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Which intermediate sanction resemble a military style boot camp

c h a p t e r 1 4

Juvenile Corrections: Probation, Community Treatment, and Institutionalization CHAPTER OUTLINE

JUVENILE PROBATION Historical Development Expanding Community Treatment Contemporary Juvenile Probation Organization and Administration Duties of Juvenile Probation Officers

PROBATION INNOVATIONS Intensive Supervision Electronic Monitoring Balanced Probation Restitution Residential Community Treatment What Does This Mean to Me? Community Treatment for Juvenile Offenders: Not in My Backyard

SECURE CORRECTIONS History of Juvenile Institutions



CORRECTIONAL TREATMENT FOR JUVENILES Individual Treatment Techniques: Past and Present Group Treatment Techniques Educational, Vocational, and Recreational Programs Wilderness Programs Juvenile Boot Camps

THE LEGAL RIGHT TO TREATMENT The Struggle for Basic Civil Rights

JUVENILE AFTERCARE Supervision Aftercare Revocation Procedures Preventing and Treating Delinquency: Using the Intensive Aftercare Program (IAP) Model


After reading this chapter you should:

1. Be able to distinguish between community treatment and institu- tional treatment for juvenile offenders.

2. Be familiar with the disposition of probation, including how it is administered and by whom and recent trends in its use compared with other dispositions.

3. Be aware of new approaches for providing probation services to juvenile offenders and comment on their effectiveness in reducing recidivism.

4. Understand key historical develop- ments of secure juvenile corrections in this country, including the prin- ciple of least restrictive alternative.

5. Be familiar with recent trends in the use of juvenile institutions for juvenile offenders and how their use differs across states.

6. Understand key issues facing the institutionalized juvenile offender.

7. Be able to identify the various juvenile correctional treatment approaches that are in use today and comment on their effective- ness in reducing recidivism.

8. Know the nature of aftercare for juvenile offenders. 337

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Juvenile Delinquency: The Core COPYRIGHT © 2005 Wadsworth, a division of Thomson Learning, Inc

338 C H A P T E R 1 4

There is a wide choice of correctional treatments available for juveniles, which can be subdivided into two major categories: community treatment and institutional treat- ment. Community treatment refers to efforts to provide care, protection, and treat- ment for juveniles in need. These efforts include probation; treatment services (such as individual and group counseling); restitution; and other programs. The term com- munity treatment also refers to the use of privately maintained residences, such as foster homes, small-group homes, and boarding schools, which are located in the community. Nonresidential programs, where youths remain in their own homes but are required to receive counseling, vocational training, and other services, also fall under the rubric of community treatment.

Institutional treatment facilities are correctional centers operated by federal, state, and county governments; these facilities restrict the movement of residents through staff monitoring, locked exits, and interior fence controls. There are several types of institutional facilities in juvenile corrections, including reception centers that screen juveniles and assign them to an appropriate facility; specialized facilities that provide specific types of care, such as drug treatment; training schools or refor- matories for youths needing a long-term secure setting; ranch or forestry camps that provide long-term residential care; and boot camps, which seek to rehabilitate youth through the application of rigorous physical training.

Choosing the proper mode of juvenile corrections can be difficult. Some experts believe that any hope for rehabilitating juvenile offenders and resolving the problems of juvenile crime lies in community treatment programs. Such programs are smaller than secure facilities for juveniles, operate in a community setting, and offer creative approaches to treating the offender. In contrast, institutionalizing young offenders may do more harm than good. It exposes them to prisonlike conditions and to more experi- enced delinquents without giving them the benefit of constructive treatment programs.

Those who favor secure treatment are concerned about the threat that violent young offenders present to the community and believe that a stay in a juvenile institu-

Started in the late 1980s, juvenile boot

camps were introduced as a way to get

tough on youthful offenders through rig-

orous military-style training, while at the

same time providing them with treatment

programs. In theory, a successful boot

camp program should rehabilitate juve-

nile offenders, reduce the number of beds

needed in secure institutional programs,

and thus reduce the overall cost of care.

However, evaluations of these programs

across the country found this not to be

the case, and some found juveniles in

boot camps to have higher recidivism

rates than similar youths in other institu-

tional settings. Research shows that one

of the main reasons for their ineffective-

ness is that the treatment component is

often left out. In New Jersey, juvenile jus-

tice administrators are trying to change

this trend. Here, juvenile boot camps

combine rigorous physical training with a

strong emphasis on education, drug

counseling, job skills training, and other

treatment programs to help them prepare

for their return to the community. One

other change that administrators point to

as promising is that boot camp leaders

are trained to act as mentors or role mod-

els to the juvenile offenders.





community treatment Using nonsecure and noninstitu- tional residences, counseling services, victim restitution pro- grams, and other community services to treat juveniles in their own communities.

Juvenile Delinquency: The Core COPYRIGHT © 2005 Wadsworth, a division of Thomson Learning, Inc

tion may have a long-term deterrent effect. They point to the findings of Charles Murray and Louis B. Cox, who uncovered what they call a suppression effect, a re- duction in the number of arrests per year following release from a secure facility, which is not achieved when juveniles are placed in less punitive programs.1 Murray and Cox concluded that the justice system must choose which outcome its programs are aimed at achieving: prevention of delinquency, or the care and protection of needy youths. If the former is a proper goal, institutionalization or the threat of institution- alization is desirable. Not surprisingly, secure treatment is still being used extensively, and the populations of these facilities continue to grow as state legislators pass more stringent and punitive sentencing packages aimed at repeat juvenile offenders.

JUVENILE PROBATION Probation and other forms of community treatment generally refer to nonpunitive legal dispositions for delinquent youths, emphasizing treatment without incarcera- tion. Probation is the primary form of community treatment used by the juvenile justice system. A juvenile who is on probation is maintained in the community under the supervision of an officer of the court. Probation also encompasses a set of rules and conditions that must be met for the offender to remain in the commu- nity. Juveniles on probation may be placed in a wide variety of community-based treatment programs that provide services ranging from group counseling to drug treatment.

Community treatment is based on the idea that the juvenile offender is not a danger to the community and has a better chance of being rehabilitated in the com- munity. It provides offenders with the opportunity to be supervised by trained per- sonnel who can help them reestablish forms of acceptable behavior in a community setting. When applied correctly, community treatment maximizes the liberty of the individual while at the same time vindicating the authority of the law and protecting the public; promotes rehabilitation by maintaining normal community contacts; avoids the negative effects of confinement, which often severely complicate the re- integration of the offender into the community; and greatly reduces the financial cost to the public.2

Historical Development Although the major developments in community treatment have occurred in the twentieth century, its roots go back much further. In England, specialized procedures for dealing with youthful offenders were recorded as early as 1820, when the magis- trates of the Warwickshire quarter sessions (periodic court hearings held in a county, or shire, of England) adopted the practice of sentencing youthful criminals to prison terms of one day, then releasing them conditionally under the supervision of their parents or masters.3

In the United States, juvenile probation developed as part of the wave of social reform characterizing the latter half of the nineteenth century. Massachusetts took the first step. Under an act passed in 1869, an agent of the state board of charities was authorized to appear in criminal trials involving juveniles, to find them suitable homes, and to visit them periodically. These services were soon broadened, so that by 1890 probation had become a mandatory part of the court structure.4

Probation was a cornerstone in the development of the juvenile court system. In fact, in some states, supporters of the juvenile court movement viewed probation as the first step toward achieving the benefits that the new court was intended to pro- vide. The rapid spread of juvenile courts during the first decades of the twentieth century encouraged the further development of probation. The two were closely related, and to a large degree, both sprang from the conviction that the young could be rehabilitated and that the public was responsible for protecting them.

J U V E N I L E C O R R E C T I O N S : P R O B AT I O N , C O M M U N I T Y T R E AT M E N T, A N D I N S T I T U T I O N A L I Z AT I O N 339

suppression effect A reduction of the number of arrests per year for youths who have been incarcerated or other- wise punished.

probation Nonpunitive, legal disposition of juveniles emphasizing commu- nity treatment in which the juve- nile is closely supervised by an officer of the court and must adhere to a strict set of rules to avoid incarceration.

Juvenile Delinquency: The Core COPYRIGHT © 2005 Wadsworth, a division of Thomson Learning, Inc

Expanding Community Treatment By the mid-1960s, juvenile probation had become a complex institution that touched the lives of an enormous number of children. To many experts, institutionalization of even the most serious delinquent youths was a mistake. Reformers believed that confinement in a high-security institution could not solve the problems that brought a youth into a delinquent way of life, and that the experience could actually help amplify delinquency once the youth returned to the community.5 Surveys indicating that 30 to 40 percent of adult prison inmates had prior experience with the juvenile court, and that many had been institutionalized as youths, gave little support to the argument that an institutional experience can be beneficial or reduce recidivism.6

Contemporary Juvenile Probation Traditional probation is still the backbone of community-based corrections. As Fig- ure 14.1 shows, almost 400,000 juveniles were placed on formal probation in 1999, which amounts to more than 60 percent of all juvenile dispositions. The use of pro- bation has increased significantly since 1990, when around 220,000 adjudicated youths were placed on probation.7 These figures show that, regardless of public sen- timent, probation continues to be a popular dispositional alternative for judges. Here are the arguments in favor of probation:

1. For youths who can be supervised in the community, probation represents an appropriate disposition.

2. Probation allows the court to tailor a program to each juvenile offender, includ- ing those involved in interpersonal offenses.

3. The justice system continues to have confidence in rehabilitation, while accom- modating demands for legal controls and public protection, even when case- loads may include many more serious offenders than in the past.

4. Probation is often the disposition of choice, particularly for status offenders.8

340 C H A P T E R 1 4

Probation is the most widely used legal disposition for juve- nile offenders. It emphasizes community treatment without incarceration and requires juve- niles to be closely supervised and adhere to a number of conditions. Here, Chance Copp, fifteen, with his mother, heads back to juvenile detention fol- lowing a hearing in Ross County Juvenile Court in Chilli- cothe, Ohio, on November 26, 2003. Copp, already on proba- tion for arson, acknowledged that he was afraid of getting caught for smoking marijuana so he submitted a male rela- tive’s urine. To add to his prob- lems the sample tested positive for cocaine.

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Juvenile Delinquency: The Core COPYRIGHT © 2005 Wadsworth, a division of Thomson Learning, Inc

The Nature of Probation In most jurisdictions, probation is a direct judi- cial order that allows a youth who is found to be a delinquent or status offender to remain in the community under court-ordered supervision. A probation sentence implies a contract between the court and the juvenile. The court promises to hold a period of institutionalization in abeyance; the juvenile promises to adhere to a set of rules mandated by the court. The rules of probation vary, but they typically involve conditions such as attending school or work, keeping regular hours, remaining in the jurisdiction, and staying out of trouble.

In the juvenile court, probation is often ordered for an indefinite period. De- pending on the statutes of the jurisdiction, the seriousness of the offense, and the juvenile’s adjustment on probation, youths can remain under supervision until the court no longer has jurisdiction over them (that is, when they reach the age of ma- jority). State statutes determine if a judge can specify how long a juvenile may be placed under an order of probation. In most jurisdictions, the status of probation is reviewed regularly to ensure that a juvenile is not kept on probation needlessly. Gen- erally, discretion lies with the probation officer to discharge youths who are adjusting to the treatment plan.

Conditions of Probation Probation conditions are rules mandating that a juvenile on probation behave in a particular way. They can include restitution or reparation, intensive supervision, intensive counseling, participation in a therapeutic program, or participation in an educational or vocational training program. In addi- tion to these specific conditions, state statutes generally allow courts to insist that probationers lead law-abiding lives, maintain a residence in a family setting, refrain

J U V E N I L E C O R R E C T I O N S : P R O B AT I O N , C O M M U N I T Y T R E AT M E N T, A N D I N S T I T U T I O N A L I Z AT I O N 341

Figure 14.1 Probation and Correctional Population Trends, 1990–1999

Adjudicated delinquency cases











1991 1993 19951990 1992 1994 1996 1997 1998 1999


Residential placement

Other sanction


Note: There was a substantial increase in the number of cases in which adjudicated juveniles were placed on probation or ordered to a residential facility between 1990 and 1999.

Source: Charles Puzzanchera, Anne L. Stahl, Terrence A. Finnegan, Nancy Tierney, and Howard N. Snyder, Juvenile Court Statistics 1999 (Pittsburgh, PA: National Center for Juvenile Justice, 2003).

Juvenile Delinquency: The Core COPYRIGHT © 2005 Wadsworth, a division of Thomson Learning, Inc

from associating with certain types of people, and remain in a particular area unless they have permission to leave.

Although probation conditions vary, they are never supposed to be capricious, cruel, or beyond the capacity of the juvenile to satisfy. Furthermore, conditions of pro- bation should relate to the crime that was committed and to the conduct of the child.

Courts have invalidated probation conditions that were harmful or that violated the juvenile’s due process rights. Restricting a child’s movement, insisting on a man- datory program of treatment, ordering indefinite terms of probation, and demand- ing financial reparation where this is impossible are all grounds for appellate court review. For example, it would not be appropriate for a probation order to bar a youth from visiting his girlfriend (unless he had threatened or harmed her) merely because her parents objected to the relationship.9 However, courts have ruled that it is per- missible to bar juveniles from such sources of danger as a “known gang area” in order to protect them from harm.10

If a youth violates the conditions of probation—and especially if the juvenile commits another offense—the court can revoke probation. In this case, the contract is terminated and the original commitment order may be enforced. The juvenile court ordinarily handles a decision to revoke probation upon recommendation of the probation officer. Today, as a result of Supreme Court decisions dealing with the rights of adult probationers, a juvenile is normally entitled to legal representation and a hearing when a violation of probation occurs.11

Organization and Administration Probation services are administered by the local juvenile court, or by the state adminis- trative office of courts, in twenty-three states and the District of Columbia. In another fourteen states, juvenile probation services are split, with the juvenile court having control in urban counties and a state executive serving in smaller counties. About ten states have a statewide office of juvenile probation located in the executive branch. In three states, county executives administer probation.12 These agencies employ an estimated eighteen thousand probation officers throughout the United States.

In the typical juvenile probation department, the chief probation officer is central to its effective operation. In addition, large probation departments include one or more assistant chiefs, each of whom is responsible for one aspect of probation service. One assistant chief might oversee training, another might supervise special offender groups, and still another might act as liaison with police or community- service agencies.

Duties of Juvenile Probation Officers The juvenile probation officer plays an important role in the justice process, begin- ning with intake and continuing throughout the period in which a juvenile is under court supervision. Probation officers are involved at four stages of the court process. At intake, they screen complaints by deciding to adjust the matter, refer the child to an agency for service, or refer the case to the court for judicial action. During the predisposition stage, they participate in release or detention decisions. At the post- adjudication stage, they assist the court in reaching its dispositional decision. During postdisposition, they supervise juveniles placed on probation.

At intake, the probation staff has preliminary discussions with the child and the family to determine whether court intervention is necessary or whether the matter can be better resolved by some form of social service. If the child is placed in a detention facility, the probation officer helps the court decide whether the child should continue to be held or be released pending the adjudication and disposition of the case.

The probation officer exercises tremendous influence over the child and the fam- ily by developing a social investigation, or predisposition, report and submitting it to the court. This report is a clinical diagnosis of the child’s problems and the need for

342 C H A P T E R 1 4

juvenile probation officer Officer of the court involved in all four stages of the court process— intake, predisposition, postadjudi- cation, and postdisposition—who assists the court and supervises juveniles placed on probation.

social investigation report (also known as predisposition report) Developed by the juvenile proba- tion officer, this report includes clinical diagnosis of the juvenile and the need for court assistance, relevant environmental and per- sonality factors, and other infor- mation to assist the court in developing a treatment plan.

conditions of probation Rules and regulations mandating that a juvenile on probation be- have in a particular way.

Juvenile Delinquency: The Core COPYRIGHT © 2005 Wadsworth, a division of Thomson Learning, Inc

court assistance based on an evaluation of social functioning, personality, and envi- ronmental issues. The report includes an analysis of the child’s feelings about the violations and the child’s capacity for change. It also examines the influence of family members, peers, and other environmental influences in producing and possibly re- solving the problems. All of this information is brought together in a complex but meaningful picture of the offender’s personality, problems, and environment.

Juvenile probation officers also provide the child with supervision and treatment in the community. Treatment plans vary in approach and structure. Some juveniles simply report to the probation officer and follow the conditions of probation. In other cases, the probation officer may need to provide extensive counseling to the child and family, or more often, refer them to other social service agencies, such as a drug treatment center. Exhibit 14.1 summarizes the probation officer’s role. Perfor- mance of such a broad range of functions requires good training. Today, juvenile probation officers have legal or social work backgrounds or special counseling skills. ✔ Checkpoints

J U V E N I L E C O R R E C T I O N S : P R O B AT I O N , C O M M U N I T Y T R E AT M E N T, A N D I N S T I T U T I O N A L I Z AT I O N 343

Juvenile probation officers pro- vide supervision and treatment in the community. The treatment plan is a product of the intake, diagnostic, and investigative aspects of probation. Treatment plans vary in terms of approach and structure. Some juveniles simply report to the probation officer and follow the conditions of probation. In other cases, juvenile probation officers will supervise young people more intensely, monitor their daily activities, and work with them in directed treatment programs. Here, a juvenile probation officer and police officer talk with Crips gang members in California.

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Checkpoints ✔ Community treatment refers to

efforts to provide care, protection, and treatment for juveniles in need.

✔ Institutional treatment facilities restrict the movement of residents through staff monitoring, locked exits, and interior fence controls.

✔ Probation is the primary form of community treatment used by the juvenile justice system.

✔ First developed in Massachusetts, probation had become a corner- stone of the court structure by 1890.

✔ Massachusetts has closed most of its secure juvenile facilities and relies almost entirely on community treatment.

✔ Probation is a direct judicial order that allows a youth to remain in the community under court-ordered supervision.

✔ Probation conditions are rules mandating that a juvenile on proba- tion behave in a particular way.

✔ The juvenile probation officer plays an important role in the justice process, beginning with intake and continuing throughout the period in which a juvenile is under court supervision.

To quiz yourself on this material, go to questions 14.1–14.9 on the Juvenile

Delinquency: The Core 2e Web site.

Exhibit 14.1 Duties of the Juvenile Probation Officer

• Provide direct counseling and casework services.

• Interview and collect social service data.

• Make diagnostic recommendations.

• Maintain working relationships with law enforcement agencies.

• Use community resources and services.

• Direct volunteer case aides.

• Write predisposition or social investiga- tion reports.

• Work with families of children under supervision.

• Provide specialized services, such as group therapy.

• Supervise specialized caseloads involv- ing children with special problems.

• Make decisions about revocation of probation and its termination.

Juvenile Delinquency: The Core COPYRIGHT © 2005 Wadsworth, a division of Thomson Learning, Inc

PROBATION INNOVATIONS Community corrections have traditionally emphasized offender rehabilitation. The probation officer has been viewed as a caseworker or counselor whose primary job is to help the offender adjust to society. Offender surveillance and control have seemed more appropriate for law enforcement, jails, and prisons than for community correc- tions.13 Since 1980, a more conservative justice system has reoriented toward social control. Although the rehabilitative ideals of probation have not been abandoned, new programs have been developed that add a control dimension to community cor- rections. In some cases this has involved the use of police officers, working in collabo- ration with probation officers, to enhance the supervision of juvenile probationers.14

These programs can be viewed as “probation plus,” because they add restrictive pen- alties and conditions to community-service orders. More punitive than probation, this kind of intermediate sanction can be politically attractive to conservatives, while still appealing to liberals as alternatives to incarceration. What are some of these new alternative sanctions (see Concept Summary 14.1 below)?

Intensive Supervision Juvenile intensive probation supervision (JIPS) involves treating offenders who would normally have been sent to a secure treatment facility as part of a very small probation caseload that receives almost daily scrutiny.15 The primary goal of JIPS is decarceration; without intensive supervision, youngsters would normally be sent to secure juvenile facilities that are already overcrowded. The second goal is control; high-risk juvenile offenders can be maintained in the community under much closer security than traditional probation efforts can provide. A third goal is maintaining community ties and reintegration; offenders can remain in the community and com- plete their education while avoiding the pains of imprisonment.

Intensive probation programs get mixed reviews. Some jurisdictions find that they are more successful than traditional probation supervision and come at a much cheaper cost than incarceration.16 However, most research indicates that the failure rate is high and that younger offenders who commit petty crimes are the most likely to fail when placed in intensive supervision programs.17 It is not surprising that intensive probation clients fail more often because, after all, they are more serious offenders who might otherwise have been incarcerated and are now being watched and supervised more closely than probationers.

344 C H A P T E R 1 4

Community-Based Corrections

Although correctional treatment in the community generally refers to nonpunitive legal disposi- tions, in most cases there are still restrictions designed to protect the public and hold juvenile offenders accountable for their actions.

Type Main Restrictions Probation Regular supervision by a probation officer; youth must adhere to

conditions such as attend school or work, stay out of trouble.

Intensive supervision Almost daily supervision by a probation officer; adhere to similar conditions as regular probation.

House arrest Remain at home during specified periods; often there is monitor- ing through random phone calls, visits, or electronic devices.

Balanced probation Restrictions are tailored to the risk the juvenile offender presents to the community.

Restitution None.

Residential programs Placement in a residential, nonsecure facility such as group home or foster home; adhere to conditions; close monitoring.

Concept Summary 14.1

juvenile intensive probation supervision (JIPS) A true alternative to incarceration that involves almost daily supervi- sion of the juvenile by the proba- tion officer assigned to the case.

Juvenile Delinquency: The Core COPYRIGHT © 2005 Wadsworth, a division of Thomson Learning, Inc

An innovative experiment in three Mississippi counties examined the differential effects on juvenile justice costs for intensive supervision and monitoring, regular probation, and cognitive behavioral treatment, which involved sessions on problem solving, social skills, negotiation skills, the management of emotion, and values en- hancement, to improve the thinking and reasoning ability of juvenile offenders. After one year of the program, the intensive supervision treatment was found to be less cost-effective than the other two treatments, with the cognitive behavioral treatment imposing the fewest costs on the juvenile justice system.18

Electronic Monitoring Another program, which has been used with adult offenders and is finding its way into the juvenile justice system, is house arrest, which is often coupled with electronic monitoring. This program allows offenders sentenced to probation to remain in the community on condition that they stay at home during specific periods (for example, after school or work, on weekends, and in the evenings). Offenders may be monitored through random phone calls, visits, or in some jurisdictions, electronic devices.

Most systems employ radio transmitters that receive a signal from a device worn by the offender and relay it back to the computer via telephone lines. Probationers are fitted with an unremovable monitoring device that alerts the probation depart- ment’s computers if they leave their place of confinement.19

Recent indications are that electronic monitoring can be effective. Evaluations show that recidivism rates are no higher than in traditional programs, costs are lower, and institutional overcrowding is reduced. Also, electronic monitoring seems to work better with some individuals than others: serious felony offenders, substance abusers, repeat offenders, and people serving the longest sentences are the most likely to fail.20

Electronic monitoring combined with house arrest is being hailed as one of the most important developments in correctional policy. Its supporters claim that it has the benefits of relatively low cost and high security, while at the same time it helps offenders avoid imprisonment in overcrowded, dangerous state facilities. Further- more, fewer supervisory officers are needed to handle large numbers of offenders. Despite these strengths, electronic monitoring has its drawbacks: existing systems can be affected by faulty telephone equipment, most electronic monitoring/house arrest programs do not provide rehabilitation services, and some believe electronic monitoring is contrary to a citizen’s right to privacy.21

J U V E N I L E C O R R E C T I O N S : P R O B AT I O N , C O M M U N I T Y T R E AT M E N T, A N D I N S T I T U T I O N A L I Z AT I O N 345

A number of probation innova- tions have been experimented with to keep juvenile offenders from being sent to secure juve- nile facilities. One of these is juvenile intensive probation supervision, which, in addition to having to follow strict condi- tions, requires the juvenile to report to a probation officer as often as every day. Here, a juvenile probation officer dis- cusses court papers with a juvenile offender.

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house arrest Offender is required to stay home during specific periods of time; monitoring is done by random phone calls and visits or by elec- tronic devices.

electronic monitoring Active monitoring systems consist of a radio transmitter worn by the offender that sends a continuous signal to the probation depart- ment computer; passive systems employ computer-generated ran- dom phone calls that must be answered in a certain period of time from a particular phone.

Juvenile Delinquency: The Core COPYRIGHT © 2005 Wadsworth, a division of Thomson Learning, Inc

Balanced Probation In recent years some jurisdictions have turned to a balanced probation approach in an effort to enhance the success of probation.22 Balanced probation systems inte- grate community protection, the accountability of the juvenile offender, and individ- ualized attention to the offender. These programs are based on the view that juve- niles are responsible for their actions and have an obligation to society whenever they commit an offense. The probation officer establishes a program tailored to the offender while helping the offender accept responsibility for his or her actions. The balanced approach is promising because it specifies a distinctive role for the juvenile probation system.23

One promising program that adheres to a balanced probation approach is the California 8% Solution, which is run by the Orange County Probation Department. The “8 percent” refers to the percentage of juvenile offenders who are responsible for the majority of crime: in the case of Orange County, 8 percent of first-time offenders were responsible for 55 percent of repeat cases over a three-year period. This 8 per- cent problem has become the 8 percent solution thanks to the probation department initiating a comprehensive, multiagency program targeting this group of offenders.24

Once the probation officer identifies an offender for the program—the 8% Early Intervention Program—the youth is referred to the Youth and Family Resource Cen- ter. Here the youth’s needs are assessed and an appropriate treatment plan is devel- oped. Some of the services provided to youths include these:

■ An outside school for students in junior and senior high school

■ Transportation to and from home

■ Counseling for drug and alcohol abuse

■ Employment preparation and job placement services

■ At-home, intensive family counseling for families25

Although balanced probation programs are still in their infancy and their effec- tiveness remains to be tested, they have generated great interest because of their po- tential for relieving overcrowded correctional facilities and reducing the pain and stigma of incarceration. There seems to be little question that the use of these inno- vations, and juvenile probation in general, will increase in the years ahead. Given the $40,000 cost of a year’s commitment to a typical residential facility, it should not be a great burden to develop additional probation services.

Restitution Victim restitution is another widely used method of community treatment. In most jurisdictions, restitution is part of a probationary sentence and is administered by the county probation staff. In many jurisdictions, independent restitution programs have been set up by local governments; in others, restitution is administered by a private nonprofit organization.26

Restitution can take several forms. A juvenile can reimburse the victim of the crime or donate money to a charity or public cause; this is referred to as monetary restitution. In other instances, a juvenile may be required to provide some service directly to the victim (victim service restitution) or to assist a community organiza- tion (community service restitution).

Requiring youths to reimburse the victims of their crimes is the most widely used method of restitution in the United States. Less widely used, but more common in Europe, is restitution to a charity. In the past few years numerous programs have been set up to enable juvenile offenders to provide a service to the victim or partici- pate in community programs—for example, working in schools for mentally chal- lenged children. In some cases, juveniles are required to contribute both money and community service. Other programs emphasize employment.27

346 C H A P T E R 1 4

balanced probation Programs that integrate commu- nity protection, accountability of the juvenile offender, competency, and individualized attention to the juvenile offender; based on the principle that juvenile offenders must accept responsibility for their behavior.

monetary restitution Offenders compensate crime victims for out-of-pocket losses caused by the crime, including property damage, lost wages, and medical expenses.

victim service restitution Offenders provide some service directly to the crime victim.

community service restitution Offenders assist some worthwhile community organization for a period of time.

Juvenile Delinquency: The Core COPYRIGHT © 2005 Wadsworth, a division of Thomson Learning, Inc

Restitution programs can be employed at various stages of the juvenile justice process. They can be part of a diversion program prior to conviction, a method of informal adjustment at intake, or a condition of probation. Restitution has a num- ber of advantages: it provides alternative sentencing options; it offers monetary compensation or service to crime victims; it allows the juvenile the opportunity to compensate the victim and take a step toward becoming a productive member of society; it helps relieve overcrowded juvenile courts, probation caseloads, and de- tention facilities. Finally, like other alternatives to incarceration, restitution has the potential for allowing vast savings in the operation of the juvenile justice system. Monetary restitution programs in particular may improve the public’s attitude to- ward juvenile justice by offering equity to the victims of crime and ensuring that offenders take responsibility for their actions.

The use of restitution is increasing. In 1977 there were fewer than fifteen formal restitution programs around the United States. By 1985, formal programs existed in four hundred jurisdictions, and thirty-five states had statutory provisions that gave courts the authority to order juvenile restitution.28 Today, all fifty states, as well as the District of Columbia, have statutory restitution programs.

Does Restitution Work? How successful is restitution as a treatment alter- native? Most evaluations have shown that it is reasonably effective, and should be ex- panded.29 In an analysis of federally sponsored restitution programs, Peter Schneider and his associates found that about 95 percent of youths who received restitution as a condition of probation successfully completed their orders.30 Factors related to success were family income, good school attendance, few prior offenses, minor current offense, and size of restitution order. Schneider found that the youths who received restitution as a sole sanction (without probation) were those originally viewed by juvenile court judges as the better risks, and consequently they had lower failure and recidivism rates than youths ordered to make restitution after being placed on probation.

Anne Schneider conducted a thorough analysis of restitution programs in four different states and found that participants had lower recidivism rates than youths in control groups (regular probation caseloads).31 Although Schneider’s data indicate that restitution may reduce recidivism, the number of youths who had subsequent involvement in the justice system st

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