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Recidivism Within Salt Lake Peer Court: A Program Evaluation of Salt Lake Peer Court based on Recidivism Analysis Between Salt Lake Peer Court and the Juvenile Division of Salt Lake City Justice Courts

NCJ Number
Lane Crisler
Date Published
25 pages
This study identified characteristics of juvenile offenders who are most likely to recidivate to juvenile court within 1 year of being deferred to the Salt Lake Peer Court (Utah), which is a diversion program for youth in which peers implement restorative justice practices.
The study found that substance-abuse offenders were 49 percent to 61 percent more likely to recidivate after participation in the Salt Lake Peer Court (SLPC). Violent offenders were 17 percent to 50 percent more likely to recidivate. Restitution, community service, mediation, and essays were the sentence variables that most consistently decreased a youth's likelihood of recidivating. Sentencing girls to case management decreased their likelihood of recidivism by 244 percent. Life skills support, family support, counseling, mediation, and panel duty were sentences that increased a youth's likelihood of recidivating. Contract completion decreased the likelihood of recidivism by 34 percent. As sentence length increased, the likelihood of recidivism increased by 32 percent. The study recommends that treatment be improved for substance abuse and violent offenders. Other recommendations are to identify the benefits of case management, develop crisis management plans to facilitate contract completion, and emphasize the role of SLPC as the first point of contact for juvenile offenders. Also, improve data control and administer follow-up surveys. The study analyzed SLPC cases from 2007 through 2011 (n = 1,101 cases). There were 618 boys and 467 girls. 15 tables, a 13-item bibliography, and appended logistic regression models