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 Southcoast 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 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. In the first four years of operation our young people have dedicated over 5,000 hours of community service to their community in the form of neighborhood / park clean ups, beautification projects, graffiti projects, and community gardening, and many more.
In 2013 Fall River Youth Court has teamed up with the City of Fall River and the Community Development Agency on the City of Service Initiative Grant. This grant will allow for 40 garden beds to be created and maintained throughout the city. Projects like this are extremely valuable to our young people because it allows that to be involved in the planning, creating, and implementing of the project. Essentially if will be the young people who come through the program that will continue to take care of these beautification projects that will eventually become part of their neighborhoods for years to come. This project is just one of many ways our young people are reconnected to the community in a more positive way through service learning projects, and a way to help them leave behind a positive impact in their own backyard.