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Welcome to Youth Court

Youth Court of Jefferson County is an alternative to the more complex criminal and juvenile justice system. This innovative approach to juvenile justice serves our county as an early intervention option for first and some preapproved 2nd-time offenders who have committed minor offenses.

It is designed to help eligible youths ages 10 to 17 have their court case heard in a real courtroom with youth volunteers serving as prosecuting and defense attorneys, court clerks, bailiffs and judges rather than become involved in Family Court, Jefferson County Probation Department or the Jefferson County Criminal Court. Through the use of Restorative Justice principles, participating youth will learn about the juvenile justice system and be held accountable for his/her behavior by his/her community and peers.

Youth Court is a voluntary diversion program. Youth offenders referred to Youth Court are not required to proceed in Youth Court of Jefferson County and may elect to proceed in the appropriate state court if they choose.

Teen study group

Interested in Volunteering?

Youth Court volunteers are between 7th and 12th grades and can be a student from any school in Jefferson County. All training is provided to volunteers in a safe and friendly environment. If you are interested in applying, please fill out an application and send it the the Youth Court Director. If you have any questions, feel free to call or email the Youth Court Director.

Traditional Approach

  • School rules are broken

  • Justice focuses on establishing guilt

  • Accountability = Punishment

  • Justice directed at the offender; the victim is ignored

  • Rules and intent outweigh whether outcome is positive or negative

  • Limited opportunity for expressing remorse or making amends.

Restorative Justice Approach

  • School rules are broken

  • Justice focuses on identifying harm

  • Accountability = Repairing Harm

  • Justice focuses on the victim; offender responsible to community

  • System seeks positive outcome for everyone within the rules

  • Limitless opportunities for expressing remorse or making amends.

My Child Received an Appearance Ticket

If you and your child have received a Youth Court appearance ticket, please call the Youth Court office at within 5 business days to schedule an intake appointment with your child.

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