Youth Court

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 hearing 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

Youth Court and Its Effect on Education

Youth Court Pictures