NOVEL

National Evaluation on Youth Courts Project
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention contracted with the Urban Institute to conduct the Evaluation of Teen Courts Project. The project’s results were released in April 2002. The following documents were published as part of that project.

Teen Courts: A Focus on Research
A Juvenile Justice Bulletin that includes a profile of teen court characteristics and implementation challenges, derived from a national survey of teen courts conducted in the project’s first phase.

Impact of Teen Court on Young Offenders 
This is the first report of findings from the Evaluation of Teen Courts Project, which was conducted by the Urban Institute and funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The Evaluation of Teen Courts Project studied teen courts in four states: Alaska, Arizona, Maryland, and Missouri. Researchers measured pre-court attitudes and post-court recidivism among more than 500 juveniles referred to teen court for nonviolent offenses, such as shoplifting and vandalism. The study compared recidivism outcomes for teen court defendants with outcomes for youth handled by the regular juvenile justice system.

Lane County,  Oregon Youth Services (2004)  Download the publication

Research staff at the Lane County Department of Youth Services (Youth Services) conducted an evaluation of local youth courts as part of their on-going evaluation of all programs. The evaluation design included a comparison group of similar juvenile offenders who received a warning letter from Youth Services.

Local Evaluations on Youth Courts
Several youth courts have conducted evaluations on their programs on a local level. View a chart that depicts a summary of evaluation literature for youth courts.

Resources from the Evaluation and Grant Writing Training Seminar
Download the participant manual
Download the PowerPoint presentation (Part 123)

In October 2002, the Urban Institute did a one-day training on evaluation at the NYCC’s Evaluation and Grant Writing Training Seminar in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Making Evaluation for Youth Court Simpler Using Performance-Based Measures
Download the participant packet

All parts of government and private agencies are facing hard decisions on how to spend scarce dollars.  Therefore, the need to justify the value of the services that youth courts provide is becoming more important with each passing day.  The way to demonstrate the value of youth court is through meaningful evaluation.  Yet, evaluation doesn’t always have to be time intensive or costly.  Using performance-based measures, youth courts can assess both process and outcomes without great expense and without employing outside expertise.

This audio teleconference gives youth court coordinators the knowledge to articulate and demonstrate, in an objective manner, what their youth court has to offer so that the public and funding sources will be willing to support and dedicate money to the program.