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 between the ages of 7 and 18 (7-15 Youth Court, 16-18 Youth Court PLUS) 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
Allan O’Brien is a former school administrator who brings a strong knowledge of youth to his position. He has a bachelor's degree in French Language and Literature from S.U.N.Y Potsdam, a Masters in Education from S.U.N.Y Potsdam, a C.A.S. in Educational Administration from S.U.N.Y Oswego, and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from Vanderbilt University. In addition to his scholarly and professional background, Allan brings a great deal of excitement and enthusiasm for the work he does for the resolution center. He strongly believes in Restorative Justice and strives to help as many Youth as possible.