CJUS 801-Discussion Forum 4-Reply 2

Reply must be at least 200-300 words. For each thread, you must support your assertions with at least 2 citations from sources such as your textbook, peer-reviewed journal articles, and the Bible. 

Textbook: Vito, G. F., & Higgins, G. E. (2015). Practical program evaluation for criminal justice. Waltham, MA: Elsevier. ISBN: 9781455777709.

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Each state has its own unique issues and problems surrounding juvenile delinquency. Based on geographical location some states suffer higher drug use than others, communities that suffer from poverty have a larger number of breaking and entering, physical assault and robbery, and areas more remote deal with most common forms of juvenile delinquency such as truancy, curfew violations, trespassing, destruction of public property and other means when juveniles with less supervision find ways to occupy themselves (Davis, 2013).

            California specifically, processes tens of thousands of juveniles in and out of its justice system in a single year. In 2006, there were more than 232,000 juveniles arrest where nearly 85% of these arrests were referred to juvenile probation agencies for further handling. Over half of the juveniles under the probation departments watch are sent back to a legal guardian. The courts grant petitions for about 62% of the cases that it sees. While California’s juvenile arrest rate is well below the national average, they have the highest rate of juveniles in a local custody setting (Seave, 2011).

            With so many juveniles in the justice system and custody, it puts a big question mark on how this will work towards public safety. Every pieces of research have pointed to the failures of juvenile confinement and the inability of our current rehabilitation to reduce continued delinquent behaviors in the juveniles in their care. It has even shown a increase in criminal behavior by exposing them to an environment that increase negative behaviors and introduces them to other forms of delinquency that different juveniles have committed (Davis, 2013).

            California’s probation departments have the benefit of receiving three streams of funding from the state to help target juvenile offenders. These three streams of funding make up nearly 24% of the entire budget for the probation. Only one of these sources requires the probation department to provide evidence that their programs are effective in their efforts to reduce delinquency within juveniles but fail to establish what their definition of efficiency is. The Juvenile Justice Crime Prevention Act is the funding stream that requires proof there is a basis for the funding that exceed $100 million on an annual basis to the probation departments. Even with this massive budget on an annual basis, the current practice is not improving public safety nor increasing the outlook the public has on the juvenile probation departments. 

Though rigorous scientific studies done by multiple government commissioned studies have proven that the programs do help reduce recidivism rates but between 8 and 18% success rate.  This success rate is reflective of what the current mindset around juvenile justice and rehabilitative efforts used as evidence-based practices on what works and does not work (Seave, 2011).

            Essentially all states run the same type of models and treatment programs through their state juvenile justice facilities, and not many have the luxurious budget size that California has access to, which should be concerning with their failed efforts even with their resources available.

Luke 16:8 The master of commended the dishonest manager for his shrewdness. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light.