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Three years of teen court offender outcomes.

Forgays, Deborah Kirby
June 4, 2015

Source: (2008) Adolescence. 43(171):473-485.

Since 1983, Teen Courts have offered a judicial alternative for many adolescent offenders. In the first year of the Whatcom County Teen Court Program, a small sample of Teen Court offenders had more favorable outcomes than did Court Diversion offenders. In the current study, the results are based on a three-year sample of 84 Whatcom County adjudicated youths, each with at least one prior conviction. Overall, recidivism was lower for the Teen Court offenders than for first-time Court Diversion offenders. Sentence completion rates were comparable for the two groups. In addition to behavioral outcomes, responses on a satisfaction survey and a self-acceptance inventory provide a more complete view of the offenders’ perspectives. One unanticipated outcome was the number of offenders who chose to continue involvement with Teen Court sessions, independent of sentencing requirements.


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