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Teen Court: An Effective Intervention for Youth at Risk of Interpersonal Violence and Substance Abuse

NCJ Number
Journal of Correctional Education Volume: 52 Issue: 4 Dated: December 2001 Pages: 149-151
E. Jane Irons Ed.D.; Roland Jones
Date Published
December 2001
3 pages
This article discusses the Denton, TX, Teen Court, a collaborative multiagency program that has received recognition as a State and national model.
The unique characteristic of the program is the number of collaborating agencies and individuals who work together on the governing board to make the program highly successful. Agencies and individuals represented on the board include courts, law enforcement, independent school districts, institutions of higher education, the Texas Youth Commission juvenile probation, Denton Bar Association, community business groups, parents, private citizens and youth representatives, and the Boys and Girls Club. The program is beginning its fourth year of operation and serves youths ages 12-17 years and others in high school who receive Class C citations and admit their guilt. The teen courts consist of volunteers ages 12-18 years. The court requires parental participation. Four specific interventions used to thwart violent behavior and provide health awareness concerning the use of illicit drugs and alcohol include a 4-hour program called the Impact Program for female offenders and those under age 13, the McFadden Ranch Texas Youth Commission Substance Abuse Intervention Program, community service for violent behavior, and counseling and drug abuse intervention. The court has involved increasing numbers of youths each year and has established a State and national reputation. Table and 9 references