alternatives to prison for juveniles

Topics: Prison, Youth detention center, Crime Pages: 3 (689 words) Published: May 11, 2014
6.) Alternative sentencing (Instead of sending juveniles to industrial schools). Example, probation which would include the completion of a community service order, or drug program.

Many juvenile offenders can be effectively rehabilitated through community- based supervision and intervention. There is need for alternatives to detention; research on traditional confinement in large training schools or correctional facilities has found relatively high recidivism rates (Austin, Johnson and Weitzer, 2005). The time a youth spend in confinement not only takes the individual away the negative factors that may influence his behavior but also take them away from any other positive reinforcements such as family and the community. Practitioners in Barbados have deemed the existing sentencing options ineffective and suggested alternative options where best practices from other countries, which may include restorative justice and attendance center orders, be adopted (United Nations Children's Fund, 2010). There are several alternatives that are available in lieu of detention. Feasible alternatives include home detention, day and evening reporting center, and community based treatment. Strategically matching youth with needed programming requires a cross-system commitment to the objective assessment, classification, and placement of youth. Placement in these alternative programs depends on the individual, and the offence committed and it is up to the court system to assess each youth to see if one of these alternatives may be optimal. If this cannot be done in the court stage the task could be carried out during the need assessments that are usually carried out when the offender enters custody. Home detention- this alternative requires offenders to stay at home during specified periods and other conditions such as drug testing may apply. An evaluation of a program in Unites states (Alabama), found that home detainees were no more likely to recidivate than a group held in...

References: Austin, J., Johnson, K., and Weitzer, R. 2005. Alternatives to the Secure Detention and Confinement of Juvenile Offenders. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). Retrieved from
Ball, R., Huff, C., and Lilly, J. 1988. House Arrest and Correctional Policy: Doing Time at Home. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications.
Lipsey, M., and Wilson, D. 1998. Effective intervention for serious juvenile offenders. In Serious and Violent Juvenile Offenders, edited by R. Loeber and D. Farrington. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Smykla, J., and Selke, W. 1982. Impact of home detention: A less restrictive alternative to the detention of juveniles. Juvenile and Family Court Journal 33(2):3–9.
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).(2010). Veiws on juvenile offending in Barbodos, Dominica and St.Lucia. Retreived form
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