New York Times – Opinionator

For Teen Offenders, Hope in a Jury of Their Peers

By Tina Rosenberg
… Since 2003, the one-year re-arrest rate for people who come through Youth Court is 11 percent, compared to the formal juvenile justice re-arrest rate of around 25 percent.  The difference might be expected, however, given that the Youth Court only takes first-time nonviolent offenders.  (No one has compared rates for teens in D.C. Youth Court with similar teens in the formal system.)   But a study by the Urban Institute did make this comparison in youth courts in Alaska, Arizona, Maryland and Missouri.  They found that recidivism in youth courts was from one-third to one-half the rate of teens processed for similar offenses in the formal system.

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