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Toolkit on Diversion and Alternatives to Detention

North America

• Canada
'Police Discretion with Young Offenders', Peter J. Carrington & Jennifer L. Schulenberg, Report to the Department of Justice Canada, 2003 [Pdf 1.49Mb]
In-depth qualitative and quantitative survey in support of the
implementation and evaluation of the Youth Criminal Justice Act. The sample is representative of all provinces and territories, all types of communities, and all types of police service, including independent municipal services, provincial police, First Nations police services, and police training facilities. Examines police discretion in relation to diversion (amongst other things). Includes list of interview questions and protocols. 
DRAFT: ‘Deconstructing the Pipeline: Using Efficacy and Effectiveness Data and Cost-Benefit Analyses to Reduce Minority Youth Incarceration’, David Osher et al., American Institutes for Research and Arizona State University, 2003 [Word 139kb]
Academic meta-analyis of US research in relation to recidivism and cost effectiveness of prevention, early intervention, diversion and other programmes for children in conflict wtih the law. Provides good project summaries and hard data on recidivism and cost. Narrative focus on over-representation of ethnic minorities in the system. [Please note that this is a draft paper only]. [Note this document has been used as a key resource for the toolkit]

USA - New York City, 'Project Zero' summary, NYC Department of Probation [no date] [Pdf 72kb]
Summary of diversion and alternatives projects implemented by the Probation Department in NYC. Outlines project objectives, methodology and success.

USA - 'Juvenile Transfer Laws: An Effective Deterrent to Delinquency?', Richard E. Redding, USA Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) Juvenile Justice Bulletin, August 2008
Provides an overview of research on the deterrent effects of transferring youth from juvenile to adult criminal courts, focusing on large-scale comprehensive OJJDP-funded studies on the effect of transfer laws on recidivism. Research shows that transfer to adult court has little deterence and results in increased recidivism rates.

USA - 'From Time Out to Hard Time: Young Children in the Adult Criminal Justice System', Michele Deitch et al, Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs The University of Texas at Austin, 2009 [Pdf 1.09Mb]
Study on the transfer of young children (under 12) to the adult criminal justice system in the USA, including information on adolescent brain development, the negative effects of detention and the over-representation of ethnic minorities.

Hawaii - 'Conferencing: A New Approach for Juvenile Justice in Honolulu', Lorenn Walker, Restorative Practices E-Forum, 5 November 2002 [PDF 53kb]
Study report of an experimental diversion project by The Honolulu Police Department for first time juvenile offenders in the City and County of Honolulu: involved diversion to
restorative justice conferences instead of traditional diversion programmes. Analyzed the effects of conferencing on participant satisfaction, offender agreement compliance, and recidivism. Results show that victims were highly satisfied with the process and conferenced children arrested for nonviolent offenses did not escalate to arrests for
violent crimes, while those who participated in traditional programs had a significantly higher arrest rate for subsequent violent crimes.

USA - 'Youth with Mental Health Disorders in the Juvenile Justice System: Results from a Multi-State Prevalence Study' Jennie L. Shufelt & Joseph J. Cocozza, National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice, June 2006 [Pdf 347kb]
Paper summarising the results of a study described as "the most comprehensive mental health prevalence study to date on youth involved with the juvenile justice system", funded by the US Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). Includes findings relevant for mental health, substance abuse and gender.

'Suitability of Assessment Instruments for Delinquent Girls', Susan Brumbaugh, Jennifer L. Hardison Walters, and Laura A. Winterfield, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (US Department of Justice), from the 'Girls Study Group Series', October 2009 [Pdf 1.44Mb]
Review determining the extent to which assessment instruments used with at-risk and justice-involved youth are equally appropriate and effective in assessing girls and boys. Includes - amongst other things - review of instruments used prior to sentencing (to inform placement decisions or identify youth who may be appropriate candidates for diversion programs), for substance abuse and mental health. Provides guidelines for practitioners on how to select such instruments.

USA - 'Evidence-Based Practice Recommendations for Juvenile Drug Courts', National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice in collaboration with the Louisiana Supreme Court Drug Court Office, July 2009 [Pdf 428kb]
Recommendations as a starting point for juvenile drug courts looking to improve the screening and assessment, treatment, and outcome monitoring aspects of their courts. "Juvenile drug courts are encouraged to use these recommendations to conduct a self-assessment of the assessment, treatment, and outcome monitoring aspects of their court, and to use the results of that assessment as a basis for identifying and implementing strategies to further strengthen their programs."

USA - 'Justice by Gender: The Lack of Appropriate Prevention, Diversion and Treatment Alternatives for Girls in the Justice System', American Bar Association & National Bar Association, May 2001 [Pdf 171kb]
Overview of issues relating to the disproportionate rise in numbers of girls in detention in the USA. Contains sections on: The Context of Girls and Delinquency; Girls’ Pathways Into Delinquency; The Need for Developmentally Sound Services; The Need for Further Research; Bias in the Handling of Girls’ Cases; Arrest, Charging and Filing; Detention; The Need for Dispositional Alternatives; A Continuum of Care and Services; Conclusion.

USA - 'Juvenile Diversion', Stephen T. Russell & Susan Wood, Cooperative Extension, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Nebraska, 1998 [Pdf 92kb]
Sample public information leaflet introducing the concept of diversion to communities. Includes sections on: What is Juvenile Diversion? Why Would My Community be Interested in Juvenile Diversion? Who Are the Stakeholders in Juvenile Diversion Programs? Who Benefits From Juvenile Diversion? How Can I Get More Information? [Please note: this document is old and the situation on the ground may have changed].

USA - 'Establishing Juvenile Diversion in Your Community', Stephen T. Russell, Susan Wood & Sara Domeier, Cooperative Extension, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Nebraska, 1998 [Pdf 85kb]
Brief guide describing the issues communities need to consider in the development of a juvenile diversion program. [Please note: this document is old and the situation on the ground may have changed].

USA - 'Juvenile Holdover Programs', USA National Highway Traffic Safety Administration & American Probation and Parole Association [no date] [Word 1.29Mb]
Detailed information / manual on US 'Juvenile Holdover Programs' (short-term, temporary holding programs in either a secure, nonsecure, or a combination secure/nonsecure setting, e.g. whilst locating a caregiver, holding a youth pending an action in the investigation or court process, or providing a safe, temporary location for youth who do not meet detention criteria but are in need of a place to stay until other appropriate arrangements for their care can be completed). Although not strictly an 'alternative' to detention (as some holdover facilities are 'secure'), it nonetheless provides more 'child-friendly' options (compared to police stations and pre-trial detention facilities) when temporary detention is unavoidable. Includes chapters on: Overview of the program; Strategic Planning - Developing a Program Framework; Legal Issues; Defining a Target Population and Establishing an Admission Process; Program Design and Operations; Site and Facility Issues; Staffing and Staff Training; Assuring Your Success; Celebrating Your Success.

USA - 'Juvenile Diversion Officer', Campbell County, Gillette, Wyoming [no date] [Word 41kb]
Sample job description / TOR. Main aims of the post: To monitor, assist and guide a juvenile and the juvenile's family towards successful completion of the Diversion Program; implement and follow the requirements of the Juvenile Diversion Contract; supervise juvenile and juvenile's parents/guardians to ensure compliance with the contract; report non-compliance to Municipal and Circuit Courts.

USA - 'Diversion Contract', Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, North Carolina, USA, August 2006 [Pdf 222kb]
Sample diversion contract signed by child, parent/guardian and Court Counsellor.



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