Restorative Justice in a Teen Court: A Process Evaluation

Jennifer Grimes, Arizona State University

Increasingly, youth courts are being implemented as an alternative diversionary method to address minor juvenile offenses Youth courts vary by name and may be referred to as teen courts, peer court, or school courts. The current study focuses upon a process evaluation of a teen court based upon a restorative justice model in a southwestern state. Qualitative responses from the teen court staff including the judge, coordinator, probation officer, and adult volunteers are compared to responses from two groups of juveniles: those who volunteered for teen court service and those who were required to participate as a part of their teen court consequence. The study identifies the strengths and weaknesses of this teen court and provides suggestions for strengthening the restorative justice model.

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Updated 05/20/2006