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Community-Based Sanctions for Juvenile Offenders: Issues in Policy Implementation

NCJ Number
Criminal Justice Policy Review Volume: 22 Issue: 1 Dated: March 2011 Pages: 65-89
Valerie A. Cooley
Date Published
March 2011
25 pages
This study examined juvenile justice reforms in the State of North Carolina.
Graduated sanctions are a key feature of State juvenile justice policy. Federal funding is contingent on state adoption of graduated sanctions for juvenile offenders. Despite widespread utilization, limited information exists regarding the implementation or effects of graduated sanctions for juveniles. Nationally, approximately 90 percent of delinquent youth are supervised in local communities, so a system of graduated sanctions depends on local efforts to develop and sustain a continuum of sanctions and services. North Carolina is one of many States that enacted juvenile justice reforms based on a graduated sanctions model. Using data from 93 counties, the local implementation of sanctions was examined and compared to an idealized State model. Factors affecting policy implementation were identified. Most counties did not have full implementation of sanctions continuum. Counties with fewer financial resources showed lower implementation levels, but regression analysis indicated that political factors had the greatest effect on policy implementation. (Published Abstract)