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Peer Justice and Youth Empowerment: An Implementation Guide for Teen Court Programs

NCJ Number
Date Published
296 pages
Based on the experience of teen courts around the country, this manual is intended to provide juvenile justice agencies with baseline information that will aid them in developing, implementing, and enhancing teen court programs as a viable alternative for juvenile offenders in their communities.
Teen courts are emerging as a promising mechanism for holding youth charged with juvenile status offenses accountable, providing avenues for positive youth development, and providing an alternative method of sanctioning status offenders. Developing and implementing teen courts requires a coordinated and collaborative effort among law enforcement, probation, courts, schools, parents, and youth. The manual provides an overview of the teen court concept, a discussion of the steps involved in organizing the community, and an analysis of legal issues such as confidentiality and liability. Further chapters explain how to develop a program purpose, goals, and objectives; determine a target population; design a referral process; design program services; develop a program model and procedures; implement effective case management practices; recruit, train, and use volunteers; address human and financial resource issues; and evaluate the program. Checklists, notes, appended program materials and directory of current teen courts, and 105 references

Date Published: January 1, 1998