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Conference Community Sentencing for Juveniles

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    Conference Community Sentencing for Juveniles

    The Conference Community sentencing for juveniles is a strategy which helps in the rehabilitation process for these criminals. This technique helps the juvenile see the other side of the picture and make amends accordingly.

    The problem that my intervention addresses is that whether these conference communities’ sentencing is actually working for the juveniles or not. The benefit that the community is receiving from this program is debatable. There is much literature available and each author has his own opinion. The main focus of our research is to see whether these programs are beneficial for all juveniles or a specific set of juveniles.

    From the literature review that we analyzed conferencing is effective in preventing recidivism but this can not be considered accurate as the authors supported restorative justice.

    Research Questions

    The research questions will revolve around the exhibited behaviour of the juvenile before the crime, after the charges and after the enrolment into the community program. Some of the questions will be;

    ·         How many crimes has the juvenile committed after being enrolled in the community sentencing program?

    ·         Has the behaviour of the juvenile changed after he was enrolled into the community sentencing program?

    ·         Has the criminal record for small or big crimes decreased for the respective juvenile?

    ·         Is it obvious by his behaviour that he realizes the consequences of his actions?

    ·         Has the program benefitted the juvenile in anyway?

    Evaluation Site and Subjects

    The subjects which will be interviewed in our study will belong to different backgrounds, race and religion so that we can get an unbiased result. The juveniles who will be questioned will have committed different types of crimes.

    The victims will be questioned and asked to answer the survey so that we can get a better understanding of the emotional trauma that they have been through. This information can then be used to administer surveys for the families of the juveniles.

    The evaluation site includes multiple institutions so that we can get a detailed analysis. There will be no specific settings in which people will be interviewed by the interviewer will ensure that there are no interruptions such as from mobile phones or doors opening and closing. There will be nobody else in the room except the interviewer and the interviewee. Also, all mobile phones, laptops as well as the office phone will be switched off and all calls will be held.

    Evaluation Design

    The evaluation design will include secondary research as well as primary data analysis. The secondary data analysis will be in the form of a literature review in which articles will be analyzed on the basis of the information which relates to the intervention. Also, statistics will be gathered through secondary research from articles, community program records and police records.

    The primary data will be collected through a field research study, i.e. interviews and surveys. People will be selected at random from the population and will be interviewed. The survey will be administered to people who have undergone the conference community sentencing process as well as experts in the area will be questioned in detail about their views.

    The study will flow in the following steps; literature review, questionnaire development, survey, detailed interviews, collection of the findings, data analysis and then recommendations and the findings from the research.

    Population and Sample

    The population is all those people who are juveniles and have been sentenced; this sentencing includes all types, even the conference community sentencing. The population also includes the victims of these crimes.

    The sample will be selected through the stratified random based sampling method. Juveniles who are a part of this conference community sentencing program will be interviewed and their families will have to fill out a questionnaire relating to their behaviour before and after the juveniles were introduced to the program.

    Variables and Data Collection Method

    The variables that we will be studying are the effect of race, religion, ethnic background and social status against the type of crimes that juveniles commit and whether these juveniles are better of in jail or in a community sentencing program. The sample will be chosen at random from different strata’s, thus will be a representative of the different groups. The rate of dropout from these community programs will be gathered and their background will be checked against those who are still a part of the program and are fairing well.

    Also, the statistics for those juveniles who experienced a remission to crimes will also be noted and their backgrounds will also be checked. These findings will show us whether the above factors have any impact on the behaviour of juveniles and their ability to undergo the complete rehabilitation process.

    The data collection method that will be used is survey research and interviews. Survey research is easy to carry out and is inexpensive. Surveys can be administered to a large sample easily and simultaneously, thus it is not time consuming. The questions that are being asked in the survey are standardized thus there is no deviation from the topic. These standardizes questions makes it easier to collect and measure the data.

    The drawbacks of a survey research are that there is no guarantee that all the people will answer all the questions, until the survey is administered by the interviewer who writes the answer. Also, there is sometimes too much standardization which does not help get accurate results. In such situations, people might not tell the truth in fear of bringing harm to their children who are the juveniles. (CSU)

    The drawbacks of in depth interviews are that they are time consuming and expensive to administer. The interviewer needs to be trained so that he or she does not ask any leading questions and does not show bias when questioning the sample. The benefits are that in depth interviews allow the researcher to gather more information than that which would be gathered through a survey. The type of information collected is qualitative, while in a survey it is usually quantitative.

    Bradshaw, W. & Roseborough, D. (2005). “Restorative Justice Dialogue: The Impact of Mediation and Conferencing on Juvenile Recidivism,” A journal of correctional Philosophy and Practice vol 69.

    CSU, Advantages and Disadvantages of the Survey Method, Retrieved April 29, 2010, from

    Pathways, Survey research, Retrieved April 29, 2010, from

    Umbreit, M. Coates, R. & Vos, B. (2001). Victim Impact of Restorative Justice Conferencing

                with Juvenile Offenders, Balanced and Restorative Justice Project, Florida Atlanta University.


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