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Dispositional Alternatives Projects: What Are They and How Can They Help Young Women? (From Working With Young Women in the Juvenile Justice System, P 17-25, 1987 -- See NCJ-109539)

NCJ Number
D Homant
Date Published
9 pages
This paper describes the procedure used by San Diego's Dispositional Alternatives Project to develop sentencing alternatives for juveniles.
In response to the over-incarceration of juveniles in California, the California Child, Youth, and Family Coalition mounted the Dispositional Alternatives Project. The disposition advisor receives referrals from a judge, a probation officer, or a defense attorney. The advisor initially reviews the court file and then interviews the juvenile. To obtain as much information as possible on the juvenile, the advisor contacts parents, teachers, and previous counselors and conducts an indepth background check. Medical, educational, and psychological records are checked, and a court order is used to obtain psychiatric testing or psychological evaluations. The aforementioned data collection is conducted within 2 weeks. The advisor is particularly concerned about previous sexual and physical abuse the juvenile may have experienced. Based on the information obtained, a sentencing plan is developed which considers the community's safety, the community the juvenile lives in, and rehabilitation. The plan also includes an element of punishment. Individualized sentencing plans use community services offered by private firms and hospitals. A case study illustrates how the procedure operates.