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Selected Topics on Youth Courts: A Monograph

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2004
125 pages

Six papers address various aspects of youth courts and the types of cases they handle, including truancy and substance abuse, and they discuss various issues associated with court structure and operations.


The first paper presents an overview of the scope of the problem of truancy, the benefits in addressing truancy in youth courts, effective strategies for working with truants, and possible benchmarks for youth courts to use when measuring success in truancy-reduction efforts. The second paper discusses some strategies youth courts can use to work more effectively with youth referred to the program for alcohol-related and other substance-abuse problems. An overview of school-based youth court programs is provided in the third paper. This includes design options, resources for program development and implementation, program and policy issues, and implementation. The fourth paper opens with a background review of Tribal justice systems, with attention to how these systems address problem youth. The incorporation of Tribal justice philosophy and cultural strengths into the youth court are discussed. The fifth paper presents findings from interviews with representatives of State youth court associations and networking groups to determine their purpose, organizational structure, and activities, as well as the advantages and challenges of forming such an association. The sixth paper presents guidelines for youth courts to use in developing policies and structures for managing the media.

Date Published: May 1, 2004