First Advisor

Chris Shortell

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Political Science and University Honors


Political Science


Juvenile corrections -- Oregon -- Case studies, Juvenile justice, Administration of -- Oregon -- Citizen participation -- Case studies, Restorative justice, Juvenile courts -- Oregon




Youth Courts are diversionary programs for first time misdemeanors committed by youth. The court is made up of the youth's peers who interact with the defendant and ultimately impose a sentence. In this study two Oregon Youth Courts are examined to discover if the program goals of restorative justice are present. The courts utilize a specific style of peer jury model, called the "Grand Jury style" because the jurors ask the questions and decide the case. Eight cases are observed with a subset of jurors surveyed about sentencing decisions. Restorative justice principles are found through both modes of data collection. The observation describes the unique program while the survey supplements with an insight into juror thought processes. Social control and empowerment theories are also considered as plausible explanations of behavior.


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