prepare a professional policy memo to the criminal justice committee

The state legislature recognizes the need to focus efforts and resources on young offenders so that they do not continue to commit delinquent acts and perhaps transition to adult criminals, which would cost taxpayers even more. Acting as a state policy analyst and building on the annotated bibliography and literature review you have completed, propose 2 policy alternatives to combat juvenile delinquency.

Your readings in the course have exposed you to many of the key topics in criminal justice while showing you the importance of research and theories to the development of sound policies. You have seen how the writing in the text and other sources is not mere opinion or unsupported assertions. Rather, the work is built upon existing knowledge and contemporary studies.

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As you consider how to advise the legislature on how to address juvenile delinquency in your state, you must rely on factual information and utilize a theoretical foundation. Delinquency, as well as other deviance, results from a variety of factors explained through various theoretical perspectives. One or more theories may draw your attention as instructive about the issues surrounding juvenile delinquency. Have these theories been supported by research?

Assignment Guidelines

You are a policy analyst in the legislative affairs office of your state legislature. The criminal justice committee of the legislature has requested recommendations about how to address juvenile delinquency in the state. You must conduct research and assemble 2 possible policy initiatives in your proposal. Use the 7 step process outlined in the MUSE link, CHDS Policy Options Analysis. Include the 7 steps in your proposal.

  1. Define the Problem
  2. Construct Alternative Solutions
  3. Criteria for Judging Success of Proposed Solutions
  4. Projected outcomes for alternative Solutions
  5. Analyze Trade-Offs for Solutions
  6. Choose Best Solutions
  7. Explain Recommendations.

Address the following in 3–4 pages:

  • Prepare a professional policy memo to the criminal justice committee outlining the actions to be taken, funding sources, and implementation challenges that may arise for each alternative.
    • Compare and contrast the two policy recommendations.
  • How would you evaluate whether either policy was successful after it was implemented?
  • How will you utilize your research from the first 3 weeks? Explain.

Be sure to reference all sources using APA style.

While the specific memo format you choose is not specified, be aware that the tone of your writing should be clear, professional, free of jargon, and without emotionally influenced terms or comments.

Please submit your assignment.

For assistance with your assignment, please use your text, Web resources, and all course materials.

Already did the 7 step process outlined

Recommending Two Policy Alternatives to Combat Juvenile Delinquency

Defining the Problem

Preventing delinquency spares lives that are youthful from turning to waste, yet in addition, holds the beginning of developed criminal occupations as well as accordingly lessens the weight of delinquency on its subjugated individuals as well as on society

Constructing Alternative Solutions

1. Family-Based Programs

Functional Family Therapy aims youth 11- 18 years confronting delinquency issues, substance misuse, or viciousness.

2. Community-Based Programs

This method tries to construct relational abilities of families as well as to enable the teenager to accomplish goals as to peer functioning as well as the community.

Criteria for Judging Success of Proposed Solutions

Lessen delinquency and advance pro-social development

Projected outcomes for Family Based Programs

The program centers around changing associations amid relatives as well as appears to improve the implementation of the nuclear family by increasing family decisive judgment abilities, upgrading emotional connections, then reinforcing the guardians’ capacity to offer correct direction, structure, as well as points of internment for the children(Carney, and Buttell, p. 558). This is a normally transient plan, which is given by particular therapists, typically within the home environs.

Projected outcomes for Community Based Programs

The assurance of the Multi-systemic Therapy approach was featured by the decrease in arrest as well as detentions, improved family alliance, as well as extra positive results revealed in a 1992 study of teenagers that were at risk for outside -home agreement on account of legitimate criminal action (Carney, and Buttell, p. 560).

Analysis of Trade-Offs for Solutions

Multisystem Therapy (MST) has appeared as a cost-effective procedure for withdrawing the quantity of youthful detained guilty parties whilst declining their reserved conduct, as well as it is the major treatment to show short-term as well as long-term efficacy with violent, serious, as well as and chronic juvenile offenders. The method tries to expand family relational aptitudes as well as to enable the young to accomplish aims as to peer functioning and community. The experts within this program lead inside -home meetings with family, sponsor for the youth inside a school, as well as get objectives like finding to a line of work interview meeting (Carney, and Buttell, p. 556). MST intercessions are kid-centered, family-focused, and coordinated toward tackling different matters over the numerous settings wherein young people are inserted: neighborhood, peers, school, and family. Services are provided in the community as well as home environs to upgrade teamwork as well as an advance simplification. Arbitrations are customized to the meticulous requests of the youth, and family.

In contrast, the family is a show up among the generally logical site for prevention activities. In light of the heaviness of later untried evidence connecting family functioning to diverse types of youth antisocial behavior, as well as alert at the rapidly altering socioeconomics of families in the U.S., untimely family mediation has gotten wide underwriting as a commencement spot for precautionary intercession (Carney, and Buttell, p. 561).

Functional Family Therapy aims youth 11- 18 years confronting issues with substance misuse, brutality, or delinquency. The plan centers around changing associations amid relatives as well as glimpses to improve the implementation of the nuclear family by increasing family critical thinking aptitudes, upgrading enthusiastic associations, and reinforcing the guardians’ capacity to offer fitting direction, structure, as well as limits regarding their children(Fagan, p. 620). It is a moderately momentary plan which is expressed by personal experts generally within the home environment.

Choosing Best Solution

Community-Based Programs is the best alternative

Explaining Recommendations

MST (Multisystemic Therapy) has appeared as a practical technique for diminishing the quantity of youthful imprisoned guilty parties while lessening their antisocial conduct and it is the main treatment to show short-term and long-term efficacy with violent, serious, and chronic juvenile offenders.

Work cited

Carney, M. M., & Buttell, F.. Reducing juvenile recidivism: Evaluating the wraparound services

model. Research on Social Work Practice. 2003.13(5), 551-568.

Fagan, A. A.. Family‐focused interventions to prevent juvenile delinquency: A case where

science and policy can find common ground. Criminology & Public Policy. 2013.12(4), 617-650.

Work cited

Carney, M. M., & Buttell, F.. Reducing juvenile recidivism: Evaluating the wraparound services

model. Research on Social Work Practice. 2003.13(5), 551-568.

Fagan, A. A.. Family‐focused interventions to prevent juvenile delinquency: A case where

science and policy can find common ground. Criminology & Public Policy. 2013.12(4), 617-650.

Example of the Memo


North Carolina Department of Public Safety


To: Juvenile Jurisdiction Advisory Committee; Paul Silas, Director From: student, Policy Analyst

cc: Dr. Ntepp, Colorado Technical University

Date: October 26, 2018

Re: Juvenile Justice Program Proposal Raise the Age Initiative Solution

Dear Members of the Juvenile Jurisdiction Advisory Committee,

As per request of Deputy Commissioner for Juvenile Justice, an analysis of ‘Raise the Age Initiative’ has been conducted, the following is the proposed recommendation and conclusion.


North Carolina is one of the last states to ‘Raise the Age’ of juvenile jurisdiction to 18 leaving many 16-17-year-old nonviolent offenders I the system under adult jurisdiction. Effective December 2019, this will no longer be the case. The issue then will be what to do with all the youthful offenders that will fall under juvenile jurisdiction. While some would argue many of the nonviolent crimes under the current position of the justice system—16-17-year-old un adult system—would not warrant more than misdemeanors or light sentencing, the structure and standard of care, rehabilitation opportunities, and reentry programs are not developmentally appropriate.

Research has shown, developmentally appropriate programs have lasting effects on youthful offenders (Schiraldi, 2015). In states that have raised the age of juvenile jurisdiction, are taking steps to become developmentally appropriate by relying more on community-based resources rather than facilities, addressing mental health needs beyond those within the system, reducing pretrial detention, focusing on effective probation and aftercare, moving toward diversion methods, and complying to Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) to protect youthful offenders from sexual assault (Justice Policy Institute, 2017).

This proposal will address the needs of youthful offenders, focusing on developmentally appropriate approaches, specifically community-based resources and diversion methods. Two specific programs will be presented for approval to help with the states needs when raise the age becomes effective and youthful offenders of nonviolent offenses age 16-17 will be funneled through the juvenile system and no longer a part of the adult system.

Define the Problem

After juvenile jurisdiction is raised to age 18, youthful offenders will need developmentally appropriate programs to aid in the prevention, intervention, and juvenile delinquency reduction efforts.

Alternative Solutions

Juvenile Alternative Training Program

As the research suggests, a developmentally appropriate approach is necessary for success in prevention efforts and recidivism reduction among youthful offenders. Strategies that expand the use of diversion methods , keeps offenders out of the system as much as possible, while holding them accountable for their actions. A Juvenile Alternative Training Program will meet the needs of the offender, while saving taxpayers in the long-run, and help prevention and crime reduction efforts.


What is a Juvenile Alternative Training Program?

When a youthful offender commits a non-serious crime, they need to have accountability, but arrests and placing outside the home could land them in a cycle of repeat offending, arrests, and ultimately a lengthy criminal record, which will affect them for the rest of their lives. To combat that negativity, save the state some money, and meet the needs of the offender, the juvenile alternative training program will allow the state to take developmentally appropriate steps to rehabilitate without the need to incarcerate. It is a six-week program that will be required by the state for all youthful offenders age 15.5 to 17.5 that have not committed a serious offense (petty theft, truancy, vandalism). He or she will be required to attend 6 sessions of behavioral treatment conducted by a licensed psychiatrist that will be able to attest to their mental health and ability to maintain a healthy lifestyle outside a facility as they pose no threat to themselves or society. The offender will be required to attend school regularly with exception only given by a licensed physician. As a stipulation, an extracurricular activity of their choosing will be required; employment is not a requirement, but it does not serve as a substitute. Volunteer work in an approved field will be accepted as an extracurricular activity if there is consistent participation. Programs specific to each offender and their offenses will also be a requirement of the program. These include but are not limited to, drug treatment, gang involvement intervention programs, anti-theft programs, and mental health specific programs. Parental consent may be a requirement for cultural sensitive programs, such as sexual assault, transgender, and any religion- based programs. When there is no parent the state will assume consent. While the program is not removing the offender from the home, they will be required to spend time away from the home for attendance to these programs. Transportation can be provided if necessary through the state voucher programs such as the Karts and Gateway systems; approval is required. There are many resources already available through the Department of Health and Human Service to aid with this program that will eliminate the need for extra funding. The savings from housing youthful offenders and having them within the adult system will also serve the program budget.

Juvenile Community Corrections- Community Supervision Division

What is it Juvenile Community Corrections-Community Supervision Division?

Juvenile Community Corrections-Community Supervision is a division that will fall under community corrections and serve the same purpose as adult probation but will be altered to fit the needs of a juvenile. The juvenile court system does a great job with risk-needs assessments and placement currently, JCS will further the work that is already being done.

Currently, juveniles on probation run the risk of getting pulled deeper in the system rather than funneled out. Youthful offenders assigned probation and are violated for technical offenses could spend time in a facility which is ultimately not the goal— rehabilitation not incarceration. This proposal of a juvenile community supervision


division will eliminate the issue by reserving placement for those offenders committing more serious crimes (drug violations, gun violations, serious traffic violations including DWI/DUI) and those at greater risk of reoffending.

Under the juvenile community supervision division within community corrections, will require the same obligations as adult supervision but on a scale that is developmentally appropriate. Restitution requirements will remain at $40 per month. Employment requirements will be reduced to 15-20 hours per week with a school attendance requirement of 95 percent with only a 5 percent absence leniency for drug and mental health treatment, court and doctor appointments with provided documentation. Gang involvement prevention/intervention programs will not be included in the approved absence policy but is a requirement for those at-risk offenders. Community service requirements of a minimum of 100 hours or as assigned by the judge during placement. No other offenses can be committed, or a violation will be in order. Any offender found in violation of the conditions of supervision will be remanded to state juvenile detention facilities not adult prisons. This is designed for youthful offenders age 15.5-18. At 18th birthday juvenile will be transferred to adult community supervision. Those offenders that have committed a serious crime such as rape or murder will not be considered for this division, they must stay within adult justice system.

Criteria for Judging Success

There are four criteria that both proposed programs have been analyzed against: *Cost effectiveness

*Crime reduction effectiveness

*Crime prevention effectiveness

*Developmentally appropriate *Feasibility

Under these four criteria a projected outcome has been made. This outcome can be used to compare against the proposed programs after implementation to gauge each program.

Projected Outcomes

The following table outlines the projected outcomes of both proposed programs based on the criteria for judging success. These predictions serve as a guide for best possible recommendation for implementation.


Criteria for Success

Juvenile Alternative Training Program

Juvenile Community Supervision Division

Cost Effectiveness

Very Good


Crime Reduction



Crime Prevention



Developmentally Appropriate

Very Good



Very Good

Very Good

Projections in action

Looking at the current data, there are very few juveniles that make up the adult prison population, coming in at one percent (NCDPS, 2017). When raise the age is effective the new offenders committing non-serious crimes will fall under juvenile jurisdiction and will need either probation or a diversion program. The following is a scenario to see how it would work if implemented.

Michela and Daniel decide to skip class and get high in the school auditorium. They are caught by a school resource officer and are now facing charges. The courts decide to have them both complete the Juvenile Alternative Training program rather than charge them. Michela follows the program and completes with 100 percent success and will graduate on time with honors due to the program forcing her to attend school regularly. Daniel struggles to complete the program and is charged with another crime. He is placed on probation and required to complete a drug treatment program, along with 170 hours of community service. Daniel completes the conditions of probation and his sentence is completed. Daniel does not complete high school but attains GED. Both teens end with successful outcomes.


Juvenile Alternative Training Program

While the training program will offer community-based resources, and help diversion methods, crime prevention may not see immediate results. In the long-term results will see a positive increase, however. Funding is a major concern, but there will be immediate relief as the cost of the program will not exceed existing budgets. Programs that are already in place will be utilized under the training program. Any addition funding that is not forecasted will come from the funding that would otherwise go to the adult system for housing juveniles that would have been in the adult system but will be under juvenile jurisdiction.

Juvenile Community Corrections Division


Juvenile Community Corrections is bare minimum across the board. Taxpayers will see immediate increases, crime prevention and reduction will not see a huge change from current standings, could possibly see an increase overtime. It is quite feasible as there are current probation guides for juveniles under adult supervision. The costs outweigh the benefits.

Best Alternative Solution

After trade off analyzation and projected outcomes, the Juvenile Alternative Training Program is the best option to serve the needs of the juveniles in the state of North Carolina. There are many resources and services that are already in use and this program will expand the usage and is developmentally appropriate. In comparison to the Juvenile Community Corrections Division, the training program will help lead teens out of the system. The Juvenile Community Corrections Division will need further evaluation to be cost effective and meet the needs of the juveniles. Currently, Juvenile Community Corrections will send offenders further in the system and possible lead to incarceration which is opposite of the goal of the juvenile justice system and the raise the age initiative.


The proposed recommendation is the creation of the Juvenile Alternative Training Programs. Current Juvenile Court counselors will be responsible for assigning juveniles to the program and assessing which resources will be needed. Teens will complete the 6-week program and remain within his or her community and become better, rehabilitated citizens without incarceration and have the access to developmentally appropriate resources that will allow them to reduce criminal behaviors.



Justice Policy Institute. (2017). [Reports 2017] Raise the Age. Retrieved from

NCDPS (2018). Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice Research Bulletin. Retrieved from

Schiraldi, V., & Western, B. (2015). Time to Rethink the Age of Adult Court Jurisdiction. Retrieved from Age-of-Adult-Court-Jurisdiction.pdf