Source: (1999) Crime & Delinquency 45(4): 467-480

This study focuses on sentence completion and recidivism of juveniles referred to teen courts for disposition by their peers as an alternative to judicial sentencing. More than 70 percent of the referrals completed their sentences, and just less than a third recidivated over a 1-year follow-up. In multivariate models, sentence completion was significantly less likely among persons sentenced to community service, and recidivism was significantly higher among juveniles with prior records and those who were sentenced to curfews. The findings imply the need for teen courts to be guided by sound program development efforts that are based on research so that they may circumvent the panacea phenomenon.