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Implementing a balanced and restorative justice approach in juvenile detention

Moeser, James P
June 4, 2015

Source: (1998) Journal for Juvenile Justice and Detention Services. 12(2): 47-52

The majority of the literature on the balanced and restorative justice model focuses on working with offenders in the community. However, its principles can be useful in directing the future of juvenile detention practices as well. This model rejects the traditional paradigm of punishment versus treatment and replaces it with a new way of thinking about juvenile justice. Its basic principles include (1) a balance among community protection, accountability, and competency; (2) equal involvement by the community, victims, offenders, and professionals in the process and system; (3) greater emphasis on the restoration of relationships damaged by crime; (4) significant changes in professional roles; (5) greater emphasis on offenders’ strengths and abilities than on their deficits. Juvenile detention can use these principles to focus its practices on balancing community protection, competency development, and accountability in its policies, procedures, and programs. Implementing changes may be difficult. However, this offers exciting new opportunities for juvenile detention to go beyond the rhetoric of the past, resolve the conflicts of the past, and create new ways to interact with youth that provide significant opportunities for change within a safe and secure setting.. Abstract courtesy of National Criminal Justice Reference Service,


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