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The utility of restorative justice in urban communities for African Americans Males 12-17.

Brooks, Johnny
June 4, 2015

Source: (2014) Dissertation. Degree of Doctor of Philosophy Public Policy and Administration.Walden University.

Juvenile delinquency continues to be a major social problem in the United States. One of
the more salient problems with the juvenile justice system in the United States is its
staggering incarceration rate, which poses a significant problem for youth exposed to the
juvenile justice system, and the community as a whole. The purpose of this qualitative
case study was to understand the perspective of the program facilitators about the
effectiveness of the restorative justice program in reducing recidivism for African
American males aged 12 to 17 in Baltimore City’s urban community. This study relied
upon restorative justice theory as conceptualized by Braithwaite as the theoretical
framework. Using intrinsic case study design, data were collected from 7 restorative
justice facilitators, who participated in face-to-face interviews using semistructured,
open-ended questions. Miles and Huberman’s qualitative content analysis was used to
analyze the data and to record emerging themes and patterns. The key finding of this
study indicates that facilitators believe restorative justice results in a reduction of the
recidivism rate specifically through the conferencing program when Braithwaite’s
reintegrative shaming is incorporated into the process. According to the program
facilitators, the conferencing program is effective in reducing juvenile recidivism as it
promotes transparency and openness to all stakeholders through being very clear and
upfront on all levels with the juveniles, parents, and volunteers. As such, there are
implications for positive social change by involving all the stakeholders—family,
community, policy makers, and juvenile justice practitioners—that may result in reduced
incidences of juvenile offending, thereby promoting safer communities.
(author’s abstract)


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