Notes on an Accounting Scheme for a Juvenile Correctional System
In general, the public’s impression of the performance of the juvenile correctional system or Youth Authority (YA) is based on a collection of unrepresentative incidents that are deemed newsworthy by the media: spectacular crimes committed by inmates of the YA, or evidence of corruption within the agency, or reports of violence or abuse against inmates of YA institutions. The attempts of juvenile corrections managers to minimize adverse publicity may result in excessive caution or other distortions in programmatic decisions. A partial antidote to this problem would be a good systematic account of YA performance which could serve as a basis for educating the public about the overall context in which the isolated headline stories arise.
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