In Support of Youth Courts
Enacted: Jul 2004
WHEREAS, youth courts—also known as teen courts, peer courts and student courts— are one of the fastest growing crime intervention and prevention programs in the nation;
WHEREAS, youth volunteers, under the supervision of adult volunteers, act as judges, jurors, clerks, bailiffs, and counsel for youth who are charged with minor delinquent and status offenses, problem behaviors or minor infractions of school rules, and who consent to participate in the program;
WHEREAS, youth courts engage the community in a partnership with the juvenile justice system, youth programs, schools, attorneys, judges, and police departments working together to form and expand diversionary programs responding to juvenile crime and problem behavior;
WHEREAS, youth courts increase the awareness of delinquency issues and problem behavior on a local level and mobilize community members, including youth, to take an active civic role in addressing the problem. Youth courts exemplify the practices of empowering youth through involvement in developing community solutions to problems, teaching decision-making, and applying leadership skills;
WHEREAS, youth courts design effective program services and sentencing options that hold youth accountable, repair the harm to the victim and the community, and contribute to public safety;
WHEREAS, youth courts promote attitudes, activities, and behaviors that create and maintain safe and vital communities where crime and delinquency cannot flourish; and youth court practices provide a foundation for crime prevention and community justice initiatives, as well as embrace the principles of restorative justice.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the American Probation and Parole Association hereby recognizes the importance of youth courts to our communities and recommends that probation, parole, and community supervision agencies support and assist in the formation and expansion of diversionary programs, known as youth courts.