Understanding Criminal Justice Policy Implementation Pragmatically and Theoretically

Erika Gebo, Westfield State College
Valerie Hurst, University of New Hampshire
Nena F. Stracuzzi, University of New Hampshire

A juvenile detention reform initiative has yet to show success in one state, though funding has been provided for the execution of the initiative. The purpose of this paper is to conduct a policy analysis that sheds light on implementation issues pragmatically and theoretically. Qualitative interviews with approximately forty key stakeholders are being conducted. Those interviewed include judges, probation officers, and Department of Juvenile Justice officials. A theoretical framework for policy implementation analysis is explored utilizing a grounded theory approach. Questions focus on barriers to reform. Themes include political and social context, organizational change, influential actors, and philosophical orientations. Building blocks to successful criminal justice policy implementation are discussed.

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Updated 05/20/2006