What numbers and results have to say


Policymakers and others advocating for harsher youth sentences argue that the threat of “adult time for adult crime” is a sound deterrent. The first study, however, shows the opposite: recidivism among 15- and 16-year-olds prosecuted in adult courts in New York is actually more common and more serious than it is in New Jersey, which refers adolescents who have committed similar offenses to juvenile courts.  Youths sentenced in the criminal courts in New York were more likely to be re-arrested, their re-arrests were more frequent, and their new offenses more serious.  They were more likely to be re-incarcerated within a few years. MacArthur Foundation JJ article.pdf

 

Restorative Resources is a non-profit organization that provides restorative justice practices and resources to individuals, families and communities in Sonoma County.  Its approach is based on restorative justice practices established in a number of countries and areas of the United States arising from the New Zealand model of Family Group Conferences [FGC].  A 2003 independent evaluation by LaFrance Associates of Restorative Resources' service delivery model concluded, "The Family Group Conference program is designed to empower youth and their supporters to develop plans that will help them confront and repair the harm they have done to others in their community.  When it is most effective, the program deals with youth holistically, helping them to get counseling and other services they may need.  According to narratives provided by program staff, many of the youth who successfully completed the program actually went beyond the specifics of their plans to do more to repair the harm they had caused.  Staff, parents and victims also describe the positive impact the program has had on the youth including increased self-esteem, increased interest in school and extra-curricular activities, and a more positive outlook overall.  Based on both quantitative and qualitative data, it appears that the program has been effective in preventing youth from becoming involved with the juvenile justice system and decreasing their risk factors."  See  LaFrancedraft9-03.pdf for the full report.