The 2014-2015 ASK Youth Court Program begins November 5th. See you there!

ASK 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.

Deadline for the 2014-2015 school year has passed. Please stay tuned for next year!

Yorktown Youth Court Schedule

November 5, 2014

November 19, 2014

December 3, 2014

December 17, 2014

January 7, 2015

January 21, 2015

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