Youth Court of Jeﬀerson County is an alternative to the more complex criminal and juvenile justice system.
This innovative approach to juvenile justice serves our county as an early intervention option for first and some preapproved 2nd-time offenders who have committed minor offenses.
It is designed to help eligible youths between the ages of 7 and 18 (7-15 Youth Court, 16-18 Youth Court PLUS) have their court case heard in a real courtroom with youth volunteers serving as prosecuting and defense attorneys, court clerks, bailiffs and judges rather than become involved in Family Court, Jefferson County Probation Department or the Jefferson County Criminal Court.
Through the use of Restorative Justice principles, participating youth will learn about the juvenile justice system and be held accountable for his/her behavior by his community and peers.
Youth Court is a voluntary diversion program.
Youth offenders referred to Youth Court are not required to proceed in Youth Court of Jefferson County and may elect to proceed in the appropriate state court if they choose
|School rules are broken
||People and relationships are harmed
|Justice focuses on establishing guilt
||Justice identifies needs and responsibility
|Accountability = punishment
||Accountability = Understanding impact and repairing harm
|Justice directed at the offender; the victim is ignored
||Offender, victim and school all have direct roles in the justice process
|Rules and intent outweigh whether outcome is positive or negative
||Offender is responsible for harmful behavior, repairing harm and working towards positive outcomes
|Limited opportunity for expressing remorse or making amends.
||Opportunity given to make amends and express remorse.
How do I become a Member of the Court?
Youth Court volunteers are between 14 and 20 years of age and can be a student from any school in Jefferson County to include local colleges.
You and your child have received a Youth Court appearance ticket. Please call the Youth Court office at (315) 836-8504 within 5 business days to schedule an intake appointment with your child.