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What’s “New” about the Balanced Approach?

Bazemore, Gordon
June 4, 2015

Source: (2004) In Peter C. Kratcoski, ed., Correctional Counseling and Treatment, 5th ed. Long Grove, Illinois: Waveland Press, Inc. Pp. 124-155.

According to Gordon Bazemore, the “balanced approachâ€? to juvenile justice consists of equal allocation of resources to seek three overall goals: accountability to crime victims; competency in offenders; and community safety. This was originally proposed in 1988 with respect to juvenile probation; it was later extended as a vision for the juvenile justice system as a whole. Over the years, it has become the basis of juvenile justice in a significant number of states in the United States. Additionally, in the late 1980s and 1990s, the restorative justice movement emerged; many have seen it as the underlying value or philosophical framework for this balanced approach. There have been confusion and controversy about the balanced approach, however. Some have seen it as little more than a new “veneerâ€? for the old system. Bazemore contends that the balanced approach mission has often been misunderstood and trivialized. Hence, in this chapter he attempts to show how the balanced approach is different from other approaches to juvenile justice, including the individual treatment mission and the new retributive (“just desertsâ€?) mission.


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