Clearinghouse Resource


Bridging Juvenile Justice and Positive Youth Development


Barton, William H.
Butts, Jeffrey A.


Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.

Source Information (Journal Title, Date, Length)

2004, 27 pages

Description of Resource

Recounts the inception of the juvenile justice system and recommends improvements that incorporate positive youth development (PYD) approaches. Juvenile justice policies cycle between "get tough" tactics and lenient treatment of offenders. Recidivism rates remain high--at least 50%-- regardless of the approach taken. Based upon the "medical model," which tends to isolate children entering the juvenile justice system from those who can benefit from rehabilitation, the process involves prevention programs, court processing, disposition, and aftercare. Progressive PYD techniques include improving risk reduction and protective factors, shoring up resilience to contributing factors such as poverty and parental mental illness, developing community prevention programs, balancing punishment and rehabilitation, using teen courts, and providing systemic "wraparound" services that offer long-term support to families. Included are examples of effective programs in Colorado, Indiana, and California.