Diversion From the Juvenile Justice System: Observations of a Teen Court Programedit
Teen courts are a multidisciplinary intervention used to divert youth with minor offenses from the juvenile justice system. Observations were conducted at 13 hearings in an urban jurisdiction, with information gathered about the youth respondent, peer jurors, and adult volunteers. Peer jurors engaged in the majority of communication with the respondent during hearings. Adult volunteers, often members of the legal or judicial community, fulfilled supporting functions. Findings suggest that a youth-oriented process with support from adult volunteers can result in active participation from youth, and that teen courts provide opportunities for community involvement.