Since 1983, Teen Courts have offered an alternative to many young and troubled youths and today in the United States of America which since 1994 have grown from about 78 local programs to more than 1,200 local youth and Teen court programs and as of right now forty-nine of the fifty states including the District of columbia have Teen court programs (Peterson, 2009). Teen court has quickly become one of the fastest growing programs in the community justice movement, so much so that other countries have implemented the Teen Court model in an effort to harness the positive influence which comes from offering an alternative to the juvenile justice system, such as the United Kingdom’s “peer panel” which launched in September 2007 or Mexico and Australia 's “youth peer panels” which besides the different name work in a very similar manner to the programs used in the United States of America. Teen Court was founded in order to give communities a way to deal with delinquency and primarily acts as a prevention and diversion program in order to battle recidivism rates giving the community a way to make a practical response to the problems pertaining to delinquency and may be used as an alternative to suspension from school and formal police complaint.
Teen Courts rapid growth also goes to show what the local community can be capable of due to Teen Court’s humble beginnings as a local grass-roots movement which owes a large part of its success to its adult leaders for implementing and operating the program to this day as Teen Court is currently operated as a joint venture between many different agencies and organizations, including schools and the community at large, which is a key reason why the pro...
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...across America account for over 129,540 juvenile cases in just a one-year period (Peterson, 2009). The study also showed how of the of the 129,540 juvenile cases 116,144 were accepted by local youth court programs and while only 111,868 of those cases actually proceeded to court. Furthermore of those 111,868 juvenile cases 97,578 ended with the offender completing their peer imposed sentence. Which means that for the year of 2008 Teen Court and its other affiliate court programs boasted an 88% completion rate meaning 88% of offenders completed their peer imposed sentence. Which is approximately 15% more than their counterparts in the traditional juvenile justice programs, which report only about a 70% to 75% completion rate, as many youthful offenders processed by the standard juvenile justice system often times don 't complete their sentence (Peterson, 2009).
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