Date of Graduation

Fall 2010

Degree

Master of Science in Psychology

Department

Psychology

Committee Chair

David Lutz

Keywords

victim-offender reconciliation, mediation, recidivism, juvenile delinquency, restorative justice

Subject Categories

Psychology

Abstract

Juvenile crime is a social problem that is financially and emotionally costly to offenders, victims, and society. In the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974, Congress called for the creation of institutionalization alternatives and the importance of juveniles being responsible for their crimes. The restorative justice movement centers around holding offenders accountable and repairing the harm done by their crimes. In terms of recidivism, participants in restorative justice programs such as victim-offender mediation have also been shown to re-offend at lower rates than comparison groups; when these participants do re-offend, they commit less severe crimes than those of non-participants (Nugent & Paddock, 1995). The present study examined the effectiveness of one Missouri county's victim-offender mediation program and victim impact panel. Juvenile offenders' recidivism rates and severity of subsequent crimes that completed one of these two programs was compared to a group of similar juvenile offenders' recidivism rates that did not participate in either of these two programs. Results from this study suggest juvenile offender participation in victim-offender mediation and victim impact panel was not associated with significantly lower rates of recidivism or less severe reoffenses.

Copyright

© Sarah Elizabeth Beckmann

Campus Only

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