What is Youth Court?
Youth led and youth driven. The judge, prosecutor, defense attorney, jurors, bailiff, court clerk and defendants are all teenagers. They hear cases of first time traffic offenders with misdemeanor charges. The jurors will decide the sanctions to be imposed. They can range from community service, written or oral apology to victim or others, essay related to the offense, improve grades and they will serve as a juror in two cases.
In order for a defendant to participate in youth court, they will have to agree to enter into a diversion agreement in which they admit to the facts of the case and agree to follow the sanctions in the case. The case will be sent back to Municipal Court. If they complete their sanctions, they will not have a juvenile record.
Why Is It Needed?
Adolescence is a time when young people are developing skills, habits, and attitudes that will prepare them for transition into responsible adulthood. Teen court programs serve a dual function. In addition to providing a mechanism for holding youthful offenders accountable and educating youth on the legal system, teen courts also provide youth in the community with an avenue for developing, enhancing, and practicing life skills.
The skills learned, combined with the education received on the legal and judicial system from participating in youth court programs, can cause youth to re-think their views on delinquent behavior and lead them to adopt more pro-social attitudes. This outcome ultimately can enhance public safety.
The program will allow our youth to assume leadership roles and actively participate in addressing the problem of juvenile crime in our community.
- » Kansas Bar Association
» City Youth Services