Teen Court Outcomes With Young Offenders

Jeffrey Butts, The Urban Institute
Janeen M. Buck, The Urban Institute
Ojmarrh Mitchell, The Urban Institute
Alexa Hirst, The Urban Institute

ABSTRACT
Growing from a handful of programs in the 1960s, the number of teen courts (or youth courts) now operating in the United States has been estimated to be more than 700. Communities embrace teen courts as a cost-effective alternative to the traditional juvenile court process for some young offenders, particularly those charged with relatively minor offenses and few prior arrests. This paper will report the findings of the Evaluation of Teen Courts Project, which was funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and conducted by the Urban Institute's Justice Policy Center. The study examines teen court outcomes in four jurisdictions: Maricopa County, Arizona; Montgomery County, Maryland; Independence, Missouri; and Anchorage, Alaska.

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Updated 05/20/2006