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NCJ Number: 76045 Find in a Library
Title: Restitution in Juvenile Justice (From Improving Management in Criminal Justice, P 131-142 1980, Alvin W Cohn and Benjamin Ward, ed. - See NCJ-76036)
Author(s): L J Siegel
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 12
Sponsoring Agency: Sage Publications, Inc
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
Sale Source: Sage Publications, Inc
2455 Teller Road
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: An examination of several ongoing programs indicates that juvenile restitution programs can benefit victims, the justice system, and society, if problems inherent in such programs are addressed.
Abstract: Restitution programs serving both juvenile and adult offenders have increasingly come into operation around the country during the last decade. States such as Minnesota, Massachusetts, Arizona, and Oklahoma have developed programs based on philosophies of pretrial diversion, postconviction alternatives to incarceration, and early-release parole programs. A 1977 national restitution survey reveals that of 114 courts sampled, 86 percent employ restitution, usually in cases involving property loss and robbery, and sometimes in cases of assault or sexual abuse. Moreover, juvenile court judges view the programs as successful, for an overwhelming number of youths asked to make restitution are able to comply with their orders. Monetary restitution is the most common form used in juvenile courts. One such program, the Alternative Work Sentencing Program of Quincy, Mass. District Court (Earn-It) seeks to bring youths together with the victims of their crimes in order to work out an equitable work arrangement. The program staff also help determine the extent of the loss that victims have incurred and help place the offenders in paying jobs to earn the restitution. Other programs require youths to engage in worthwhile services in lieu of court processing when victims either cannot be located, or are institutional rather than individual. For example, the CSR program sponsored by Boston's Northeastern University, assigns offenders aged 17 to 19 to social service positions in nursing homes, libraries, hospitals, and community centers. Despite the overall success of most programs, several problems should be addressed, before restitution could become a viable alternative to incarceration. For example, many clients ordered to make monetary restitution have to find employment, and many employers are reluctant to hire court-adjudicated youths. Further, offenders in need of jobs are frequently also suffering from drinking, drug, or emotional problems. Another problem involves the charge of 'involuntary servitude'. Some also view restitution as being inherently biased against indigent clients, who have difficulty making their payments. Thus, careful evaluation of ongoing programs should be encouraged and a national data base developed in order to create policy guidelines for program development. Four basic formats of restitution are examined, as well as six theoretical justifications of the concept of retribution. Statistical data and about 10 references are included.
Index Term(s): Community service order; Juvenile restitution; Restitution centers; Victim compensation
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