Summary: The Virginia Juvenile Court System

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Introduction The Virginia juvenile court system Youth offenders burden the juvenile court system with first time misdemeanor crimes handled within the official legal system. The mission of the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice is to “protect the public by preparing court involved youth to be successful citizens” (Juvenile Justice Process, 2018). The Chesapeake Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court serves over 1500 youth offenders per year. On average, it costs $3,500 to $50,000 per case through the formal juvenile justice court system and approximately $480 for each peer/youth court participant who successfully completes his or her sentence (Pearson & Jurich, 2005). While that state of Virginia and the City of Chesapeake …show more content…

This program promotes a positive collaboration between offending youths, the justice system, and the community through the acceptance of responsibility, compliance with the disposition, and the completion of sanctions without a formal juvenile record. The intended outcome of this program is to reduce court backlogs, improve timeliness of case adjudication, cost savings, and accountability for first time, in some cases, second chances for misdemeanor offenders within the local community. Social learning theory proposes that youths learn deviance through imitation, cognitive definitions, differential reinforcement and association (Akers & Lee, 1996). Social influence theory contains conceptual elements of peer pressure, normative influence, and modeling (Maxwell, 2002). Based on these two theories, and the quest for restorative justice, the purpose of the proposed peer/youth court is to provide a positive peer atmosphere offending youths can develop pro-social behaviors. This will lead to significant reduction in re-offending and promote positive peer-to-peer …show more content…

The implementation of juvenile justice programs hold offenders accountable for wrongdoing, but prevent formal system involvement through discretionary methods (DeFosset, Schooley, Abrams, Kuo, & Gase, 2017). However, due to the case burden and cost, research continues to show the need and value of the peer/youth court (Smith & Chonody, 2010). Due to the time shortage of research time, the cost comparison for the peer/youth court implementation based on each of the court models presented. Each model provides a level of cost savings based on staffing requirements and available facilities. The limitation of the assessment is due to time restrictions, foundations, charities, and community-funding interviews were not conducted for implementation

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