Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

Evaluation of the pilot Teen Courts

The effect of the pilot Teen courts will be evaluated by means of a programme, process and effect study based on qualitative research methods.

2015 - 2018
Denise Verkroost
Stichting Jongerenrechtbanken Nederland Stichting Jongerenrechtbanken Nederland

The pilot Teen courts takes place at three high schools in Amsterdam. The aim of the pilot is to settle conflicts that take place within the school, by students themselves, without reporting the conflict to the police for example. The disposals of the teen court are geared towards restoration for all parties involved. 

During the school year 2015-2016 a program and process evaluation have been conducted of the project. The program evaluation of the pilot Teen courts aimed to examine the extent to which the pilot was set up in a programmatic manner and the extent to which the intended target group was reached with this project. The process evaluation aimed to examine to what extent the practical implementation of the pilot project was in line with the project and work plan, as drawn up in preparation of the pilot. This study shows that during the execution of the project implementers are running up against problems that could not be previously expected (Procesevaluatie van de pilot jongerenrechtbanken). On a number of issues still no consensus is reached between different teachers and schools. This concerns for example which cases are suitable for treatment by the youth court, how the notification of cases should take place, but also the roles of the various stakeholders and the role of the police in the project. This will need more coordination between the various actors involved in the teen court. Based on this study several (practical) recommendations are made.

During the school year 2017-2018 an effect evaluation of the project will be conducted. This part of the study aims to examine both the legal status of the teen court, by means of a legal analysis, based on Dutch legislation and the international children’s rights framework. Moreover, it is studied to which extent predefined targets are effectuated in practice. Based on the results of this study it is determined to which extent the teen court has an added value compared to existing disposals in the juvenile justice system.

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