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Role of Restorative Justice in Teen Courts: A Preliminary Look

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2001
8 pages
This paper examines integration into teen courts of more restorative justice-based practices.
The primary stakeholders in restorative justice are victims, offenders, and the community. Goals of restorative justice include accountability, competency development, and community protection. The emphasis on victims' roles in restorative justice is about choice, for offenders it is change, and for the community it is bonding and building relationships. The paper suggests the need to examine the relationship between teen courts and more traditional interventions based on restorative justice principles (e.g., victim offender mediation, family group conferencing, sentencing circles, and community accountability boards) in order to determine constructive ways to form partnerships and to learn reciprocal lessons. The goals of restorative practice are clear: more effective services for respondents, victims, and the community; better respondent accountability; increased skills and competencies for respondents; improved relationships among respondents and their families, friends, victims and community; and more meaningful community involvement in solving local problems. The paper describes as "exciting and promising" the prospects for applying these principles in teen courts. Table, figures, references, bibliography

Date Published: January 1, 2001