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NCJ Number: 206604 Find in a Library
Title: Emergence and Proliferation of Juvenile Diversion Programs (From Juvenile Justice Sourcebook: Past, Present, and Future, P 183-195, 2004, Albert R. Roberts, ed. -- See NCJ-206597)
Author(s): Albert R. Roberts
Date Published: 2004
Page Count: 13
Sponsoring Agency: Oxford University Press, Inc
New York, NY 10016
Sale Source: Oxford University Press, Inc
198 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10016
United States of America
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Book (Hardbound)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: After defining juvenile diversion, this chapter traces the development of juvenile diversion programs, including descriptions of four early diversion programs, followed by a discussion of the effectiveness of diversion programs.
Abstract: "Juvenile diversion" is defined as "any process that is used by components of the criminal justice system (police, prosecution, courts, corrections) whereby youths avoid formal juvenile court processing and adjudication." Diversion has a long history when it takes into account information adjustments and discretionary handling by police officers; however, the development of formal programs for the specific purpose of diverting juveniles from adjudication in the juvenile justice system did not begin until the late 1960's. One of the concepts that spurred the development of diversion programs for juveniles is the labeling perspective, which argues that juveniles and adults who commit minor offenses become habitual offenders because they are singled out for negative recognition, thus creating and reinforcing the offender's and society's view that he/she is a criminal. Diversion, particularly of juveniles, is designed to avoid negative labels that accompany formal case processing. One section of the chapter describes Federal initiatives regarding juvenile diversion programs, followed by an overview of the expansion of diversion programs in the 1970's. The four early diversion programs described (District of Columbia, St. Louis, Baltimore, and Sacramento County) share the goals of intervening with first offenders before court processing and treating them in a community-based program. The effectiveness of diversion programs as measured by program evaluations and follow-up studies, has varied widely from one program to another. The successful programs provide direct services, including intensive family counseling, parenting education, and behavioral contracting. The current issue being faced by diversion programs is whether they will survive the Federal and State budget cuts. Several States have passed laws that authorize and appropriate funds for juvenile diversion programs, but other States have failed to support the continuation of diversion programs once the Federal funding ended. Discussion questions and 19 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile diversion programs
Index Term(s): History of juvenile justice; Juvenile Corrections/Detention effectiveness; Juvenile court diversion; Labeling theory; Police juvenile diversion
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