Encyclopedia of Adolescence

2011 Edition
| Editors: Roger J. R. Levesque

Teen Courts

  • Wendy P. StickleEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1695-2_156


Teen Courts are a rapidly growing diversion program for first-time non-violent juvenile offenders. Although the program has a sound theoretical basis, it lacks empirical support. This lack of support is due to a deficiency in methodologically rigorous evaluations and inconsistent findings regarding the program’s impact of recidivism. This essay provides an overview of the program, its theoretical foundation, and existing literature. It concludes with recommendations for the future of Teen Courts.


Teen Court (TC) seeks to provide minor offenders with sanctions intended to prevent their subsequent delinquent activity. It targets first-time non-violent juvenile offenders, in an effort to avert more serious forms of delinquency before it occurs (Butts and Buck 2002, 2002; Beck 1997; Weisz et al. 2002; Peterson and Elmendorf 2001; Pearson 2003; Butts and Buck 2000; Godwin 1998).

Although the research pertaining directly to TC is relatively meager and generally...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Westat Inc-Research DivisionRockvilleUSA