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Reluctant Participants in Restorative Justice? Youthful Offenders and Their Parents

Karp, David R
June 4, 2015

Source: (2004) Contemporary Justice Review. 7(2): 199-216.

This paper examines offender and parental involvement in the Vermont Juvenile Restorative Panels Program. In this program, juvenile offenders on probation appear before citizen-run boards to negotiate the terms of their probation, which may include apologies, community service, restitution, and competency development tasks. Victims and parents of the offender also participate. This study reports findings from a qualitative analysis of 22 cases, including observations of panel meetings and interviews with program coordinators, offenders, parents, and victims. We find that offenders vary in level of participation as well as in their willingness to take responsibility. Parents do not understand the program well, worry about their child’s likelihood of compliance, but generally support the goals of the program. The implications of these findings for restorative practices with juveniles are explored in the concluding section. Authors’ abstract.


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