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Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Youth and Adolescence 7/2017

01-04-2017 | Empirical Research

A Jury of Their Peers: A Meta-Analysis of the Effects of Teen Court on Criminal Recidivism

Auteurs: Jessica Bouchard, Jennifer S. Wong

Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Youth and Adolescence | Uitgave 7/2017

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Abstract

Juvenile delinquency has been on the decline for a number of years, yet, juvenile courts continue to assess more than 1 million cases per year. Involvement with the juvenile justice system has been linked to a number of risk factors and consequences that may impact positive youth development; however, evidence-based correctional programs that divert juvenile offenders away from formal processing are limited. Teen Court is a specialized diversion intervention that offers an alternative to traditional court processing for juvenile offenders. Despite the rapid expansion of Teen Courts, there is little comprehensive and systematic evidence available to justify this expansion. This meta-analytic study examines the effects of Teen Court on the recidivism of juvenile offenders. The literature search resulted in the selection of 14 studies, which contributed 18 unique effect sizes with a total sample of 2125 treatment group and 979 comparison group youth. The findings suggest that Teen Court is no more effective at reducing recidivism than (a) formal processing or (b) other diversion programs. Implications of formal and informal court processing for low-risk, first-time young offenders are discussed. The authors draw on the Risk-Need-Responsivity model to provide recommendations for policies and practices.
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Voetnoten
1
For example, randomized controlled trials and quasi-experimental designs in which participants were matched on at least some variables (e.g., criminal history, age, sex).
 
2
Due to inconsistent reporting of some variables across studies, the variables that were selected for examination in the moderator analysis were restricted to those that were reported in sufficient frequency across all of the studies in the set.
 
3
To ensure independence of effect sizes in each set of studies, the following decision rules were used: (1) choosing one study among multiple studies with overlapping samples (e.g., Dugas (2006), Stickle et al. (2008) and Wilson et al. (2009)); and, (2) choosing one outcome measure from a study that reported on multiple recidivism outcomes (e.g., Gase et al. (2016a)).
 
4
When a group (gender, ethnicity) composed of over 60% of the entire group of participants, that group was identified as the predominant group (see Appendix E of Lipsey and Wilson 2001).
 
5
As expected, the pooled effect from the fixed effects model was smaller, but similar to the random effects model, was not statistically significant (LOR = 0.072, z = 0.71, p = 0. 476).
 
6
While a rating of “2” on the Maryland Scale of Scientific Methods may be considered comparatively weak on the spectrum of methodological rigor (although there is a control group, there is little to no matching of participants), the significance of the pooled effect remained unchanged when such studies were excluded from the analysis (n = 3; LOR = 0.311, z = 1.03, p = 0.304).
 
7
The findings from the fixed effects model suggest that the random effects model may have slightly overestimated the pooled effect, however, the findings remained non-significant (LOR = 0.173, z = 1.32, p = 0.187).
 
8
It is worth noting that while the Q-between statistics for the Gender and Ethnicity variables were not significant, both nearly reached statistical significance at the .05 level. As such, while these results cannot be considered conclusive, they provide insight toward possible participant characteristics associated with beneficial impacts.
 
9
Sensitivity analysis was conducted on the set of studies; however, as the funnel plot was reasonably symmetric and there was nothing substantive to report from the analysis, these findings are not discussed here.
 
10
Again, the robustness of the pooled effect with respect to methodological rigor was tested, and despite the exclusion of studies rated as a “2” on the Maryland Scale (n = 2), the non-significance of the pooled effect remained unchanged (LOR = 0.409, z = 1.64, p = 0.101)
 
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Metagegevens
Titel
A Jury of Their Peers: A Meta-Analysis of the Effects of Teen Court on Criminal Recidivism
Auteurs
Jessica Bouchard
Jennifer S. Wong
Publicatiedatum
01-04-2017
Uitgeverij
Springer US
Gepubliceerd in
Journal of Youth and Adolescence / Uitgave 7/2017
Print ISSN: 0047-2891
Elektronisch ISSN: 1573-6601
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-017-0667-7