What types of cases are heard in Youth Court?
Youth Court cases are generally referred by the District Attorney's Office, the
school, or Municipal Court. Typically, cases heard in Youth Court include:
- Criminal Damage to Property
- Criminal Trespass
- Disorderly Conduct
- Curfew Violations
- Minor in Possession (consumption)
- Harassment by Telephone
What happens in Youth Court?
A youth, who has admitted involvement in to an offense appears before a jury of
peers for a sentencing hearing. Youth volunteers serve in the roles of
prosecuting and defense attorneys, judge, bailiff and jury members.
The jury is presented with evidence relevant to the facts of the case.
Additionally, the offender and his/her parent or guardian, along with any
identified victim in the matter, are given an opportunity to address the Court.
The jury deliberates and passes a sentence appropriate to the offense committed.
Sanctions imposed typically include:
- community service work,
- a victim apology letter,
- restitution (monetary or in-kind when warranted),
- educational workshop
In addition, all youth who appear before Youth Court later serve as a Youth
What are the benefits of Youth Court?
Youth Court offers a means for holding juvenile offenders accountable for
problem behaviors. If the program is successfully completed, the youth
avoids a formal juvenile record. Moreover, Youth Court provides an avenue
for community youth to assume leadership roles and actively take part in
addressing the problem of juvenile crime in their community.