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Youth Corrections and the Quiet Revolution

NCJ Number
S M Matheson; N Bangerter; R Bauman
L Eddison
Date Published
36 pages
A 1985 seminar was held in Utah to inform key public officials from selected States about national and regional trends in juvenile justice and about promising reforms.
Seminar participants learned how and why Utah policymakers reformed the State's juvenile justice system, the politics of juvenile correctional reform in Massachusetts, and youth corrections in Oregon. Several recommendations were offered for the development and implementation of juvenile justice policy: do not overestimate the representation or influence of special interest groups; plan ahead rather than relying on rhetoric, expediency, or crisis; specify clear, broad objectives; obtain good staff and support them; ensure policy serves the public interest; seek policy objectives through an open, public process; and recognize difficulties associated with change. Particular attention was paid to the development of community programs, juvenile commitment and release guidelines, staff training, program monitoring, alternatives to training school placement for juvenile offenders, and juvenile justice system organization. The seminar also stressed the need for adequate program funding, commitment to families and children, commitment to human needs, and preventive programs. A chart of sentencing alternatives in Oregon is included.