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Juvenile Justice Crime Prevention in California - Essay Example

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In 1993, Title IV A-Ea was rewritten to take the focus off of suppression and monitoring of juvenile offenders to a focus on family services and rehabilitation of juvenile offenders. Many initiatives were introduced in the State of California during the next decade in an effort to change the entire approach of the juvenile justice system…
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Download file to see previous pages The authors readily admit that this is a difficult task for several reasons. The first difficulty is in a study like this, they were not able to keep all of the other variables constant. For example, the authors note that over the decade, the juvenile population increased by 27% in California. They cite demographic shifts due to increases immigration from Latin America that caused a 30% increase in Hispanic juveniles and an 8% and 14% decrease in the white and black juvenile population. Added to this was a fluctuating unemployment rate. As a result, the authors make it very clear that they are not attempting to establish causality in this paper. They are simply comparing initiatives and examining data sources that reveal statewide trends in the areas those initiatives were designed to influence. This study was conducted using data collected between 1993 and 2003. The authors explained that some data sets, such as high school graduation rates, were not available within this span of time, so they used some data that went slightly beyond this timeframe. The method of the study was largely descriptive. Each initiative was introduced by giving the background of legislative action and a description on how the program was intended to work. An emphasis on the importance and necessity for juvenile probation was included in many of the descriptions. After the initiative was described, data was presented that showed decades long trends in data categories such as teen pregnancy rates, incarceration rate for juveniles, high school graduation rates and juvenile arrest rates. The authors were true to their word in that they never suggested causality in the article. No mention was made of specific ethnic groups being the focus of any study or statistic. They appear to be using largely aggregate data from state sources. For example, several studies simply point to the increase or decline in total juvenile offenders in alternative educational facilities or the total number of juveniles arrested. There was one study that disaggregated data according to males and females. But even this information was vague because subjective terms such as “older juveniles” were used in the analysis. Youth that are maltreated early in life have a greater risk of becoming delinquent juveniles as they grow older. These children are often referred to as crossover youth because they are involved with more than one social agency. There may be some sort of dual or shared jurisdiction over these youth. While it is recognized that this population becomes engaged in one form of delinquency or another more often than most other populations, what is not well known about them is how they are treated once they cross into the juvenile justice system in California. This study tried to determine whether these crossover youth are treated more harshly youth that enter the juvenile justice system and if they have a greater rate of recidivism than other juvenile offenders. The data for this study was collected between April 1st 2004 and December 31st 2004. The sample included 581 youth offenders in the Los Angeles County Juvenile Justice System. The independent variables that were isolated were Gender, Race/Ethnicity, Legal Representation, and Risk Assessment (using the Los Angeles Risk ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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