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NCJ Number: 97762 Find in a Library
Title: Net Widening and Relabelling - Some Consequences of Deinstitutionalization (From Youth Crime, Social Control and Prevention, P 53-60, 1984, M Brusten et al, ed. - See NCJ-97757)
Author(s): K S Teilmann
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 8
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: West Germany (Former)
Annotation: This paper discusses two efforts to deinstitutionalize status offenders and suggests three primary dimensions along which planned changes in the juvenile justice system can vary and influence practitioner motivations: (1) philosophical resonance/dissonance, (2) mandate/nonmandate, and (3) incentives/disincentives.
Abstract: Practitioners have philosophies about how clients should be handled, and these philosophies constitute an important source of motivation for them. To the extent that legislative or program philosophy is resonant with practitioner philosophies, implementation is more likely to occur. The mandate dimension refers to the degree to which legislation or programs require practitioners to make changes: the stronger the mandate, the more likely it is that implementation will occur. Practitioner self-interest factors can also powerfully influence the final outcome of implementation; for example, money is a major positive incentive and increased procedural complexity a major disincentive. A federally funded effort to deinstitutionalize status offenders in 10 States is compared with the implementation of California's AB3121, which mandated the removal of all status offenders from locked institutions whether incarcerated under preadjudication or postadjudication detention. The programs occupied opposite ends of three theoretical dimensions, yet both led to negative consequences. The Federal program was implemented, but with attempts at circumvention in the form of relabeling, it led to more stigmatizing and sometimes to equally restrictive categories. The State program could have benefited by some alterations based on theory; some funding would have reduced the disincentives that existed. Four footnotes and two references are given.
Index Term(s): Deinstitutionalization; Labeling theory; Legislative impact; Status offender deinstitutionalization
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