Restorative versus Punitive Justice in the Juvenile Court System
The main problem of juvenile delinquency is that there are so many individual cases, therefore, finding an all-encompassing treatment is nearly impossible (Myers, Burton, & Sanders, 2000). However, juvenile delinquency is a problem that has many solutions. Some of the treatments for reducing recidivism in juvenile delinquents include individual counseling, diversion programs, residential treatment, and mediation practices. Because the rate of juvenile crime has increased in severity and number over the past 3 decades, the justice system has been searching to find treatments that not only decrease recidivism, but also increase victim satisfaction (Wilbur, Murphy, & Caulkins, 2000). The new treatments that encompass restoring the community and the victim are based on a theory called Balanced and Restorative Justice (BARJ) (Bazemore & Umbreit, 1994). The present study is a six-step treatment program founded on BARJ principles. The six-step program was compared to the diversion program and administrative probation to determine the most effective treatment.