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Youth Courts: The Power of Positive Peer Pressure

NCJ Number
New York State Bar Association Journal Volume: 83 Issue: 1 Dated: January 2011 Pages: 1-68
David C. Wilkes
Date Published
January 2011
68 pages
Nine articles address the features and operations of New York State's youth courts and their impact.
"Youth Courts: A Chance to Build Hope" reviews the benefits of New York's youth courts, concluding that they effectively address adolescent delinquency issues. "Something Old, Something New: A Personal Story of Youth Court Origins" outlines the history of youth courts in New York State, dating back to 1962. "Teen Courts - Do They Work and Why?" concludes that there is sufficient research evidence to believe that teen courts have benefits for youth participants, their families, and communities, yet many questions remain, including whether communities are better served by teen courts that rely on youth rather than adults to manage the court process. "Youth Court Alumni Reflect Upon Their Experiences" presents the testimonies of four youth regarding the impact on their lives of four different New York county teen courts. "Keeping Kids in School and Out of Court: A School-Justice Partnership" discusses how a partnership among school administration, law enforcement, the court system, and the community can help to increase graduation rates while decreasing school suspensions, expulsions, and arrests. "Youth Court Member Personal Essays" contains four essays by members of youth courts about the value of their experiences with a youth court. "An Interview With Judy Wolfe: School Courts Use Positive Peer Pressure to Change Behavior" is the transcript of an interview with Judy Wolf, who has worked with youth courts for nearly 14 years. "Youth Court as an Option for Criminal Court Diversion" argues that "these courts represent an untapped resource to respond effectively to low-level offenses by older teens." In "Youth Courts: A Judicial Perspective," a former Family Court Judge "strongly supports" youth courts.