Subject Area



National research has shown that high quality, alternative community based diversionary programs for delinquent youth are both more effective at reducing recidivism and less expensive than incarceration. As the state of Rhode Island faces budgetary issues, not unlike the issues the United States is facing on the national level, they have begun to move toward this model as a way to address juvenile delinquency. But the question is, does Rhode Island have the available resources to provide a better alternative for these youths than incarceration? This exploratory study’s objective was to explore if Rhode Island’s juvenile delinquents will be better served through community based resources. Key stake holders in the Juvenile Justice System were interviewed within the state of Rhode Island. The findings of the study indicated that the inappropriate use of incarceration seen on a national level holds true with Rhode Island as well. It substantiated that a majority of the youth within Rhode Island’s Juvenile Corrections Facility could be better served through other means. Most youth have been involved with numerous other systems and have either failed or been failed by them. This suggests that other Rhode Island systems, such as public schools and child welfare system, have the potential to identify at risk youth early to potentially prevent their involvement with the juvenile justice system. Putting into place more preventative services for youth could really limit the number of youth falling into the juvenile justice system, specifically incarceration.


Providence College











A project based on independent investigation, submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Social Work. Originally written for the Theory Practice Seminar, Providence College, 2009.

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