THE HEARING NIGHT
Respondents and their families show up on their scheduled hearing night a 1/2 hour prior to their hearing time to meet with their peer defense team. They will review the facts of the incident and assist the respondent in proper courtroom procedures. The families will have the opportunity to review the jury list and prosecution team to ensure an impartial proceeding. The respondent is required to testify on their own behalf. Victims, witnesses, and parents may choose to testify or write a statement to be presented on their behalf. After the hearing, the peer jury will deliberate and present appropriate sanctions. Sanctions may include such things as community service, jury duty, clinical assessments, apologies, curfews, mandatory programs, and/or essays.
Respondents will have between 90 and 120 days to complete their sanctions. To prevent further punitive action, sanctions must be completed and respondents are monitored by a Youth Court case manager for the remainder of their sanction period.
REFERRAL AND INTAKE PROCESS
Youth Court is an alternative to traditional prosecution. A referring agency (School, Police, or Court) may decide a young person is a candidate for Youth Court. That referral agency will complete a consent form with the young person and their parent/ guardian. The consent form authorizes the release of the incident report to the Youth Court Staff. Once a complete referral packet (signed consent form, official report and any other supporting documentation) has been received, the Youth Court Staff will contact the family to set up an intake. The intake must take place. At the intake appointment families will receive a copy of their hearing notice and all the information they will need to be successful at Youth Court.
Components of Youth Court