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Abstract

Youth courts provide an efficient—albeit unconventional—alternative to the formal juvenile justice system. Although structures of youth courts vary, the purpose remains the same: to rehabilitate and deter youth offenders in a forum largely governed by their minor peers—one free of the stigma associated with the traditional justice system. This Note examines the expansion of youth courts; various structures of the courts; advantages and disadvantages of a system driven by peer mentorship and peer decision- making; typical sanctions imposed on a juvenile offender; and the wider implications of youth court from an economic and social justice perspective.

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