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Control and Treatment of Juveniles Committing Violent Offenses (From Clinical Treatment of the Violent Person, P 164-186, Loren H Roth, ed. -- See NCJ-103216)

NCJ Number
D M Hamparian
Date Published
23 pages
An analysis of trends and program models used in the handling of violent juvenile offenders concludes that programs must recognize the primary need for control of these youths to protect community safety and also must provide effective programming for reintegration into the community.
Relatively few juveniles are arrested for violent offenses, but they have a substantial impact on the juvenile justice system. A recent trend has been to handle violent juveniles differently from other juvenile offenders and to move toward an offense-based system, in which harsher penalties are imposed for violent offenses. The adult criminal justice system now handles a significant percentage of juveniles arrested for violent offenses. In addition, several States are using determinate sentencing in the juvenile justice system. Widespread agreement now exists that repeat violent offenders need secure treatment programs. Among treatment approaches are the continuous case management used in the Minnesota Serious Juvenile Offender Program and the United Delinquency Intervention Services Project in Illinois. The Green Oak Center in Michigan is using a juvenile corrections model that tries to use peer pressure to induce residents to show concern for others and themselves. A model using both mental health and corrections concepts was run experimentally in New York City between 1976 and 1979. The Elan One program in Maine is an example of a private, profit-making model that emphasizes group techniques and a carefully designed reinforcing social structure. Massachusetts and Pennsylvania have both established secure treatment units operated by private or public agencies. The success of the different treatment approaches has varied, and continued efforts to try new approaches and to keep what works are needed. Decisionmakers should consider more use of contracting with private and community organizations. Programs should emphasize their helping role and provide maximum involvement of juveniles in decisionmaking. Job placement should be the focus of remedial education and job training. 33 references.