Source: (2005) International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology. 49(1): 107-118.
In recent years the popularity of youth courts has grown quickly; there are currently an estimated 880 youth courts operating across the United States. These courts have shown success in offering effective judicial alternatives to first-time juvenile offenders. The current study examined whether youth courts would have the same effectiveness with second-time juvenile offenders by comparing the recidivism and sentence completion outcomes of 26 second-time youth offenders sentenced in Whatcom County Teen Court to the outcomes of a sample of first-time Court Diversion (CD) youth offenders. Participantsâ€™ Intake and Assessment Records provided information about demographic variables and details about current and previous offenses; data on sentence completion was derived from Whatcom County court records. A nine-item exit survey assessed offenderâ€™s attitudes toward teen court. Results indicate that teen court can effectively reduce recidivism among second-time juvenile offenders. For the teen court participants, sentence completion rates were high and recidivism was low at the 6-month post-court appearance. Participants also perceived teen court as fair and valuable. The findings thus indicate that youth courts have the potential to be a powerful restorative justice process, offering an effective alternative for a range of juvenile offenders. Abstract courtesy of National Criminal Justice Reference Service, www.ncjrs.org.
Your donation helps Prison Fellowship International repair the harm caused by crime by emphasizing accountability, forgiveness, and making amends for prisoners and those affected by their actions. When victims, offenders, and community members meet to decide how to do that, the results are transformational.Donate Now