A program for today’s youth. Youth Court is designed to develop respect for authority, the community, and to stop potential delinquent behavior in youths. Youth Court capitalizes on positive peer influences. Youth Court’s jury member and bailiffs are all young people.
Youth Court is administered by the Perry County Sheriff’s Office and Perry County State’s Attorney’s Office.
Youth Court Program Goals
Through the Youth Court pilot program our goal is to fully implement a peer jury model program using youth and adult volunteers, as a continuing alternative to formal juvenile probation processing and formal juvenile court proceedings. Offenders will go to Youth Court within 30 days of the referral, and will commence their sentence within 14 days of the hearing. The youth will complete their sentence within the prescribed period of time allowed by the Youth Court. A review/progress report will be presented to the Youth Court 60 to 90 days after sentencing. Majority of the sentences may include assignment to the Youth Court Jury Duty, Community Service Projects and Financial Restitution. Successful completion means that the juvenile offender will not be formally prosecuted or charges referred to the Perry County State’s Attorney’s Office and in some cases no record of the offense and will not be considered delinquent. Youth Court would like to see a recidivism rate of 10% or less for Youth Court Defendants.
Youth Court Program represents an alternative approach to juvenile justice that holds juvenile offenders accountable for a sentence imposed by jury of their peers. By offering this alternative system, we allow youth who have made poor decisions an opportunity to recognize their mistakes and learn valuable lessons. At the same time participating youth increase respect for themselves, schools, law enforcement, the community, and the legal system. Our biggest goal is to educate youth who make unfavorable decisions to be accountable for their actions in an effort to prevent any further involvement in the juvenile justice system.
Our purpose is also to educate and motivate youth volunteers. Youth volunteers are able to participate in an actual court setting and have a positive impact on their peers, while providing valuable services to the community, and doing so, gain valuable experience for their future. Youth Court serves as a prevention program for youth volunteers as well as Youth Court Defendants.
Youth Court Application – Download (.PDF)