Date of Award

Spring 6-2020

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department/Program

Criminal Justice

Language

English

First Advisor

Michael G. Maxfield

Second Reader

Sung-Suk Violet Yu

Abstract

There has been a national push to establish evidence-based juvenile criminal justice policies and practices that are focused on reducing the risk of recidivism for juvenile offenses. The reason for this push is rooted in the growing recidivism rates of juvenile offenders in the United States (Weber, Umpierre, & Bikchik, 2018). More than half of all juveniles who are on probation nationwide are rearrested, indicating that each juvenile offender faces equal likelihood of reoffending or not (Weber et al., 2018). Further, approximately 66% of juvenile offenders, or nearly seven out of 10 offenders, are rearrested within two years of their first release (Weber et al., 2018).

The practices currently in place, however, are either not evidence-based or fail to properly implement evidence-based practices. The purpose of this study is to describe how one juvenile justice service organization, the Harlem Commonwealth Council, implemented evidence-based practices in the ARCHES Transformative Mentoring Program (ARCHES). The findings of this case study, which is informed by Bandura’s (1977) social learning theory, contribute to existing literature about juvenile justice reform. Information data was collected through group discussions with 13 male participants of the ARCHES Program and three mentors. The findings revealed that 11 out of 13 ARCHES Program participants expressed the need for career assistance and mental health counseling, which suggested a lack of communication between juvenile participants and the ARCHES staff. Recommendations for future practice included developing programs within the juvenile justice system to assess the needs of juveniles and provide programs suitable to meeting their needs.

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