What Is Youth Court?
Youth Court is a voluntary alternative to the criminal justice system for young
people who have committed a crime, an offense, or who are eligible for school suspension.
The goal of Youth Court is the intervene in early anti-social, delinquit, and criminal
behavior. Youth Court strives to promote feelings of self-esteem and a desire
for self improvement, and to foster a healthy attitude toward rules and authority.
Youth Court also offers a law related education program for young people who seek
to become members of the court.
What Happens In Youth Court?
A youth, who has admitted guilt to a crime or offense, appears for a sentencing
before a jury of peers. The jury is presented with evidence relevant
to sentencing, deliberates, and passes sentence.
Who Participates In Youth Court?
Youth Court proceedings involve an offender, jurors, and members in the role of
a judge, prosecutor, defender, clerk, bailiff, and jury foreperson. Each of
these individuals is under age nineteen. An adult serves as coordinator.
The offender must complete the sentence imposed by the jury, and in addition, must
sit as a juror at least once on cases of other offenders. The remaining jurors
are drawn from any young people who wish to volunteer. It is not mandatory
for jurors to take the course of instruction.
What Cases Are Heard?
Cases are generally referred by judges, police, probation, and school officials
to the coordinator, who accepts cases meeting established criteria. Typical
cases that may be heard in Youth Court include, but are not limited to, petit larceny,
criminal mischief, and school discipline.
What Does The Jury Decide
The jury may impose a sentence that includes community service, restitution, attendance
to classes, counseling, or any sentence it deems appropriate to the violation.
The jury cannot sentence any youth to a detention facility or jail.
Additional Youth Court Pages