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NCJ Number: 65921 Find in a Library
Title: YOUTH COURT - ONE WAY OF DEALING WITH DELINQUENTS
Journal: FBI LAW ENFORCEMENT BULLETIN  Volume:49  Issue:3  Dated:(MARCH 1980)  Pages:16-21
Author(s): J SWACKHAMMER; C ROBERTS
Corporate Author: Federal Bureau of Investigation
US Dept of Justice
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: Federal Bureau of Investigation
Washington, DC 20535-0001
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Publisher: https://www.fbi.gov 
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: IN HORSEHEADS, N.Y., A YOUTH COURT COMPOSED OF YOUNG PEOPLE APPOINTED TO JUDGE THEIR PEERS HANDLES MISDEMEANORS. THIS ARTICLE DISCUSSES THE OPERATION OF THIS PROGRAM AND ITS EFFECTIVENESS.
Abstract: YOUNG PEOPLE BETWEEN THE AGES OF 10 AND 19 SERVE ON THE COURT, DEVELOPED AS A DELINQUENCY PREVENTION AND CONTROL PROGRAM; THEY ACT AS JUDGES, LAW GUARDIANS (PUBLIC DEFENDERS), FACTS ATTORNEYS (PROSECUTORS), AND CLERKS. TO BECOME COURT MEMBERS, YOUTHS MUST VOLUNTEER, MUST ATTEND A 10-WEEK, 20-HOUR TRAINING COURSE TAUGHT BY LOCAL ATTORNEYS, JUDGES, AND TEACHERS, AND MUST PASS A COMPREHENSIVE EXAMINATION. FOUR SEPARATE COURTS CONSTITUTE THE YOUTH COURT, EACH OF WHICH CONVENES MONTHLY. THE COURT HAS JURISDICTION OVER YOUTHS AGED 7 THROUGH 15, AND REFERRALS ARE MADE TO THE COURT ONLY BY POLICE AGENCIES. MOREOVER, AN ARRESTING OFFICER HAS CONSIDERABLE LATTITUDE IN DETERMINING WHETHER A PARTICULAR OFFENSE WILL BE TRIED IN YOUTH OR FAMILY COURT. NO FELONY CHARGES ARE HANDLED BY YOUTH COURT. THE PRIMARY OFFENSES CHARGED ARE PETTY LARCENY, CRIMINAL MISCHIEF, CRIMINAL TRESPASS, AND DISORDERLY CONDUCT. A TYPICAL CASE, WHEN FOLLOWED FROM INCEPTION TO CONCLUSION, SHOWS THAT AN ATTEMPT IS MADE TO TAILOR THE PUNISHMENT TO FIT THE CRIME. THE DISPOSITION OF THE CASE CAN BE (1) DISMISSAL, (2) SUSPENDED JUDGMENT, (3) SENTENCE OF UP TO 50 WORK HOURS, (4) CONDITIONAL DISCHARGE AND/OR WORK HOURS, (5) AN ESSAY PAPER REQUIREMENT, OR (6) MANDATORY ATTENDANCE AT TRAFFIC AND/OR CRIMINAL COURT. RESULTS INDICATE THAT, OUT OF 400 YOUTHS PROCESSED OVER A 3.5-YEAR PERIOD, ONLY 2 HAVE BEEN INSTITUTIONALIZED, AND THE OVERALL RATE OF RECIDIVISM IS LESS THAN 10 PERCENT. MOREOVER, AN ADVANTAGE OF THE COURT IS ITS JURISDICTION OVER MINOR CASES WHICH WOULD NEVER BE CONSIDERED BY FAMILY COURT, SUCH AS BICYCLE VIOLATION AND TRUANCY. BY APPLYING THE LAWS FAIRLY, YOUTH MAY DEVELOP A BETTER UNDERSTANDING AND RESPECT FOR THE LAW AND THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM. HOWEVER, SOME POLICE OFFICERS REMAIN UNCONVINCED OF THE COURT'S VALUE TO THE COMMUNITY. COURT COSTS AND MINOR JURISDICTIONAL SQUABBLES ARE NOTED. A YOUTH COURT SUMMONS FORM IS INCLUDED. (WJR)
Index Term(s): Alternative dispute settlement; Juvenile court procedures; Juvenile courts; Juvenile delinquency prevention; Juvenile status offenders; New York
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=65921

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