Understanding the Implementation of Diversionary Juvenile Justice Programs: An Examination of Organizational and Political Processes
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Little research has been conducted to identify the structures of juvenile diversion programs. Research on juvenile diversion programs tends to focus on program evaluation or effectiveness more than on the structure of programs themselves. Using qualitative research methods, this master’s thesis examines the organizational and political processes by which interagency partnerships structure juvenile diversion programs. Twenty juvenile diversion programs operated in geographically diverse jurisdictions across the United States were sampled and five agreed to participate in standardized interviews. These interviews were then transcribed and coded to produce qualitative data. These qualitative data consider funding, staffing, legality, structure, partnerships, agreements, services, and purposes of juvenile diversion programs as adopted by local jurisdictions. The history of juvenile diversion and theoretical perspectives from multiple disciplines provide background for this thesis. These data, contextualized by this background, frame findings concerning formal and informal operations of juvenile diversion programs. Implications of findings are discussed.