Thesis

The administration of a culture of care in the juvenile justice system: The pathway to youth transformation

There are many conflicting perspectives with regards to juvenile offenders and the juvenile justice system's role during their punishment. Although many still believe that a youth's incarceration should be retributory, the predominant perspective now is that it is important to consider a human being's, especially a juvenile's, ability to transform by rehabilitation, growth, and reform and that the incarceration period is a time for the juvenile to receive treatment rather than punishment. This shift has been effected in the juvenile justice system, from one that is punitive and retributive to one that is restorative and rehabilitative, considering the youth's malleable comportment and allowing for juveniles to receive rehabilitative treatment rather than mere punishment. The paradigm shift has enabled rehabilitation models that are nurturing to incarcerated youth such as the Los Angeles County Office of Education's Road to Success Academy program and the Los Angeles County Probation LA Model, which both focus on the youth's social emotional skills and leadership development to transform youth into positive contributors to society and into successful futures, while reducing recidivism. The administration of such services requires a cohesive model that employs the interagency planning and coordination of rehabilitative treatment carried out through a "culture of care" instead of one that focuses on punishment.

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