Volume 2

Community Prosecution of Serious and Chronic Juvenile and Young Criminal Offenders: A Two-Year Outcome Study

Melissa Currul-Berman & Gina Mingace

This study was designed to evaluate a community-based prosecution program, known as First Strike. The program was implemented in the pilot town of Randolph, located in the outskirts of Boston. Study 1 involved a review of criminal records of 60 juvenile and young criminal offenders. Thirty were part of a community-based prosecution program and thirty were involved in traditional prosecution procedures. Study 2 included a survey of 60 community residents who were asked their opinion about scenarios describing either a juvenile involved in a community-based prosecution program or a juvenile handled through traditional prosecution procedures. The results indicated that the juveniles handled through the community-based program had overall lower recidivism rates, even after a two-year span, when compared to the juveniles handled through traditional procedures. In addition, readers of the community-based scenario were more accepting of juvenile delinquents and their rehabilitation than readers of the traditional prosecution procedures.

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