Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Kristie Roberts-Lewis


Juvenile delinquency continues to be a major social problem in the United States. One of the more salient problems with the juvenile justice system in the United States is its staggering incarceration rate, which poses a significant problem for youth exposed to the juvenile justice system, and the community as a whole. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to understand the perspective of the program facilitators about the effectiveness of the restorative justice program in reducing recidivism for African American males aged 12 to 17 in Baltimore City's urban community. This study relied upon restorative justice theory as conceptualized by Braithwaite as the theoretical framework. Using intrinsic case study design, data were collected from 7 restorative justice facilitators, who participated in face-to-face interviews using semistructured, open-ended questions. Miles and Huberman's qualitative content analysis was used to analyze the data and to record emerging themes and patterns. The key finding of this study indicates that facilitators believe restorative justice results in a reduction of the recidivism rate specifically through the conferencing program when Braithwaite's reintegrative shaming is incorporated into the process. According to the program facilitators, the conferencing program is effective in reducing juvenile recidivism as it promotes transparency and openness to all stakeholders through being very clear and upfront on all levels with the juveniles, parents, and volunteers. As such, there are implications for positive social change by involving all the stakeholders---family, community, policy makers, and juvenile justice practitioners---that may result in reduced incidences of juvenile offending, thereby promoting safer communities.