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Victims’ Needs, Restorative Justice and the Juvenile Court: An Exploratory Study of U.S. Judges

Bazemore, Gordon
June 4, 2015

Source: (2000) Journal for Juvenile Justice and Detention Services. 15(1): 47-74.

A random sample of 200 juvenile court judges was selected from a national population of 2,500 identified through the 1997 National Directory of Children, Youth and Families Services and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. The questionnaire included 26 items that asked judges to agree or disagree, using a seven-point scale, with statements about improving juvenile justice. In addition to variables based on demographic and career information, several independent and dependent variables were developed based on the judges’ responses to the questions. Researchers used three items on the questionnaire to develop general indicators of judges’ orientation toward victim needs and the offender’s obligation to restore victim’s loss as a focus of juvenile justice intervention. Independent variables were divided into three theoretical categories: individual experiences, which include demographic and background variables; organizational environment; and professional ideology or orientation. Survey findings show moderately strong support among judges for an emphasis on victims and repairing harm in juvenile justice intervention. Similarly, relative to other priorities, this emphasis ranks relatively high on the list of judicial priorities for sanctioning and disposition. Less encouraging, from a restorative justice perspective, is the fact that accountability to victims as an overall goal of juvenile justice is given lower priority than public safety, rehabilitation, and deterrence. Abstract courtesy of National Criminal Justice Reference Service,


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