Teen Court Research Paper

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Teen Court is an innovative diversion program that provides an alternative approach to the traditional juvenile justice system. Collaborating with the local police department, schools, and community, Teen Courts are able to expose youth to the judicial process. When a juvenile is charged with a first-time, nonviolent, low-level offense they have the “opportunity to waive the hearing and sentencing procedure of the tradition juvenile court and agree to a sentencing forum with a jury of their peers” ("Fact Sheet: Youth Courts", 1). Teen Court is a real court of law that is entirely operated by youth volunteers acting as teen jurors, teen attorney 's, teen clerk, and teen judge. With the help from adult mentor attorneys and a real judge, teens…show more content…
According to statistics from the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, “there were seventy-eight youth courts in 1994, and there are now approximately 1,400 youth courts in forty-nine states” ("Fact Sheet: Youth Courts", 1) Comparative, California only had two Teen Courts in 1991 but has since grown to have over sixty different programs. This community-based rehabilitation program has succeeded in hundreds of communities across the country on the grounds that they offer the juvenile offender the opportunity to learn how the criminal justice system works, as well as their rights and responsibilities that are coupled with the system. Recent studies show that teen court participation produces a cost-effective program, accountability in young offenders, better community connections, youth influencing youth, and also prevents further delinquent acts ("Fact Sheet: Youth Courts", 2). With the assistance of restorative justice sentencing and harm reduction alternatives to the juvenile justice system, communities around the United States are taking a practical and beneficial approach to the traditional juvenile justice
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