Challenges and Prospects for Applying Restorative Justice to Teen Courts

Gary N. Keveles, University of Wisconsin Superior

Juvenile justice is under critical scrutiny. Many are calling for innovative change. Teen Courts, an alternative approach to traditional juvenile proceedings, is experiencing rapid growth and increasing popularity. Several different models have emerged under the teen court rubric. Restorative justice, a second trend that has emerged in recent years, is also becoming more widespread in various parts of both criminal and juvenile systems. The paper explores the meaning and implications of applying the principles of restorative justice to this formalized juvenile process. The examination includes the advantages, challenges and limitations of linking this set of philosophical ideas to teen courts. The chances for its acceptance in particular juvenile justice settings are assessed.

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Updated 05/20/2006