostic classification. Examining the nature of these stressors and motivators of recidivism is crucial in understanding not only the causal factors but also in isolating specific strategies that can be used to improve the effectiveness of restorative justice programs.Moreover, understanding individual criminologic and non-criminologic characteristics is essential in the peacemaking process. The type of crime can further be categorized as aggressive-property (vandalism, arson) and nonaggressive-property (forgery, larceny) or aggressive-personal (forcible rape, assault) and nonaggressive personal (drug use, runaway). This categorization makes it possible to analyze the number of male and female juveniles in each crime category as well as the propensity to recidivate.Knowledge of the relationship between age of first crime commitment and recidivism is critical in determining which juvenile age groups should be given much attention to prevent re-offending. Conference community sentencing programs can only meet the demands of restorative justice when; wrongs are acknowledged, the offender and victim share and understand the harmful effects of the criminal act, when the terms of reparation are discussed and agreed on, and finally when both parties reach an understanding directing the relationship between the parties and the community in the future.This implies that in the community sentencing alternative; the offender, the victim, the families, and the community must be represented in the peacemaking process. Again, community living must be maintained for the program to yield positive outcomes. The philosophy behind such an inclusive process is to achieve healing for the whole community, not just the juvenile offender. Positive outcomes can only be achieved the community based programs promote whole family functioning, facilitate the development of peer relationships, and provide the necessary recreational opportunities necessary in opportunities.In a highly efficient and effective conferencing process which incorporates all influencing factors, the criminal behavior of the offender should change. The research will evaluate the nature of the different programs that the 50 juvenile delinquents were exposed so as to ascertain whether they are suited for individual needs of the offender. In a nutshell, a critical examination of every conferencing program against a specific benchmark will provide the key determinants of an effective conferencing community program.