Youth Court Resources

Helpful Information from Around the Web

Background on Youth Courts

Background Information about Youth Court Programs and their Merits

Serving Communities, Changing Lives: Youth Court Success Stories
Essays about the experiences of youth volunteers, respondents, staff, and parentsinvolved in youth court programs.

Teen Courts: A Promising Prevention Strategy?
Transcript of a radio conversation with Dr. Jeffrey Butts covering the merits and potential weaknesses of youth court programs.

Guide for Implementing the Balanced and Restorative Justice Model
Funded by a grant from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, this guide outlines the components of the Balanced and Restorative Justice Model and provides information about the most effective ways to integrate it into appropriately positioned programs.

Peer Justice and Youth Empowerment: An Implementation Guide for Teen Court Programs
Guide describing the history and effectiveness of youth courts. Also provides information on community organization, program development and design, recruiting and training of volunteers, program evaluation, and legal issues for youth court practitioners.

Striving to Stop the School to Prison Pipeline

How “Raising the Age” Is Transforming Youth Justice

Youth Courts: An Idea Whose Time Has Come?
by Gregg Volz

Juvenile Referrals Made Annually

Juvenile Referrals Accepted Annually

Juveniles Proceeded with Hearings

Juveniles Completed the Program

Research and Studies

From The Urban Institute: The Impact of Teen Court on Young Offenders
Report from the Evaluation of Teen Courts Project (ETC), which studied four youth courts in different states to measure attitudes and recidivism outcomes of over 500 referred youth offenders.

Youth Court: A Community Solution for Embracing At-Risk Youth
Report on the findings of a nationwide survey of 365 youth court coordinators, providing an overview of programs, and their characteristics and benefits.

Report on Youth Court Initiative in Western PA

From the Hamilton Fish Institute on School and Community Violence
This report is an attempt to add to our knowledge of youth courts by looking at questions concerning their operation; the extent of volunteer activity; how they function as they mature; and the amount and types of resources they employ. This report is based on a national survey of youth courts that includes ten (10) questions focused on program outcomes and six (6) operational and administrative questions. From these questions, the OJJDP can provide policy makers and court practitioners with guidance on how to build and sustain an organizational structure that allows youth courts to successfully fulfill their mission of preventing young offenders from repeating antisocial behaviors, while relying on volunteers and even ex-offenders, to be part of the process.

Support for Youth Courts

Philadelphia Bar Association Resolution on Youth Courts

A Law School Professor’s Perspective on Youth Court

Pennsylvania Department of Education Letter of Support for Youth Courts

PBA President Thomas G. Wilkinson Jr. testified before the Philadelphia City Council Committee on Public Safety in favor of the establishment of youth courts on June 19, 2012. Read Wilkinson’s testimony.


A Resolution
This resolution directs the Joint State Government Commission to study the use and effects of youth courts in the education and juvenile justice systems, establish an advisory committee to conduct a thorough and comprehensive analysis of the benefits and effectiveness of youth courts and report to the Senate its findings and recommendations.

Delinquents or Criminals? Policy Options for Young Offenders
Article recommending policy reformation supporting the creation of more specialty courts for youth.

Policy Brief
This 10-page policy brief from 2004 provides perspectives from local, state and federal policy makers. It describes types of support that can be offered to programs and how to market the program to policy makers on various levels. This policy brief was funded and published by the Office of Juvenile Justice/U.S. Department of Justice and the American Probation and Parole Association.

Restorative Justice

Restorative Justice Online
Website providing comprehensive information about restorative justice and discussion forums. Of particular note is the Lecture Hall section, which offers resources for students and teachers interested in learning more about restorative justice.

An Inventory and Examination of Restorative Justice Practices for Youth in Illinois