What is Youth Court?
YOUTH COURT is a diversion program that constructively sentences youthful offenders. It helps them become accountable to the community for their unlawful behavior, by accepting responsibility for their behavior.
YOUTH COURTH is designed to serve first time offenders, ages 7 – 15, charged with offenses such as:
* Criminal Mischief, etc.
Juvenile Probation Officers and Police Officers refer offenders to Youth Court as an alternative to traditional juvenile sanctions.
YOUTH COURT is held in an actual courtroom, approximately once a month.
How Does Youth Court Work?
- By agreeing to participate in YOUTH COURT, the offender must admit to his/her guilt.
- The youth will appear before a peer judge.
- Youth defense counsel will be assigned to represent the offender.
- Youth prosecution will be assigned to represent the community interests.
- The prosecution and defense will discuss the case details and decide what they believe to be an appropriate sentence.
- After appearing before the judge and hearing the charges, the judge will then either agree to the sentencing or choose one that he/she may feel appropriate.
The juvenile offender may be sentenced to up to 100 hours of community service, and/or educational classes, such as:
¨ Anger Management
¨ Drug & Alcohol Prevention
¨ Negative Peer Pressure and Positive Self-Esteem
They may also be assigned to prepare an essay, write a letter of apology or to pay restitution.
Who operates Youth Court?
* Members of YOUTH COURT are volunteers, ages 14 – 19, who are enrolled in public or private school .
* Members must successfully complete a training program which includes instruction on criminal justice.
* Members, while under direct adult supervision, assume the roles of judge, prosecutor, defense counsel, court clerk, and bailiff questioning the offender, deliberating and imposing sentences.
* Members serve on a rotating basis and are required to sign an Oath of Confidentiality before participating in YOUTH COURT.
* Volunteers are given the opportunity to learn about responsible citizenship and law and develop skills in public speaking, deliberation, mediation, and pro-social leadership through hands-on experience.
* In order to become a member of YOUTH COURT you will be required to fill out an application, attend a one-time training session, and shadow current Youth Court Members in all court roles.
Why join Youth Court?
- Learn about the justice system.
- Set an example for your peers.
- Deter you peers from further crime.
- Volunteer/serve in your community.
- Enhance college entry applications.
- Possible class/school/National Honor Society credit for community service requirements
- Develop public speaking skills.
If your interested in becoming a member of Youth Court, call the Towns of Haverstraw/Stony Point Youth Offices for an application.
Det. Andrew Kryger can be reached at 845-786-2242 or email firstname.lastname@example.org