Source: (2009) dissertation submitted to the Faculty of the University of Delaware in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Sociology.

Research indicates that restorative justice diversions programs are becoming increasingly more popular and more successful as alternatives to standard diversion programs for juvenile offenders. Although there is ample research on restorative justice programs for adult offenders, more can be learned concerning the efficacy of these programs for juvenile offenders. This study uses a triangulated research method utilizing two datasets: an official court record dataset containing 4,197 juvenile offenders and a self report dataset with 229 participants. Structural equation models tested the relationships between extralegal variables such as gender, race, age and school status, and legal variables such as prior offenses and severity of current offenses, with the outcome variable of recidivism. A thematic analysis explored the perceptions and experiences of the self-report data participants. These analyses and the conclusions within inform restorative justice policy on the efficacy of restorative justice diversion programs for juvenile offenders as well as illuminate areas of improvement for established diversion programs. Furthermore, this research offers policy implications and suggestions for future research. (author's abstract)