Date of Award
Undergraduate Honors Thesis
Bachelor of Arts in Sociology
Dr. Cid Martinez
EXAMINING THE EFFECTS OF JUVENILE DIVERSION IN SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA
Juvenile diversion is the practice of minimizing a youth’s contact with the formal juvenile justice system by redirecting him or her to community programs and other resources. Diversion programs are becoming more widespread across the country, and San Diego, California has been a pivotal starting point for diversion initiatives. The purpose of this study is to analyze the way juvenile diversion is operating in terms of services, referrals, program completion, recidivism, and effects on youth through a qualitative semi-structured in-depth interview approach. The research question that guided this study was as follows: does diversion operate on the principle of least harm or does it expand social control? Though diversion is seemingly regarded as a positive alternative to the juvenile justice system, my findings indicate the informality surrounding diversion services allows for increased officer discretion and social control of youth. Troubled youth were most commonly referred to programs for status offenses, and services included mental health treatment, case management, and life skills programs. Police were the primary points of contact for youth. These findings suggest that diversion functions as an extension of the traditional juvenile justice system and it may not be as positive in practice as it is in theory.
Keywords: diversion, social control, officer discretion
Digital USD Citation
Kanaras, Nicole, "Examining the Effects of Juvenile Diversion in San Diego, California" (2021). Undergraduate Honors Theses. 96.
Copyright held by the author