The article: Juvenile Drug Court Program Admission, Demeanor and Cherry-picking: A Research Note by J.C Barnes among other authors examines how demeanor of either a parent or a juvenile influences the admission of the juvenile into the Drug Court program for purposes of treatment. It does a critical analysis of 76 case files so as to get a picture of the case whether demeanor indeed influences the admission of juveniles into the program. The second concern of the article is to explore whether the source of such demeanor whether parent or the child is determinant of whether a juvenile is so admitted. The article begins with an introductory note where it appreciates the emergence of drug courts and argues that they have emerged so as to cater for the needs of offenders who are drug abusers. The aim of this program admission is to enhance the treatment retention of such offenders as well as reduce instances of recidivism and relapse (Barnes, Miller and Mitchell). It further argues that, in addition to the adult drug courts, the juvenile drug courts have continued to emerge as a prevention measure so as to avoid further involvement in drug abuse. It, however, acknowledges that though both the adult, as well as the juvenile drug courts, share the same ideals and goals; there are slight differences in operation. One such difference is the mandatory parent/guardian participation that is required in the juvenile justice system. The target of these proliferating juvenile drug courts and indeed adult drug courts is to sever the link between drug abuse and crime through offering individualized treatment. The paper further makes the case that the bulk of the existing literature on demeanor is pegged on the outcomes such as relapse and recidivism. As such, the article seeks to offer a different dimension to the whole issue of demeanor by examining the effects of demeanor on the admissions process. This is because such matters are never a small concern for persons who are denied admission on such grounds (Barnes, Miller and Mitchell).
On this footing, the paper proceeds by arguing that demeanor is indeed crucial, and its effects are felt in the whole context of the criminal justice ranging from the courtroom to the police. It makes the case that most of the empirical studies that have been done have focused on the effects of demeanor of a witness of a client in the courtroom and either arrest or use of force by the police. Indeed, the demeanor is a key predictor of sentencing outcome in court cases. This is manifested in the evidence that most jury trial outcomes are heavily influenced by the demeanor of witnesses (Barnes, Miller and Mitchell). A similar trend was noticed where suspects who exhibited respectful demeanor were able to get a reduction in bond. This proposition is reinforced by the studies that indicate that persons or suspects who show respectful demeanor towards the police are less likely to be arrested than those who show disrespectful demeanor. Such a trend was also noticed with reference to the use or application of force by the police against suspects. In particular, the paper argues that it is possible that the demeanor of either a parent or that of the juvenile does influence admission to the program for the simple reason that courts place a high premium on respect and cooperation. It also seeks to examine whether the act of taking and rejecting others into the admissions program through their demeanor does serve to cause neglect of those most in need of treatment services offered upon admission into the program. The article compiles the findings of the study that indicates that 10 out of 36 cases representing 28% were denied admission into the program upon evaluation of the prospective parents of the children. Further, only four out of 14 instances of poor parents demeanor were allowed into the program representing a dismal 28.5%. The comments that accompanied the rejection of such admissions included the uncooperativeness of the family, and that a parent or guardian would be difficult to work with. This indicates that adverse parent’s demeanor has the effect of influencing admission of a juvenile into the program as can the demeanor of the juvenile. The article concludes by decrying the state of affairs where courts seem to turn away those juvenile with disrespectful demeanor or whose parents or guardians have a poor demeanor. This begs the question as to whether the courts are only catering for those juveniles it feels have the chance of reforming while leaving out those that it feels are difficult to work with, and who indeed have the highest need for such admission and treatment. It calls for a further study to examine the relationship that exists between demeanor and admission into the program and whether such criterion of choosing is rooted on any legal framework or on extralegal factors (Barnes, Miller and Mitchell).
1. What are the reasons for the phenomenon as evident in the study to the effect that demeanor influences the admission of juveniles into the program?
2. How best or what other interventionist measures may be put in place to help the juveniles who are refused admission into the program by court?
The article “Juvenile Victims in Restorative Justice” Findings from the Reintegrative Shaming Experiments seeks to fill the gap left by studies on the issue that restorative justice is more satisfying to victims and offenders as opposed to court. Several studies done on this subject have tended to focus on this proposition without inquiring on the effect of age of victim and their baseline differences in considering the level of harm that is attended to victims of various crimes on outcome variables. This paper, therefore, reports finding from a study done by use of a two-factor known as ANCOVA, which found that although restorative justice made adults more satisfied than the courts. The conference juvenile victims were far less satisfied than the court juvenile victims. It further makes the case that more harm is caused when there is reduced process satisfaction for all victims (Gal and Moyal).
In the introductory part of the paper, the article explains restorative justice as one that offers a new restorative lens through which to look at crime, as well as the reactions, thereto. It argues that in the ideal sense, processes of restorative justice involve a safe and respectful encounter between the parties, in which they discuss the crime and its effects and reach an agreement on how to repair the harm. There are questions regarding whether restorative justice reduces crime as opposed to retributive justice and whether it actually helps victims. There has been considerable research with respect to the efficacy of restorative justice and there is a corpus of literature as at now on the conditions under which this method of justice is most effective with relation to offenders. It argues that restorative justice has been tried with impressive results in several parts of the world. However, the paper notes that the method has also been harmful in particular instances. To this end, the article argues that restorative justice my cause harm to young victims as they are more susceptible to manipulation, victim blaming and power imbalances. It is against this background that the paper contextualizes the study which examined whether young victims were satisfied with restorative justice processes in Canberra, Australia upon victimization similar to adult victims involved in a similar process (Gal and Moyal).
The paper begins by stating that children are at a bigger risk of being victims of crime by virtue of their being children. It then argues that victims of crime are more concerned with procedural justice; namely that they want to feel that they are treated in a fair manner and are given opportunities to air their views. It states that research indicates that restorative justice is more effective in causing a decrease in recidivism in violent crimes and in crimes that have caused great emotional harm to victims. This could be due to the fact that restorative justice offers the opportunities to receive answers express feelings as well as receive reparations. The study applied the Reintegrative Shaming Theory (RISE) design to cases of drunk driving, shoplifting, property crimes and violent crimes to restorative justice conferences and also to traditional courts by way of a computer program. The findings from the RISE study were that the conferences were more satisfying to victims and offenders than were the courts. It also found that young victims were less satisfied than adults with respect to conferences. It was the finding of the study that the effect of restorative justice conferences on victim satisfaction actually varied by age group. The paper concludes by restating the main findings of the article namely that restorative justice conferences make adults more satisfied than traditional courts. Also, juveniles assigned to conferences experienced a lower level of satisfaction as compared to those assigned to courts (Gal and Moyal).
1. When are restorative justice processes efficient for juvenile delinquents?
2. Why is there a variation in terms of age-groups with respect to the effect and efficacy of restorative justice among juveniles?
The article, Juvenile Arrest Rates for Burglary: A Routine Activity Approach seeks to examine the statistical data with respect to arrest rates of juveniles for the offense of burglary. It makes the case that juveniles constitute a big portion of offenders that are arrested for the offense of burglary on an annual basis. This paper examines the number of juvenile burglars in terms of gender by use of a Hierarchical Multivariate Linear Model which makes use of a routine activities approach. The article is simply a documentation of the data as availed from a study that explored thirty five cities in Texas. The crux of the study is to the effect that there were increased cases of arrest rates of among juveniles for the offense of burglary across gender in areas where there was widespread poverty and low levels of female headed households. It was also the finding of the study that juvenile males were arrested in a greater proportion, in areas where there were high levels of unemployment and individuals who were not of the white race. A finding was also made to the effect that the vast majority of female juvenile arrests for burglary were made in areas where there was a high population of males that were aged between the ages 19 and 24 years (Pollock, Joo and Lawton).
The paper states that the study done made use of the routine activities approach as propounded by Lawrence Cohen and Marcus Felson who in their original postulation of the theory, made the case that changes in routine activities patterns could cause or affect crime rates. They argued that this variation of the crime rates would be as a result of the convergence of three key elements namely suitable targets, motivated offenders and a lack of capable guardianship. The paper largely seeks to answer the research questions as posed in the study that was conducted. The first is in relation to the issue whether the presence of potential offenders had any important positive relationship with the rates of arrest of juveniles for burglary. The study found that the presence of males aged between 19 and 24 years had a positive significant relationship with the female arrest rates. However, this was not so in the case of male juvenile arrest rates. This essentially means that only the presence of older males had an effect on the female juveniles. The second research question revolves around the issue whether suitable targets had any significant positive relationship with the juvenile arrest rates. It was found that poverty and areas with less capable guardianship contributed to a greater level of juvenile arrests for burglary. The paper concludes by interrogating a major issue. It explores the issue that routine activities approach can only be used in cases where offenders commit a crime, and they are caught. This is not feasible in the event that an offender is not caught (Pollock, Joo and Lawton).
1. What informs the positive relationship between high female juvenile arrest rates for burglary and the increasingly older male population?
2. What is the rationale for the decreased instances of burglary arrests in areas that are densely populated as opposed to areas that have little guardianship or sparsely populated?
Barnes, MC, et al. "Juvenile Drug Court Program Admission, Demeanor and Cherry-Picking: A Research Note." American Journal of Criminal Justice (2008): 166-176.
Gal, Tali and Shomron Moyal. "Juvenile Victims in Restorative Justice Findings from the Reintegrative Shaming Experiments." BRIT.J CRIMINOL (2011): 1014-1034.
Pollock, Wendi, Hee-Jong Joo and Brian Lawton. "Juvenile Arrest Rates for Burglary: A Routine Activities Approach." Journal of Criminal Justice 38 (2010): 572-579.