Critical Diversion

cover_2016CPPButts, Jeffrey A. (2016). Critical diversion — Policy essay. Criminology & Public Policy, 15(3): 983–989.

[I]mproving the effectiveness of diversion will require a sincere effort to leverage the best research knowledge about juvenile justice interventions. Research-based practices, however, must include interventions addressing the full range of factors that lead young people to become involved in the justice system. Some of these factors have already been investigated by competent researchers and have been developed into evidence-based models. Many have not been tested at all. Juvenile justice knowledge is not an established canon; it is organic and ever-changing. Researchers do not already know everything there is to know about reducing recidivism and keeping youth out of the justice system. Any practitioner who believes otherwise is being misled and will likely misuse the tools of diversion and fail to serve youth, families, and communities.