CJ445-01 Unit 6 Seminar Makeup Assignment

Case Management – CJ445-01

The Unit 6 seminar on Wednesday, June 19, 2019 began with a brief overview of the written assignment this week. The written assignment is a worksheet regarding diversion program for juvenile offenders. The topic of this week’s reading and seminar is alternative sentencing programs such as diversion programs, restorative justice, and probation. Some examples of restorative justice include victim/offender mediation programs, peace circles, victim assistance, former prisoner assistance, restitution, and community service. The television show “Scared Straight” was discussed and compared to the concept of former prisoner assistance as an elenent of a judge’s sentencing. It was interesting to consider what Professor Rego was saying about how nowadays, children have a different mentality and would probably not be afraid to hear a former prisoner’s stories and go to a juvenile correction center themselves (because they might have friends that are already there or maybe a parent that has been to jail/prison.) The purpose of diversion programs is to keep children out of corrections centers and destigmatize the criminal justice system. This concept is based upon two psychological theories: Labeling Theory, which emphasizes the harm that can occur if a child is labeled delinquent prematurely, and Differential Association Theory which is the belief that children acquire negative, toxic traits and learn new bad habits from interacting with their peers in an organization such as a corrections institution. Labeling Theory also holds that children who are placed in a category such as “the smart kid, the dumb kid, the bad kid, the mean girls…etc.” ultimately become what they are labeled as young adults. By calling a child “bad” during childhood, they will think that nothing is really expected of them but to break the law, do as they please, and potentially hurt people. Skill building programs were interesting to learn about because I had never heard of them in my Juvenile Justice class.