Youth Peer Court Background

History of Youth Peer Court

The Beaverton Youth Peer Court Program is the result of innovation and support from the Beaverton Police Department, Washington County Juvenile Department, Beaverton Together, Beaverton School District, and Washington County Bar Association.

Through working with students in Beaverton's middle and high schools, it was found that many young people were not being held accountable for their mistakes. Without suitable deterrents from the community, many youths would make poor choices which would not only affect the community, but would adversely affect their own life paths as well.

In an effort to remedy this situation, youth courts being tested in other parts of the country were studied, including programs in Denver, Colorado; and in San Francisco, Danville, and San Ramon, California. Due to the success of these youth courts, not only has the juvenile delinquent rate been reduced in these cities, but the youths have the opportunity to be involved in the justice system without creating a criminal juvenile record. Additionally, the youth court volunteers have the opportunity to spend their free time developing an understanding of the country's legal system while being involved in a meaningful community project.