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Additional Reading

News Articles

Staten Island Youth Court Youth Justice, Administered by the Young – New York Times September 21, 2010


Journal Articles and Studies

Bright, Dr. Charlotte, Young, Doug & Falls, Ben (2014). The Multijurisdictional Teen Court Evaluation: A Comparative Evaluation of Three Teen Court Models. Baltimore, MD: University of Maryland School of Social Work (SSW), Ruth H. Young Center for Families and Children, and the Institute for Governmental Service and Research.  Report of the findings of a comprehensive 24 month evaluation of three Teen Court programs in Maryland,. To facilitate a better understanding of Maryland’s Teen Courts, this report presents data on the processes, outcomes, and perspectives of Teen Courts using data gathered in three geographically diverse programs in Maryland: Baltimore City, Charles County, and Montgomery County. The study also assessed recidivism data collected by matching cases from the three Teen Courts with data from the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services. Overall, the study found that Maryland Teen Court Programs offer a positive alternative to traditional juvenile processing with lower recidivism rates. In addition, youth who do not complete the program recidivate faster than those who complete the program. These findings suggest that Teen Court programs impact recidivism rates positively. Moreover, Teen Court benefits both youth volunteers as well as young respondents, providing a meaningful service opportunity to youth and, in some cases, directing their future career choices. In responses to qualitative questions, youth respondents, their parents or guardians, youth volunteers, and adult volunteers share their perception that this is a valuable program for holding youth accountable while providing them with the opportunity to learn from their behavior.

Pearson, S. S., & Jurich, S. (2005). Youth Court: A Community Solution for Embracing At-Risk Youth. Washington, DC: American Youth Policy Forum. This study by the American Youth Policy Forum surveyed 365 Teen Courts across the county in an effort to determine the percentage of America’s youth arrests were being diverted to Teen Court programs, the cost effectiveness of Teen Courts, and how differing practices affect recidivism results. The researchers concluded that nearly 10% of arrests in the jurisdictions served by the surveyed Teen Courts were being diverted and that the cost per youth served is approximately $430. Second, while the data regarding recidivism are inconclusive, the rates achieved by Teen Courts are either lower than or comparable to those of the wider juvenile justice system. These findings suggest that Teen Courts ensure youth accountability while costing far less than traditional solutions (such as the $1600 per youth cost of probation).
Butts, J., Buck, J., & Coggeshall, M. (2002) The Impact of Teen Courts on Young Offenders. Washington, DC: Urban Institute, Justice Policy Center. Conducted by the Urban Policy Center and funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), this survey studies Teen Courts in four states (Alaska, Arizona, Missouri, and Maryland) to evaluate practices and compare recidivism rates. The study found that recidivism rates among Teen Court respondents in Alaska and Missouri were lower (to a statistically significant degree) than rates of comparable offenders following the traditional process. The results in Maryland and Arizona were not statistically significant, in part because of small sample sizes, recidivism tracking processes, and other factors.


For additional resources, go to the National Association of Youth Courts, General Information, Program Development and Enhancement.