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Promising Sanctioning Programs in a Graduated System

NCJ Number
Date Published
8 pages
This fourth of four technical assistance bulletins on graduated sanctions for juveniles examines sanctioning programs in a graduated system.
Deterrence theory suggests that sanctions must be tailored to be sufficiently severe to exceed the gain offered by the specific crime. Sanctions that are too severe, however, are unjust. There are four types of interventions in a modern comprehensive graduated sanctions system: immediate sanctions, intermediate sanctions, secure confinement, and aftercare/reentry. This bulletin focuses on the first two types and provides brief descriptions and contact information for these programs. Immediate sanctions are diversion mechanisms that hold youth accountable for their actions by sanctioning behavior and in some cases securing services, while generally avoiding formal court processing. Such sanctions include restitution/community service, family group conferences, youth courts, victim impact panels, victim-offender mediation, and mentoring. Intermediate sanctions are programs that hold juveniles accountable for their actions through more restrictive and intensive interventions that fall short of secure care. They are appropriate for youth who do not respond successfully to immediate sanctions. Intermediate sanctions include intensive supervision, day treatment facilities, home confinement/electronic monitoring, alternative schools, school-based probation, and intensive nonresidential treatment programs. Each type of immediate and intermediate sanction mentioned is briefly described in this bulletin. 2 tables and 23 references