Thesis

Libertad for our youth of color: early prevention program

Thesis (M.A., Sociology)--California State University, Sacramento, 2018.

The early 1990’s reports of spikes in juvenile violence brought nationwide interest in reforming the juvenile justice system to prevent youth from engaging in delinquent behavior. Diversion Programs have since then become of high importance with the goal to divert youth from engaging in deviant behavior, but also with the purpose to prevent them from “building” a criminal profile and keeping them away from the traditional justice system. In this study, I examined which Caminos Program intervention was more effective in preventing recidivism amongst a first-time youth offender. This study relied on secondary data from the Caminos Program and employed the intersectionality theory to understand the experiences of a predominately working-class Chicanx youth within the intervention program. I hypothesize guided by intersectionality theory that non-colonial/-policing social interventions directed to first-time youth offenders of color will decrease recidivism. The findings from the whole sample study showed that the odds of reoffending are 3.98 times higher for female compared to males. For every additional hour of pro-social activity the odds of reoffending decrease by 2.6%. For every additional hour of community service the odds of reoffending decreases by 4%. Interestingly, for every additional hour of counseling services the odds of reoffending increase by 1.5%. These findings will allow for researchers to continue to explore and study other diversion programs across the nation, but also find better approaches to understanding recidivism and how systems of oppressions affect these types of programs and our youth of color.

The early 1990’s reports of spikes in juvenile violence brought nationwide interest in reforming the juvenile justice system to prevent youth from engaging in delinquent behavior. Diversion Programs have since then become of high importance with the goal to divert youth from engaging in deviant behavior, but also with the purpose to prevent them from “building” a criminal profile and keeping them away from the traditional justice system. In this study, I examined which Caminos Program intervention was more effective in preventing recidivism amongst a first-time youth offender. This study relied on secondary data from the Caminos Program and employed the intersectionality theory to understand the experiences of a predominately working-class Chicanx youth within the intervention program. I hypothesize guided by intersectionality theory that non-colonial/-policing social interventions directed to first-time youth offenders of color will decrease recidivism. The findings from the whole sample study showed that the odds of reoffending are 3.98 times higher for female compared to males. For every additional hour of pro-social activity the odds of reoffending decrease by 2.6%. For every additional hour of community service the odds of reoffending decreases by 4%. Interestingly, for every additional hour of counseling services the odds of reoffending increase by 1.5%. These findings will allow for researchers to continue to explore and study other diversion programs across the nation, but also find better approaches to understanding recidivism and how systems of oppressions affect these types of programs and our youth of color.

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