This study investigates theoretically and empirically the extent to which individuals care about the social inclusion of children involved in antisocial activities and crimes, and what factors affect their preferences for juvenile rehabilitation programs. Our analysis is based on a contingent valuation survey of a large sample of 1,027 Italian households representative of Veneto and Sicily. The marked north-south cultural and socio-economic differences between the two regions under the same criminal justice system make this analysis an interesting experimental case study. We find that differences in preferences for social inclusion of young offenders and in the willingness to pay for rehabilitation programs do not depend only on socio-demographic characteristics but also on altruistic motives. Preferences for social inclusion are mainly driven by parental altruism and concern about crime risk in Veneto, and by non-parental altruism and ocio-economic characteristics in Sicily.
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