Source: (2003) In, Kieran McEvoy and Tim Newburn,eds., Criminology, Conflict Resolution and Restorative Justice. Basingstoke, Hampshire, UK and New York, NY: Palgrave MacMillan. Pp. 153-170.

Alternatives to court processes -- for example, youth courts -- are often included as part of the restorative justice arena. However, asserts Lisa Rieger, the traditional youth court structure is remote from the reintegrative and balancing characteristics of mediation and arbitration, peacemaking, family group conferencing, and other types of restorative justice practices. Nevertheless, youth court programs are increasingly popular with politicians and policy makers – in some respects more popular than restorative justice processes which may be seen as ambiguous and even inconsistent. Against this background, Rieger explains the basic structure of teen courts, explores the theoretical perspectives that give rise to teen courts as a part of current legal movements, and then applies all of this to the Alaskan context. In particular, she discusses factors that allow local, culturally sensitive justice in Alaskan native villages to interact with state institutions. This Alaskan experience, she claims, is both an example of and a challenge to restorative justice experience.