Posted on May 3, 2024
Categories: school climate & support, Youth Court

School-based Youth Court is a student-run restorative justice program that helps students to problem-solve and mediate conflicts instead of relying on traditional forms of punishment. The goal of Youth Court is to support a student in repairing the harm that their actions have caused. The School District of Philadelphia started implementing school-based Youth Court in the 2017-18 school year.

While research has shown promising results from studies supporting restorative practices in schools as an alternative to suspension, less attention has been paid specifically to school-based Youth Court.

This brief explores the following research questions:

  1. Is there a relationship between schools implementing a Youth Court and the rate of suspensions?
  2. What are the perceptions of Youth Court among those who participate in the student jury? Specifically, what do student jurors say are the benefits or positive outcomes of Youth Court participation for themselves and their schools?

Future research will focus on the experiences of students referred to Youth Court.