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ASK Yorktown Youth Court

“Youth Court allowed me the chance to explore my interests in the judicial system at a young age. I was allowed to learn and be exposed to what is involved in judicial proceedings which has helped to lead me down a          potential career path as an       attorney. I met so many new     people and assisted in changing the lives of defendants, putting them back on track by giving them a chance to give back to the community in a positive way. My experience and connections made through Youth Court led me to an internship with a local legal aid attorney.  Without Youth Court, I never would have been able to explore my interests in the legal system. It’s one thing to watch cases or hear about them, but actually being able to participate and take on roles in real community cases is an incredible, life-changing   experience.” - Nicole Tolli Member of Yorktown Youth Court

“Without Youth Court, I never would have been able to explore my interests in the legal system. It’s one thing to watch cases or hear about them, but actually being able to participate and take on roles in real community cases is an incredible, life-changing experience.” – Nicole,
Member of Yorktown Youth Court

The ASK Yorktown Youth Court, founded in 2007, is a program based on a national program developed by the federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP).  The Youth Court is a voluntary alternative to Family Court and the criminal justice system. It is organized and run by teens, adjudicating misdemeanor cases involving other teens with the goal of reducing juvenile delinquency. Youth Court members serve in the roles of Judge, Prosecutor, Defense Attorney, Jury, Clerk, and Bailiff.  The legal and binding procedure determines a fair and restorative sentence in the form of community service hours for the youth offender.

The program offers these teens an opportunity to assume responsibility for their actions; it also promotes a desire for self-improvement, fosters a healthy understanding of and attitude toward rules and authority, and provides a chance to learn about the justice system. Youth Court also offers parents and the community a constructive and positive means to hold youthful offenders accountable for problem behaviors, including behavior that previously may have received little or no attention from the criminal justice system, or when corrective responses by parents, guardians, or the community have had little or no impact.

Youth Court volunteer members range in age from 13 to 19. They complete a comprehensive training program overseen by professionals in the field, including police officers, social workers, members of the District Attorney’s office, and other sectors of the legal community. It concludes with a mock trial and bar exam to ensure that the volunteer members have achieved the necessary knowledge and confidence to fulfill their roles.

APPLICATIONS ARE AVAILABLE to participate in Yorktown Youth Court for 2015-2016. ASK invites students in grades 8-12 to complete an application and return it to their School Resource Officer (SRO) by Friday, October 23, 2015.

Yorktown Youth Court Schedule

Please check back for the 2015-2016 schedule.

Benefits of Youth Court

Youth courts have existed across the country for over thirty years and have been found to benefit the justice system, communities, and youth offenders. Benefits include:

--Reduced rates of recidivism.

--Increased development of pro-social leadership skills.

--Engagement in positive dialogue among family members.

--Cost savings for the justice system.

--Heightened self esteem for youth participants.

To Learn More:

The National Association of Youth Courts

Wikipedia: Youth Court