“Educators are looking for strategies to hold youth accountable while keeping them in the classroom and engaged in school,” the grant said. “One such strategy is the school-based youth court. In this program, pro-social youth occupy all the court roles: jury, judge, prosecutor, defender, and clerk/bailiff. Offenders have their case heard and receive a peer-imposed sentence, usually some type of community service.”
“School-based youth courts have been implemented in over 400 sites nationally,” the grant continued. “However, despite their popularity, there has been no rigorous study of their effectiveness. This project proposes a national impact study of the four most common school-based youth court models.”
The study will cost taxpayers $1,836,976 to study different types of youth courts, which can be run through a school or partnership with a juvenile justice program or community group.
One thousand participants will be included in the study, which will analyze the “moderating effects of race/ethnicity and gender.”
“As the largest and most ambitious randomized trial ever conducted of school-based youth courts, this study will greatly contribute to knowledge about the efficacy of school based youth courts,” the grant said. “An aggressive dissemination campaign via multiple scientific and policy/practice channels is proposed.”
I can't imagine how this would go wrong.
As a thought experiment, which high school clique would you have unjustly targeted if given the chance? I'd have gone after the band geeks. They were truly pathetic people.