History of South Coast Youth Courts
History of Fall River Youth Court
Fall River Youth Court (FRYC) is a juvenile diversion program that began in 2009 as part of the South Coast Youth Court Initiative. NBYC and FRYC are practically identical programs that are modeled after the principles of restorative justice. Fall River Youth Court has it’s own set of bi-laws as well as an advisory board that mirrors many of the same types of members as the New Bedford program.
During the end of the second year and beginning of the third year, the Southcoast initiative underwent a huge financial crisis. Unfortunately, it became impossible to continue running both youth courts to the fullest extent. After a long push for extra funding, and unfortunately not meeting the financial goal, the decision was made to no longer accept new referrals in Fall River. In early 2012 South Coast Youth Courts received a major federal grant that would help Fall River move back into full operation, and we did so at full speed. Between March 2012 and December 2012 with an overwhelming welcoming back into the community, the program processed over 70 cases. Since that time, FRYC has begun its expansion of sanctioned programming and service learning projects in the community. Fall River Youth Court currently serves Fall River, Somerset, and Swansea.
Fall River Youth Court has had a long standing relationship with the City of Fall River as well as the individual Neighborhood Associations, Park Advocate groups, Salvation Army, CDRecreation, soup kitchens, and others through our community service program. Fall River Youth Court averages approximately 800-1000 hours of community service per year to our local neighborhoods.
Throughout the last several years Fall River Youth Court has focused on creating positive relationships with surrounding agencies and programs such as City of Fall River, Fall River Police Department, Fall River Public Schools, Fall River Housing Authority, CD Recreation, local soup kitchens, Gifts to Give, and other agencies.
We continue to expand our efforts to provide meaningful training to local high school and college aged students. Over 100 students have undergone the 20+hour training that allows that to be volunteer attorneys within our court room. Being a volunteer attorney provides hands on experiences and public speaking abilities, while making a difference in a young person's life.