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Restorative discipline as an alternate to retributive discipline within the juvenile courts system: An analysis of the Metro County juvenile court community restorative board.

Banjoko, Ajamu A.
June 4, 2015

Source: (2011) Dissertation. Doctor of Philosophy. Georgia State University.

Giroux (2003) indicated that the prison industry has become a major economic
industry with many states spending more money on prison reforms than on educational
reforms. Juvenile delinquent behavior should be punished but fair treatment and equal
rights for all human beings under the rule of law is paramount to punishment. Casella
(2001) indicated that the prison population has sky-rocketed, and by 1995 forty-eight
states passed laws to facilitate the prosecution of juveniles as adults and therefore
children are placed in adult prisons where they are at a higher risk of not only attack and
rape, but of suicide. The research established a rationale for restorative justice
discipline as an alternate to punitive retributive discipline in order to potentially decrease
the number of youth offenders facing incarceration. Crime control is the responsibility ofall citizens not just the government and this responsibility reflects the foundational
tenets of restorative justice.
Bazemore and Umbreit (1995) suggested that restorative justice is not an
alternative to punishment it is an alternate punishment to bad or unwanted behavior.
A qualitative case study was used to analyze and explore the disciplinary functions and
procedures of the Metro County Juvenile Court Community Restorative Boards. The
perceptions of two board members and three juvenile court officials was analyzed in an
effort to better understand how and why Community Restorative Boards implement restorative justice discipline toward youth offenders. Data were gathered through
narrative interviews and participatory observations in order to better understand the
emerging phenomenon of restorative discipline within the juvenile justice system as an
alternate to punitive retributive discipline.
The study analyzed the dynamics of the school to prison pipeline through zero
tolerance school policies, examined the juvenile justice system and the sentencing of
youth offenders in criminal court. The study also examined the usage of traditional
retributive discipline and restorative discipline within the juvenile court system. The
study provided empirical data that support the infusion of a complimentary or
supplementary restorative justice disciplinary approach toward adjudicating youth
offenders within the juvenile court system. Bazemore and Umbreit (1995) suggested
that utilizing a restorative justice disciplinary model increases the opportunity for young
people to be held accountable for their misbehavior by actively participating in the
process of establishing consequences to help repair the harm that they have caused to
an individual, the community, and themselves. (Author’s Abstract)


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