November 12, 2018
Effective Intervention for Juvenile Offenders
Effective intervention has a crucial role in strategies that are designed to minimize the rates of juvenile delinquency (Lipsey, Wilson, & Cothern, 2000). Researchers have over the past year identified models for intervention programs and strategies that will promote social development by reducing delinquency. This is a critical issue because when delinquency is prevented young lives are prevented from being wasted as well as their onset of criminal activities in adulthood (Greenwood, 2008). There is also the reduction of the criminal burden to the society. This is so because the cost that the nation incurs every year for the purposes of arresting, prosecuting, incarcerating and treating the juvenile offenders will be reduced. When the intervention programs are successful, the state, the society, taxpayers and the juvenile justice system will be relieved of the yearly burden. The proposed topic is, therefore, the effective intervention for juvenile offenders. The issue surrounding this topic is the rates of recidivism. According to Justice center, (2018) about 80% of incarcerated juveniles are re-arrested within three years of release. To narrow down the broad topic, the proposed research questions and hypothesis are as follows;
3. Research Questions:
1. Do juvenile intervention programs reduces the rates of recidivism among serious delinquents?
2. If so, which programs are most effective and how can the juvenile justice programs be further improved to enhance effectiveness?
This step included the research and null hypothesis (H1 &H0).
H0= Intervention programs for serious juveniles do not reduce the rates of recidivism.
H1= Juveniles who undergo intervention programs are less likely to re-offend thus the effectiveness of the programs.
5. Literature Review
Juvenile delinquency refers to a young individual who has committed a criminal offense. The crime amongst the youths has been a growing concern. For instance, between the 1980s and 1990s, the US experienced a dramatic rise in the arrest rates among young for violent crimes (Young, Greer, & Church, 2017). This resulted in moral panic, and the juvenile justice experienced punitive and harsh policy changes. However, according to Young, Greer, & Church, (2017), offending and re-offending rates have increased especially between the years 2000-2006. The youths are joining gang membership as a result of numerous issues. Among them is the rise of global urbanization, ethnic ideologies, economic migration, reduced children supervision and presentation of lifestyle ideals that are presented by the media which the youths are exposed to (Young, Greer, & Church, 2017). Mental health issues are prevalent among juvenile offenders resulting in antisocial behaviors, post-traumatic health disorder, and anxiety among others. These are aspects that need to be taken into consideration in the intervention programs as the may enhance reoffending rates.
The restoration programs help the juveniles to be reintegrated back to the society. However, before the juveniles participate in the intervention programs, they need to take responsibility and admit a crime. They are hence screened to be assigned the programs that will meet their needs best. From several studies, interventions have been proven to be effective in reduction of re-offending rates and juveniles are less likely to encounter contacts with police, and they exhibit later behaviors that are less serious (Schneider, 1986; Hayes, McGee, & Cerruto, 2011; Rodriguez, 2007). Despite the effectiveness of these researches, the reoffending rates present a study gap which needs to be analyzed.
According to Waard, (2017) analysis of the available meta evaluations states that some of the criminal justice interventions have negative impacts which means more rates of recidivism. There are however those that result in positive effects and thus effective interventions. The method that is applied by Waard (2017) includes a review of numerous published studies relating to criminal justice interventions. In contrast to this study, Genovés, Morales, & Sánchez-Meca, (2006) in their review on the effectiveness of juvenile intervention programs, they have used experimental and quasi-experimental studies. In their studies, a total of 2831 juveniles are placed in the treatment group while 3002 are used as a control group. The results are in favor of the treatment group concluding that intervention reduces recidivism.
Although interventions have been proven to reduce general recidivism rates among the juvenile offenders, there is the inadequacy of attention that is paid to the serious juveniles (Justice center, 2010). A question therefore that most researchers have focused on is whether the intervention programs are effective for serious juvenile offenders. Research by Justice Center (2010) has used meta-analysis where 200 studies have been reviewed, and an overall 12 percent decrease was noted for serious juvenile offenders who received interventions. There are so many juvenile intervention programs, and the most successful prevent the youths from engaging in delinquent behaviors. To give a recommendation of the best intervention, an evaluation is therefore needed to on the effectiveness of the current programs; their success measured to have an overview of programs that would work best and act as guidance on how the jurisdictions can shift towards practices that are more evidence-based (Greenwood, 2008).
6. Proposed Methodology
Research studies have been conducted on the overall effectiveness of intervention programs on juvenile offenders with a little study of serious offenders. This study, therefore, will focus on the gap concerning the effectiveness of an intervention of serious offenders. The commonly used methodologies for similar researches are meta-analysis and experimental studies where there is a group that receives intervention while the other one acts as a control group. Both research designs are applicable, but this proposed research intends to focus on one research design. This research will use quantitative-experimental methods where a pretest-posttest control group will be effective (Skidmore, 2008). To be specific, invitations for this study will be sent to about 400 families: 200 who are incarcerated and receiving intervention programs, 200 those who qualify to be at risk of receiving services in the community. The aim is to have at least 100 participants in each group. All participants must be regarded as serious juvenile offenders. They will be divided into three categories A, B, and C, where A will be the group containing incarcerated juveniles who are receiving intervention and B, will contain participants who qualify to be at risk of receiving services in the community. Category C will be the control/comparison group accommodating both those who are in the community and are at risk as well as those who are incarcerated. This means that category C will be formed from half the members of each group A and B. This design will be feasible because comparison will be enhanced from the data gathered for the evaluation on whether the intervention strategies for serious offenders are effective.
The participants will be recruited through the juvenile justice system, Department of Children Services and homeless organizations within the community. This will require meetings designed to meet with the officials i these places to be set to discuss the issue at hand and the desired outcomes. The officials will be of great assistance as they will help in the invitation of those families that they think will comply and the process will be beneficial to them. The participants will need to meet the age criteria between 8-17 years and be exposed to serious violent crimes of all natures.
8. Data Analysis
With the proposed pretest-post-test method, data will be analyzed through Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). Factorial ANOVA test will integrate several independent variables which will enhance the differences to be tested and more exploration on the interactions among the independent variables (Martin & Bridgmon, 2012). Both the dependent and independent variables will be compared to the control group. This analysis approach will enhance the use of visual graphs which will show the regression, progression and still effect on treatment. Also, the use of the correlation process will be enhanced to evaluate how the interventions are effective. To be able to see the strength of the interventions, the Pearson’s r (+1,-1,0) will be used as the numerical data. Inferential statistics will allow the probability of proving the hypothesis once the relationship is determined.
9. Ethical Issues
The APA code of ethics outlines laws regarding confidentiality and privacy and this need to be maintained in the proposed research in all aspects like interviews, offenses by participants among other things (American Psychology Association, 2010). Deception is likely to be encountered as participants may not willfully give the correct information and this is likely to affect the validity of the proposed research. The participants will be informed thoroughly on the terms and condition of the research, and this will enhance informed consent. The research intends to use all data from the experiment in drawing conclusions which will avoid deceptive practices. When interacting with the participants, there is the likelihood of hurting the psyche as it will involve addressing current of past experiences of crimes. Tolve this issue, professionalism is core, and more care will be enhanced when dealing directly with the participants to avoid reviving past traumatic experiences.
In conclusion, since juvenile delinquency has continued to be a problem despite the interventions that have been instilled for serious offenders, the proposed research will give insights into the effectiveness of the intervention programs and how improvements can be made in rehabilitation interventions to make them more beneficial to serious offenders. Earlier studies have sought interventions through the education system, community, and family. However, the quantitative study will reveal the required aspects of interventions to design new and better programs for thorough effectiveness.
American Psychology Association. (2010). Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct. Retrieved 11 11, 2018, from American Psychology Association: https://www.apa.org/ethics/code/principles.pdf
Genovés, V. G., Morales, L. A., ; Sánchez-Meca, J. (2006). What works for serious juvenile offenders? A systematic review. Psicothema, Vol. 18, nº 3, pp. 611-619.
Greenwood, P. (2008). Prevention and intervention programs for juvenile offenders. The future of Children, 185-210.
Hayes, H., McGee, T., ; Cerruto, M. (2011). Explaining continuity and change in offending behavior after a restorative justice conference. Current Issues in Criminal Justice, 23, 127-143.
Justice Center. (2010, 06 10). Effective Intervention for Serious Juvenile Offenders. Retrieved 11 11, 2018, from The Council of State Governments: https://csgjusticecenter.org/youth/publications/effective-intervention-for-serious- juvenile-offenders-2/
Lipsey, M. W., Wilson, D. B., ; Cothern, L. (2000). Juvenile Justice Bulleting: Effective Intervention For Serious Juvenile Offenders. US Department of Justice.
Martin, W. E., ; Bridgmon, K. D. (2012). Research methods for the social sciences, Volume 42: Quantitative and statistical research methods: From hypothesis to results. Somerset. NJ: John Wiley ; Sons.
Rodriguez, N. (2007). Restorative justice at work: Examining the impact of restorative justice resolutions on juvenile recidivism. Crime ; Delinquency , 53, 355-379.
Schneider, A. L. (1986). Restitution and recidivism rates of juvenile offenders: Results from four experimental studies. Criminology, 24, 533-552.
Skidmore, S. (2008). Experimental design and some threats to experimental validity: A primer (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southwest Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, February 6, 2008). Retrieved from the ERIC database in the Ashford University Library.
Waard, J. D. (2017). What Works?: A systematic overview of recently published meta evaluations/synthesis studies within the knowledge domains… Research Gate, 1-24.
Young, S., Greer, B., ; Church, R. (2017). Juvenile delinquency, welfare, justice, and therapeutic interventions: a global perspective. BJPsych bulletin, 41(1), 21-29.