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NCJ Number: 190500 Find in a Library
Title: Westmoreland County Youth Commissions: A Diversionary Program Based on Balanced and Restorative Justice
Journal: Juvenile and Family Court Journal  Volume:52  Issue:3  Dated:Summer 2001  Pages:1-10
Author(s): Judith E. Sturges Ph.D.
Date Published: 2001
Page Count: 10
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Data from 559 juvenile cases from January 1997 through June 2000 from the 19 Youth Commissions that make up the Westmoreland County (PA) Youth Commission formed the basis of an exploratory analysis of the outcomes of this juvenile diversion program based on balanced and restorative justice.
Abstract: The program aims to reduce caseloads and costs of the juvenile court, while providing youths with a rehabilitation program with close supervision. The Youth Commissions cover 59 municipalities. The analysis focused on 489 cases for which records were complete and outcomes could be determined. Results revealed that the majority of youths referred to the Commissions were white (93 percent) and male (73 percent). The most common reason for referral to a commission was a disorderly conduct charge. Offenders ranged from 8- to 18-years-old, although the eligibility age was 10- to 17-years-old. Outcome data revealed that the young offenders were assessed individually. In addition, they received sanctions to hold them accountable, cultivate competency, and have them become aware of their part in community protection and public safety. They were placed on supervision for a set length of time ranging from 1 to 6 months. Fifty-two percent received 6 months of supervision; 28.8 percent received 3 months of supervision. Overall, 91 percent of the youths completed the program. Findings indicated that this program appeared to be a viable alternative to juvenile court processing. Tables, notes, and 24 references (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Juvenile court diversion
Index Term(s): Juvenile Corrections/Detention effectiveness; Juvenile processing; Juvenile rehabilitation; Pennsylvania
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