Global Youth Justice
History of the Youth Justice Expansion
'Making the Time for Juvenile Crime'
The youth justice idea is documented in Maine, but no program just yet. The date is August 8, 1944. The article appeared in the Evening Journal in Lewiston, Maine. Thank you to Maine Judge Paul Cote’ for helping Global Youth Justice to document this for us all around the world. Judge Paul Cote' from Maine is a judge and runs a youth court and it just so happens - it was his grandfather back in 1944 that was a Judge and is mentioned in this article. We are still checking to see if the program ever got started. We know from this article it was being planned and this documents the Youth Justice Movement back to 1944. (Read the Article)
A local youth justice (youth court/teen court) program starts in Illinois, Texas, New York and likely Indiana based on the evidence of about 27 local youth justice staff in these four (4) states. See below for more specifics during this decade.
Missouri and the American Bar Association make key progress in the youth justice movement and about a dozen more states establish local youth justice programs. See below for more specifics during this decade.
The Global Youth Justice Movement begins to have a presence in more local communities and in more states. Texas establishes the first state level teen court association in 1990. In 1997, the United States Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) hired New York's Scott Peterson, who established the Colonie Youth Court in 1993, and a number of other Youth Courts. Scott's was charged with creating and leading the federal governments Nation Youth Justice Plan for ten (10) years. Scott remained in the Executive Branch of the United States Government for a decade (1997 to 2008) while championing the Youth Justice Movement in the United States of America to unprecedented heights. See below for more specifics during this decade.
The decade where these youth justice programs emerge as the most replicated juvenile justice diversion program in America since the first juvenile court in America was established in Cooke County, Illinois in 1899. There is still room for thousands of more local youth justice program in the USA, but the local expansion has taken hold. See below for more specifics during this decade to include the beginning of the Global Youth Justice Expansion that began in this decade.
Scott Peterson's Global Youth Justice begins the effort to achieve the 2020 Global Youth
Justice Plan adopted on
1/1/2010. Three (3) continents now have
programs and creativity is taking place in hundreds
of local programs. The Global Youth Justice
Movement is expected to make considerable progress in
this decade. In 2010, Global Youth Justice and their key partners have a dozen youth justice projects in various stages of development. Global Youth Justice is already up and going strong after only two (2) years. From hosting trainings and being awarded million dollar federal grants, Global Youth Justice has taken a lead role in the USA and is building an increasingly more visible presence around the globe with trainings and events planned in 2011/2012 in Canada, Las Vegas/USA, Kobe/Japan, Massachusetts/USA, and England/UK among others. See below for more specifics regarding the early year(s) of this decade.
Five (5) Decades
Local to Global
Youth Justice Expansion
1970's, 1980's, 1990's, 2000's & 2010's
It is difficult to verify the date of the establishment of the first program. There is evidence that several of the earliest known programs were operational in the 1970’s. These include the Grand Prairie Teen Court in Texas that was established in 1976. The Town of Horseheads Youth Court in New York was established in July 1976 and was based on the model in use in Ithaca, New York. In February 2001, the Illinois Youth Court Association conducted a survey of all the youth courts in the state. Results revealed that the oldest reported youth court in Illinois is the Naperville Peer Jury, which began in 1972. In addition to these early programs in New York, Texas, and Illinois, there are reports of a program in the state of Indiana that was also operational in the 1970’s.
is not so important where and when the first program was established. It is important these programs continue to
strive to provide high quality services to the youth and their families who are
involved in these programs. Reducing the
incidence and preventing the escalation of juvenile crime is paramount in these
programs and it appears that back in the 1970’s these early pioneering adults
and youth were on to something that would eventually impact millions of youth
who have been and are involved in these programs both voluntarily and
involuntarily across America and now in other parts of the world.
By 1980, it is likely there were about five (5) local teen courts and youth courts.
During the 1980’s, support for these programs began to grow and in a few states their numbers began to increase. Also, juvenile justice professionals, the legal community, and educators began to actively promote these programs as a positive alternative to traditional juvenile justice system. These news efforts to establish these programs on a local level represented the earliest stages of a truly remarkable grassroots movement that would come to pass in the coming years and it also led to important advances in the early Global Youth Justice Movement. Still, at this point, there was no single central linking organization(s) helping to connect local programs to one another, improve their quality, and help advance the movement.
Also in 1987,
the Young Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association promoted youth
courts in a document entitled Teen Court: Preventing Recidivism of
Teenage Crime and Drug Abuse.
As 1989 came to a close, it appears there were likely about forty (40)
to fifty (50) local teen courts and youth courts in about a dozen states. Evidence exists to verify more than
twenty-seven (27) programs were operational in 1989. It is likely about two (2) more dozen
programs were operational at this time.
Texas becomes the first state to establish a formal Statewide Teen Court Association called the Teen Court Association of Texas, Inc.
The Teen Court Association of Texas (TCAT) was created when the coordinators/directors of eighteen (18) teen court programs from around the State of Texas met and voted unanimously to establish a statewide organization for teen courts. Today there are approximately seventy (70) teen courts in Texas, and TCAT membership has expanded to include more than sixty (60) teen court programs. For more information about teen courts in the State of Texas and/or the Teen Court Association of Texas, visit the web site at www.texasteencourt.com.
Groundbreaking Article on Youth Courts Appears in Popular
Criminal Justice Journal
This article entitled “Teen Court – Is It an Effective Alternative to Traditional Sanctions?” was published in the Journal for Juvenile Justice and Detention Services and was one of the very first articles about youth courts ever published in a professional journal. The article provides an analysis of an evaluation of the teen court program in Arlington, Texas. The hypothesis tested in this evaluation was that young offenders respond more positively when judged by their peers and are required to serve the community constructively than when they are judged and sentenced in the traditional fashion. The results of the evaluation revealed that teen court was more effective than the traditional processing of juveniles for 16-year-old white boys. It was not as effective for girls. These findings were significant because 16-year-old white boys were the largest group of teen court clients. Despite many qualifications, the evaluation revealed that for its core clientele the teen court program in Arlington was superior at deterring teens from further criminal activities. This article is available through the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) at www.ncjrs.gov. Search for NCJ Number 166154.
Recognizing the educational value of youth courts, the National Law-Related Education Resource Center at the American Bar Association (ABA) began to promote youth court as a law-related education (LRE) program in 1992. The ABA also maintained an informal national youth court directory and provided some networking resources to anyone interested in developing a youth court program. This directory served as a much needed resource in the youth services community. Scott Peterson would like to thank Paula Nessel from the American Bar Association for her leadership in documenting what was taking place in America with regards to Teen Court.
Kentucky Leads the Way in Establishing Teen Courts as a Law-Related Education Program
In 1992, Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Robert F. Stephens helped to establish teen courts in his state through the Administrative Office of the Courts’ law-related education program. The foundation for law-related education in the Commonwealth of Kentucky was laid when the Kentucky Court of Justice began its Law-Related Education Initiative in 1990. As a result, the Administrative Office of the Courts formed the Division of Law Related Education under the Department of Juvenile Services to provide training programs on the court system to educators, judges, attorneys, police officers, and juvenile justice professionals statewide.
Law-related education (LRE) is designed to equip non-lawyers with knowledge and skills pertaining to the law, the legal process, the legal system, and the fundamental principles and values on which these are based. Teen Courts and law-related education share many goals. Each teen court case teaches both the youth volunteers and the youth respondents about the rules and/or laws that were broken, the consequences of the offenses, and how due process is observed by court procedure. In addition, the volunteers and respondents learn about key LRE concepts of justice, power, equality, property, and liberty. In short, teen courts offer a uniquely experiential approach to LRE.
North Carolina Passes Youth Court Legislation
This legislation in North Carolina established three (3) pilot youth court programs. For more information about state youth and teen court legislation see An Update on Teen Court Legislation by Michelle E. Heward.
Bernard Peterson established his first youth court in upstate, New York in the
Town of Colonie/Colonie Youth Court. In March of 1993, Scott Peterson would begin working on his first youth court. By December of 1993, he had incorporated Youth Courts of the Capital District, Inc. A number of local youth court programs would be established in the Capital District as a result of Scott's early efforts to include the Colonie Youth Court, Bethlehem Youth Court, East Greenbush Youth Court and others. Scott went on to lead and establish the Federal Youth Court Project at the United States Department of Justice (1997 to 2008) and then in 2009 he would establish Global Youth Justice, LLC and Www.GlobalYouthJustice.org to provide International and National Leadership in America and now increasing around the globe. Scott launched a 2020 Global Youth Justice Plan and now is working on this new decade of excitement and growth as the youth justice movement is taking hold around the globe. Mr. Peterson is the leading authority on these programs almost two (2) decades later at the age of 40.
This survey was funded by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) and was conducted by the Council of State Governments and the American Probation and Parole Association was designed to assess the location of youth court programs and to identify their operational models. The survey found that about seventy-eight (78) programs were operating across the United States in 1994. The information gathered from this survey served as the foundation for the seminal publication on youth courts entitled Peer Justice and Youth Empowerment: An Implementation Guide for Teen Court Programs. A special thank you to Jim Wright from NHTSA and Tracy Godwin-Mullins from the APPA.
The Young Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association Passes a Resolution in Support of Youth Courts
The Young Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association (ABA) was instrumental in encouraging the ABA to support youth courts. On August 9, 1995 the ABA House of Delegates adopted the following resolution:
RESOLVED, That the ABA encourages state and territorial legislatures, court systems, and bar associations to support and assist in the formation and expansion of diversionary programs, known as Youth Courts, where juvenile participants, under supervision of volunteer attorneys and advisory staff, act as judges, jurors, clerks, bailiffs, and counsel for first time juvenile offenders who are charged with misdemeanors and consent to the program.” Since then, bar associations, bar foundations, and young lawyer affiliates have been instrumental in establishing, supporting, and promoting youth courts.
Thank you to the American Bar Association and the Young Lawyers Division.
The American Probation and Parole Association developed and published Peer Justice and Youth Empowerment: An Implementation Guide for Teen Court Programs to provide program organizers with baseline information on developing, implementing, and enhancing teen court programs within their jurisdictions. Rather than endorsing one particular model of teen court, this manual provides program organizers and potential stakeholders with a general overview of issues to consider and guides them through a decision making process for the implementation of a teen court program that fits local needs. Sample forms and other helpful resources also are included as supplemental materials. This document is available on www.GlobalYouthJustice.org
Colonie Youth Court Program Featured in the National Journal for Juvenile Justice and Detention Services
This professional journal article, entitled “Youth Court: The Colonie, New York Experience”, outlines the rationale for a youth court program and describes the successful experience of the Colonie Youth Court Program in Colonie, New York. This article is available through the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) at www.ncjrs.gov. Search for NCJ Number 164675. Scott Peterson, who was the founding director of the Colonie Youth Court in New York in 1993, would later go on to leading a national and international Global Youth Justice Movement and become the leading authority on these Global Youth Justice programs rapidly expanding in America and around the world. This professional journal article is available on www.GlobalYouthJustice.org
Based on the success of the first national survey of youth courts conducted in 1994, the United States Justice Department’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) announced a plan for a large scale initiative to support state and local youth court efforts. To spearhead this national effort, former President Clinton appointed OJJDP Administrator Shay Bilchik hired Scott Peterson, a local youth court director from Colonie, New York to oversee and develop the federal youth court initiative. Mr. Peterson began this national initiative in 1997 and eleven years later in 2008 he would leave federal service to establish Global Youth Justice, LLC in 2009 to advocate and champion international efforts to expand these programs in America and around the world. Mr. Peterson can now be contacted at Scott.Peterson@GlobalYouthJustice.org or DrYouthCourt@aol.com
The State of West Virginia was one of the very first states to pass legislation encouraging the expansion of youth court programs as a result of the outstanding work of local Teen Court directors like C.W. Mullins in West Virginia. For more information about state youth and teen court legislation see An Update on Teen Court Legislation by Michelle E. Heward.
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) becomes the Lead Federal Agency on National Youth Court Initiative
Since the federal government announced its plan to support youth courts in 1997, the federal youth court initiative was administered by the Council for State Governments (CSG) and the American Probation and Parole Association (APPA), with continuing support from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. In addition, at various times, other federal agencies provided support to the federal youth court initiative including the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools, Corporation for National and Community Service, U.S. Department of Education, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
From 1997 to 2008, Scott Peterson would successfully advocate for more than $10,000,000 from five (5) different federal agencies. These federal funds significantly expanded the Global Youth Justice Movement in America through significant increases in training, technical assistance, development of curriculum, events, grants, and more than seventy-five (75) different projects national in scope. This time period became the defining decade that shaped the Global Youth Justice Movement in America. Mr. Peterson would be the recipient of more than a dozen awards and became the leading authority on these programs here in America and around the world.
This videoconference, entitled “Youth Courts: A National Movement”, was produced by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention/United States Department of Justice. The broadcast informed participants of the advantages of using youth courts in a system of graduated sanctions; identified effective practices for youth court implementation; and shared information about national resources to support youth court programs. More than 350 local communities in forty (40) states organized local community coalitions to watch this National Satellite Conference on Youth Courts. This national satellite broadcast help launch many new local youth court programs in dozens of states.
Since the first national survey funded by the Justice Department’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and conducted in 1994, youth court practitioners and researchers began to recognize the need for additional research to validate the effectiveness of youth court programs. In addition, the number of youth courts across the country had grown from about 50 in 1993 to over 1,200 in 2007. In order to better support the growing youth court community, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention commissioned the Urban Institute in Washington, DC to conduct a national survey of youth court programs.
The survey, known as the Evaluation of Teen Courts (ETC) Project, studied youth courts in four states: Alaska, Arizona, Maryland, and Missouri. Researchers measured pre-court attitudes and post-court recidivism among more than 500 juveniles referred to youth court for non-violent offenses such as shoplifting and vandalism. The study compared recidivism outcomes for youth court defendants with outcomes for youth handled by the regular juvenile justice system. The first phase of the survey was to identify programs that used a range of court models, represented a cross-section of existent youth court programs, and were willing to participate in an evaluation.
In the next phase, the Urban Institute conducted a three-year evaluation of the Anchorage Youth Court in Anchorage, Alaska; the teen courts operated by the Arizona Superior Court; the Montgomery County Teen Court in Rockville, Maryland; and the Independence Youth Court in Independence, Missouri. The results of the survey were published in April 2002 as a research report entitled The Impact of Teen Court on Young Offenders. Scott Peterson would especially like to thank Dr. Jeffrey Butts for his work on this project and for supporting the Youth Court and Teen Court Movement. This report is available on www.globalyouthjustice.org
In 1999, the United States Justice Department’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and the Bureau of Justice Assistance sponsored a national youth court conference in Anchorage, Alaska. Over 360 youth and adults from Alaska and twenty-two other states attended. Speakers included Sharon Leon, John Wilson and Scott Peterson among many others. Programs included national speakers, a mock trial, informational panels, and a discussion of different youth court models. Scott Peterson would like to thank the United Youth Courts of Alaska, Mark Begich, and Tom Begich.
American Bar Association publishes Technical Assistance Bulletin on
In 2000, the American Bar Association, Division for Public Education developed and published Technical Assistance Bulletin #17 entitled “Youth Court: A National Movement”. This bulletin provides readers with an overview of youth courts; explains their connection and positive contribution to law-related education; profiles the support of the legal profession; and provides resources for the creation and enhancement of youth courts. This technical assistance bulletin is available on www.globalyouthjustice.org
National Youth Court Guidelines are Released
This document was designed to give youth courts direction for developing and operating effective programs for the ultimate purpose of increasing program accountability and integrity of the youth court field. Each chapter begins with a brief overview of the guidelines that are recommended for that particular program area. Afterwards, each guideline is discussed in more detail. A rationale for each guideline and tips for implementation are included. At the conclusion of each chapter, there is a section that identifies some outcomes youth court programs might reasonably expect if they adhere to the recommendations made. Guidelines have been developed in the following program areas: program planning and community mobilization; program staffing and funding; legal issues; identified respondent population and referral process; program services and sentencing options; volunteer recruitment and management; volunteer training; youth court operations and case management; and program evaluation. This publication is available on www.globalyouthjustice.org
The Honorable and late William Rehnquist, Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, discussed teen court with the grandfather of a Michigan City, Indiana Teen Court volunteer. (information courtesy of Bonita Schaaf, Coordinator, Michigan City Teen Court, Michigan City, Indiana)
In October 2000 the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention published a Bulletin entitled Teen Courts: A Focus on Research. This Bulletin provides an overview of teen court characteristics and implementation challenges, based on information obtained from the first national survey of teen courts conducted by the Urban Institute in 1998-1999. The information in this Bulletin summarizes evaluation literature on teen courts, and serves as an interim report on the first phase of the Evaluation of Teen Courts Project. This document is available on www.globalyouthjustice.org
First Ever Federally sponsored National Conference on Youth Courts is held in Albuquerque, New Mexico
The Federal Youth Court Program, in collaboration with the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, hosted the very first national conference for youth courts in Albuquerque, New Mexico from October 22-26, 2000. The conference attracted approximately 600 attendees from 30 states, the District of Columbia, and Italy, with over 240 of the attendees being youth. Youth court coordinators, youth and adult volunteers, juvenile justice professionals, educators, and others who were interested in implementing or enhancing youth court programs were among the attendees. United States Senator Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico was the keynote speaker at this event. Other speakers included Scott Peterson and John Wilson. Scott Peterson would like to thank the New Mexico Teen Court Association.
In March 2000, the American Probation and Parole Association convened a focus group to examine and discuss the role of restorative justice in teen court programs. The panel consisted of persons working in teen courts and persons working actively in more traditional restorative justice based programs.
As a result of this focus group a report entitled The Role of Restorative Justice in Teen Courts: A Preliminary Look was published. This document provides a brief overview of restorative justice principles and addresses several key issues the focus group members identified that serve as a promising foundation from which teen courts can begin to move toward integrating more restorative justice-based practices within their programs. This document is available on www.globalyouthjustice.org
Publication Promotes Law-Related Education as Sentencing Option for
In 2001, Street Law, Inc., in coordination with the Office for Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, published a document entitled Street Law for Youth Courts: Educational Workshops. This document was designed as an information resource for youth courts when establishing their educational workshops/programs. The lessons are designed to initiate a law-related education program as a sentencing option for youth court offenders. However, the lessons also may be used to train youth volunteers. These interactive lessons focus on the most frequent offenses for which youth are referred to youth court such as theft; possession of alcohol; vandalism; bullying; assault and sexual harassment. The document also includes instructor guides, lesson plans, and handouts for youth participants. This publication is available on www.globalyouthjustice.org
The Council on Public Legal Education (CPLE) formed a partnership with the Washington Judges Foundation (WJF) to improve the quantity and quality of youth courts in Washington State. Since 2001, the WJF has been funding the CPLE's ongoing efforts to support the state's youth courts, and to assist teams interested in starting a new youth court in their community. As part of these efforts, the CPLE offers a "Youth Court Start up Conference" every two years. The WJF also increases interest in youth courts by publicizing them among the state's judiciary. (information courtesy of Pam Inglesby, Council on Public Legal Education, Washington State Bar Association, Seattle, Washington)
Constitutional Rights Foundation and Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago Pass a Resolution in Support of Youth Courts
The resolution reads as follows:
RESOLVED, That the Constitutional Rights Foundation and the Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago encourage schools, youth programs, attorneys, judges, and police departments to work together to form and expand diversionary programs, known as youth courts, where juveniles, under the supervision of representatives from the education and legal communities, determine sentencing for first time juvenile offenders who are charged with misdemeanors or minor infractions of school rules and consent to participate in the program, recognizing that an important sentencing option – community service – serves both the offender and the community.
Wisconsin governor Douglas La Follette proclaimed November 1, 2001 as “Wisconsin Teen Court Day”. (information courtesy of Nancy Anne Miller, Associate Professor, Youth Development Agent, Vilas County, Eagle River, WI)
On December 20, 2001, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Dennis J. Hastert, read the following resolution before the Congress:
“Mr. Speaker, I rise to praise the efforts of the Constitutional Rights Foundation and the Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago. Their work encourages schools, youth programs, attorneys, judges, and police departments to work together to form and expand diversionary programs. These programs, known as youth courts, are where juveniles, under the supervision of representatives from the education and legal communities, determine sentencing for first time juvenile offenders who are charged with misdemeanors or minor infractions of school rules. The program displays that as a sentencing option – community service – can serve both the offender and the community”.
The American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF), in coordination with the American Bar Association, the National Center for Juvenile and Family Court Judges, the American Probation and Parole Association, the Constitutional Rights Foundation/Chicago, and the Urban Institute, sponsored a forum on youth courts on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. There was standing room only at this event, which was designed to provide policymakers with greater insight into the youth court concept. The forum began with Terrence S. Donahue, Acting Administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention providing an update on the federal government’s support of youth courts. Also, William C. Pericak, an assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of New York in Albany, New York, introduced youth from the Colonie Youth Court and the Time Dollar Youth Court in Washington, DC. Sarah Pearson and Scott Peterson organized the event. The youth from Colonie Youth Court re-enacted the Youth Judge Model. Following the re-enactment, a panel of youth court experts provided perspectives on the success of the youth court movement. For more information about this forum or for a copy of the Forum Brief, visit the AYPF web site at www.aypf.org and www.globalyouthjustice.org
The Federal Youth Court Program and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) launched a 12-Month Public Awareness Campaign designed to help raise the public’s awareness of youth related issues of national concern. Through this campaign, nearly 150,000 youth court volunteers were encouraged to support a series of public service activities. Local youth courts were encouraged to become involved in at least four of the twelve public service campaigns per year.
In September 2001, a ballot was sent to each active youth court so they could vote on which campaigns they would like to see the 12-Month Public Awareness Campaign focus. Each youth court was encouraged to solicit input from their youth and adult volunteers before casting their ballot. In December 2001, each local youth court received a 12-Month Public Awareness Campaign Package. This package contained information on the public awareness campaigns selected for each month in 2002, and instructions on how local youth courts could become involved in each campaign.
Following is the 12-Month Public Awareness Campaign for 2002:
January Martin Luther Kind Day of Service
February National Child Passenger Safety Awareness Week
March National Inhalants and Poisons Awareness Week
April National Crime Victims’ Rights Week
May Law Day
June National Safety Month
July National Parents Day
August National Kids Day
September National Youth Court Month
October Make a Difference Day
November Family Volunteer Day, National
December The One On for Safety Campaign, Red Ribbon
To recognize each local youth court for their participation in the 12-Month Public Awareness Campaign, the Federal Youth Court Program and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention awarded a special certificate of merit to each youth court that participated in four or more of the monthly public service campaigns by the end of 2002. The Federal Youth Court Program also established a special section on its web site and in its quarterly newsletter for inclusion of pictures and campaign highlights submitted by local youth courts. September is National Youth Court Month and now Global Youth Justice Month. Local programs around the world now have the option of celebrating Global Youth Justice Month. For more information on Global Youth Justice Month to begin in 2010, please visit www.GlobalYouthJustice.org
In April 2002 the Urban Institute, Justice Policy Center published The Impact of Teen Court on Young Offenders. This document is the final report of findings from the Evaluation of Teen Courts (ETC) Project, which was conducted by the Urban Institute and funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention during 1998-1999. For more information on the ETC Project see page 13. This document is available on www.globalyouthjustice.org
The energizing effect of the first federally sponsored national gathering of youth courts in October 2000 resulted in the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and its partners sponsoring a second national conference in Arlington, Virginia on April 14-16, 2002. This conference attracted over 900 participants, nearly half of whom were youth. More than 63 educational workshops were offered on topics such as finding and retaining volunteers; involving victims with the youth court process; interviewing victims and witnesses; efficacy training for youth judges; ethics for volunteers; and how to implement restorative justice principles into a youth court program. This is the largest ever National Conference on Youth Courts and Teen Courts. America’s Youth Justice System was the theme for this conference. Scott Peterson, Sarah Pearson, Tracy Godwin-Mullins, and Karen Daniel were just some of the speakers at this awesome gathering of youth and adults.
This document, entitled Youth Courts: Young People Delivering Justice, and published by the American Bar Association with support from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, provides an overview of youth courts and describes their structure, funding, effectiveness, and challenges, as well as the collaboration needed among the legal, law enforcement, and education professionals and the community and youth volunteers. In order to demonstrate the wide variety of youth courts, the author profiles ten local youth courts representing juvenile justice, community, and school settings as well as innovative variations. Information about statewide youth court associations and additional youth court resources are provided. This document is available on www.globalyouthjustice.org
Youth Court Training Package for Adult and Youth Volunteers Wins Prestigious Award from the Association of Educational Publishers
The Youth Court Youth and Adult Volunteer Training Package won the “Distinguished Achievement Award for Multimedia Instructional Materials, Young Adult Category” from the Association of Educational Publishers. This award was presented at the 2002 Distinguished Achievement Awards Gala, hosted by the National Press Club. The award is considered the most prestigious award in educational publishing. There were more than 1,000 entries and 299 finalists for the six categories of awards.
package provides instructional resources for youth court staff, and offers
high-quality materials for training youth court volunteers. The materials also provide trainers with the
opportunity to model the qualities inherent to effective youth courts and to
examine some of the universal moral principals and common codes of behavior
that underlie legal systems – honesty, respect, responsibility, compassion. The complete training package includes: 1) a Guide for Trainers with lessons
for all youth court models on topics such as the American justice system,
balanced and restorative justice, conducting a hearing, and deliberating on a
disposition; 2) Youth Volunteer Handbooks for adult judge, youth judge,
tribunal, and peer jury youth court models; 3) Changing Lives: America’s
Youth Court, a short video introducing the concept of youth courts; and 4)
a CD to tailor materials to local needs.
These materials were developed by the American Bar Association, Division for Public Education, with funds from the National Youth Court Center, the American Probation and Parole Association, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the U.S. Department of Education. For more information, or to order this training package, visit the ABA web site at www.abanet.org and/or contact email@example.com
The American Probation and Parole Association Passes Resolution in Support of Youth Courts.
On June 9, 2002,
the American Probation and Parole Association adopted the following
Therefore, be it RESOLVED, That the American Probation and Parole Association joins in the celebration of the first National Youth Court Month and hereby recognizes the importance of youth courts to our communities and recommends that probation, parole, and community supervision agencies support and assist in the formation and expansion of diversionary programs, known as youth court.
After several years of planning, Teen Court Yamanashi, the very first youth court in Japan finally became operational on June 21, 2002. This court was formulated to include 13- to 18-year-old students as respondents and 19- to 22-year-old students as jurors. The local court determines the types of cases that Teen Court Yamanashi hears. Cases include petty theft, graffiti, and truancy committed by offenders who are under 20 years old.
Professor Naoya Yamaguchi, who worked diligently to get this program established in Japan, began gathering information about youth court programs in the United States in the 1990’s and published a booklet in Japan explaining the youth court concept. He found, however, that a number of obstacles hindered progress toward his goal of establishing a youth court in Japan. The court system in Japan is nationally administered, which does not give the local courts and local judges the authority to introduce the youth court program, even as a form of diversion. It was additionally difficult to gain acceptance of the youth court concept since Japan does not have a jury system. However, the establishment of Teen Court Yamanashi, along with recent reforms to the judicial system, will help youth courts gain broader acceptance in the Japanese justice system.
Film Crews from France and Germany visit the Colonie Youth Court Program in New York
French and German filmmakers wanted to highlight a program in the United States to educate the public on the effectiveness of youth courts, and to promote the creation of more programs in France and Germany. During their visit to the Colonie Youth Court Program in Colonie, New York, four youth and their families agreed to have their cases filmed for the documentary, as well as many of the youth court members who were assigned to represent the cases. In addition, the documentary highlighted many aspects of the criminal and juvenile system in New York. This documentary aired on German and French public television.
This special month dedicated to youth courts was formally established by The President of the United States of America in a letter dated September 2002. The United States Department of Justice provided posters, action kits, and much more to encourage youth court and teen court programs to seek local proclamations, schedule special activities, reach out to the media, and hold statewide conferences to celebrate the month. This annual event not only brings greater attention to the value of youth court to their communities but also inspires a wide variety of additional community service activities by the youth court volunteers. Hundreds of local youth courts, teen courts, peer courts, student courts and youth peer panels have participated in National Youth/Teen Court Month.
This manual, entitled Giving Back: a Community Service-Learning Manual for Youth Courts was published by the Constitutional Rights Foundation with support from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. The document gives youth courts and other juvenile justice agencies the tools they need to apply school-based service-learning methods to court-mandated community service. Giving Back provides skill-building strategies and materials to introduce juvenile offenders to basic concepts of community and community problems and offers three options for planning and implementing community service-learning projects specifically designed to deal with ten offenses that youth courts and other juvenile justice agencies most frequently address.
This document was revised and updated in 2006. The revised edition was published as Giving Back: Introducing Community Service Learning/Improving Mandated Community Service for Juvenile Offenders. This publication is available on www.globalyouthjustice.org
On December 17, 2002, the Board of Street Law, Inc. adopted the following resolution in support of the national youth court initiative:
Whereas youth courts offer:
. . . young first-time, nonviolent offenders who admit their guilt an opportunity to be sentenced by their peers and to receive a consequence that reflects the ideals of and educates the offenders in restorative justice;
. . . police officers, probation officers, and juvenile court judges with a heavy docket an innovative alternative to dismissing less serious cases and sending first-time offenders outside of the formal juvenile justice proceedings;
. . . young volunteers the chance to serve as judges, jurors, bailiffs, and clerks a coordinated effort to hold their peers accountable with balanced sentences that repair harm done to the offenders victim, the community, and to the offender himself or herself.
And whereas youth courts build:
. . . ties between the justice system, members of the community, and youth;
. . . an awareness in youth of the law and the consequences of delinquency;
. . . a type of community where youth can contribute to society and demonstrate democracy in action;
Therefore, be it resolved:
That we commend, support, and assist those involved in youth courts and others in developing youth courts.
In 2003, the American Probation and Parole Association, in coordination with the Council of State Governments, published a policy brief designed to provide youth courts with a succinct tool they could use to educate their policymakers about the benefits and characteristics of youth court programs. The policy brief, entitled Youth Court: A Path to Civic Engagement, provides local, state, and federal policymakers with background information on youth courts, as well as highlights current local and state policy in support of youth court. It also describes how youth court helps young people learn the value of actively participating as citizens to help make a difference in their communities. This policy brief is available on www.globalyouthjustice.org
This article, entitled “Youth Courts as Service Learning”, was published in the Spring issue of the Constitutional Rights Foundation’s Service-Learning NETWORK. The article explores the notion that youth courts can serve as learning laboratories, not just for youthful offenders but also for the entire student body. By providing an ongoing forum in which students can apply critical-thinking, leadership, and civic-education skills, youth courts--also described as teen or peer courts--can help students and teachers complete the service-learning equation between classroom theory and meaningful school- and community-based practice. This article is available on the Constitutional Rights Foundation’s web site at www.crf-usa.org/network/net9_3.htm and on www.globalyouthjustice.org
United States Justice Department Becomes National Partner in 15th Annual Global Youth Service Day and Launches Large Scale National Effort to Include Youth Court Programs
National Youth Service Day (NYSD) is the largest service event in the world. This event is organized by Youth Service America, and every year millions of youth participate in projects aimed at raising public awareness and highlighting the contributions that young people make to their communities. The goals of NYSD are 1) to mobilize youth to identify and address the needs of their communities through service; 2) to support youth on a life-long path of service and civic engagement; and 3) to educate the public, the media, and policymakers about the year-round contributions of young people as community leaders. On NYSD, young people design and lead service-learning projects covering a broad range of issues, including literacy, the environment, healthcare, nutrition, and poverty.
In 2003, for the first time in the history of the event, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) was a national partner in NYSD. As a result, DOJ approved the Federal Youth Court Program to award $250 mini-grants to fifty (50) youth court programs to plan and conduct events in support of NYSD. Youth courts across America mobilized and participated in a wide variety of projects that had profound effects on their communities. Global Youth Justice, LLC encourages all local and state youth and teen court efforts to include participation in National Youth Service Day – which is now called Global Youth Service Day. Global Youth Justice, LLC is an international partner in Global Youth Service Day. For more information log on the Youth Service America website at http://ysa.org/GlobalYouthServiceDay/tabid/254/Default.aspx.
American Bar Association Publishes Technical Assistance Bulletin on Making Youth Courts Effective
In 2004, the American Bar Association, Division for Public Education developed and published Technical Assistance Bulletin #25 entitled “Making Youth Court as Effective as Possible”. This bulletin is designed to share lessons learned in Kentucky over the last twelve years about youth courts and what makes them work. This document is available on www.globalyouthserviceday.org
American Bar Association Publishes Technical Assistance Bulletin on
In 2004, the American Bar Association, Division for Public Education developed and published Technical Assistance Bulletin #26 entitled “Youth Court Training for Results”. This bulletin provides youth court coordinators and administrators with introductory information on identifying the type of volunteer training program needed, developing instructional goals for a training program for youth volunteers, designing a youth court volunteer training agenda based on learning objectives, making the best possible use of community resource people in delivering training to the young people, and evaluating a training program. This document is available on www.globalyouthjustice.org
United States Justice Department Official speaks About Youth Courts at
Scott Peterson of the Justice Department’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention spoke about the benefits of youth court at a UNICEF event in NYC. UNICEF is the United Nations Children’s Fund, and is the world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries. UNICEF also supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.
Youth court has received interest from a wide variety of countries. People from countries as diverse as Norway, Russia, Nigeria, Germany, Great Britain, and Italy have visited various local youth courts across America to explore the possibility of adopting the program for their countries. Mr. Peterson has also provided training and technical assistance on developing youth court programs to people representing Canada and the Philippines. In 2009, Mr. Peterson is working with five (5) countries outside of his work in America to help expand these Global Youth Justice programs. For more information, please contact scott.peterson@GlobalYouthJustice.org and/or visit www.globalyouthjustice.org
This report, entitled Selected Topics on Youth Courts, A Monograph, was published by the American Probation and Parole Association and the Council of State Governments. This monograph features papers on the following six topics:
1) Addressing Truancy in Youth Court Programs
2) Underage Drinking and Other Substance Abuse: Opportunities for Prevention and Intervention by Youth Courts
3) An Overview of School-Based Youth Court Program Design Options
4) Building Culturally Relevant Youth Courts in Tribal Communities
5) A Comparison of Statewide Youth Court Associations and Networking Groups
6) Media Access Guidelines for Youth Courts
United States Justice Department receives National Award for Youth Court
The Justice Department’s Office of Justice Program’s (OJP) Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) received an award from the American Probation and Parole Association (APPA) for its renowned leadership and support for youth courts as a program that can both address juvenile crime and promote civic engagement among America’s young people. APPA President Andrew Molloy presented the award during the plenary session at the APPA Annual Institute in Orlando, Florida to Lizette Benedi, Deputy Assistant Attorney General, OJP, who accepted the award on behalf of Assistant Attorney General Deborah J. Daniels and OJJDP program manager Scott B. Peterson. Mr. Molloy emphasized that, because of the incredible support that OJP has provided to APPA’s national youth court initiatives, the number of youth courts has increased by more than 1,000 percent in the last decade.
According to the first national survey, in 1994 there were only 78 youth courts nationwide. By 2005 that number had grown to an astounding 1,037. The exponential growth of youth courts continues today as communities realize the benefits of having a program in their area. Reaching this important benchmark in the national youth court movement could not have been accomplished without the support of program coordinators, volunteers, and communities who wholeheartedly believe in the program and work diligently everyday to make it flourish. If you have an operational youth or teen court program or you are establishing a new program, please email your contact information to GlobalYouthJustice@GlobalYouthJustice.org
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Receives National Award for Excellence in Community Crime Prevention
The American Probation and Parole Association (APPA) Award for Excellence in Crime Prevention recognizes community corrections agencies, or community crime prevention programs coordinating with a community corrections agency, that have integrated community crime prevention initiatives into the traditional roles of supervision, intervention and sanctioning of offenders. APPA President Drew Molloy presented the award to Scott B. Peterson, Program Manager with the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention during a networking dinner for State Youth Court Associations and Networking Groups. Mr. Peterson accepted the award on behalf of all the active and developing youth courts, teen courts, peer courts, and student courts across the nation. In 2008, Mr. Peterson left the OJJDP after a decade to serve as the National Director of Criminal and Juvenile Justice at YouthBuild USA and President and Founder of Global Youth Justice, LLC.
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention convenes National Meeting of State Youth Court Associations and
Scott Peterson gathered some of leaders representing state youth court associations or networking groups from 14 states convened in Washington, DC for the first national meeting of State Youth Court Associations and Networking Groups. States represented at the meeting included Alaska, Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina, New Mexico, New York, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin. The purpose of the meeting was to give association members and networking groups and opportunity to interact with one another and learn from each other how to enhance policies and procedures and how to generate ideas about how to more effectively manage youth courts. Another primary purpose of the meeting was to start getting staff in local and state youth and teen court efforts to take on projects and activities on a national level without the federal government. Although the National Youth and Teen Court Movement was growing on a local level and in a handful of states – there was little to no coordination on a national level. For more information on State Associations and State Networking Groups, please visit www.globalyouthjustice.org and email firstname.lastname@example.org
On April 15, 2005, the American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF) held a briefing for policymakers on youth courts on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The AYPF, in coordination with the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, conducted a nationwide review of youth court programs between November 2004 and January 2005. A total of 365 youth court coordinators from across the United States participated in the study. A 40% return rate yielded a successful snapshot of the landscape for youth courts nationwide.
Sarah Pearson and Scott Peterson spearheaded this effort to increase support for youth and teen court among policymakers and their staff. The goal of this forum was to provide policymakers and the public with an overview of youth court programs, their characteristics, and their benefits. For a copy of the Forum Brief that summarizes this briefing, visit http://www.aypf.org/forumbriefs/2005/fb4.15.05.htm or www.GlobalYouthJustice.org
Important Report on Youth Courts Released by the American Youth Policy Forum at a Briefing on Capitol Hill
On April 15, 2005, at a briefing on Capitol Hill sponsored by the American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF), a report entitled Youth Courts: A Community Solution for Embracing At-Risk Youth, was released. This report presents findings from a nationwide review of youth court programs across the United States between November of 2004 and January of 2005. The findings outlined in the report are both surprising and inspiring and cover topics such as: program completion, cost, impact on youth offenders and volunteers, educational and civic opportunities, program sustainability, and recommendations to policymakers. This document is available on www.globalyouthjustice.org
In 2005, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration provided $250.00 mini-grants to seventy local youth court programs. These grants were awarded in conjunction with National Youth Service Day (NYSD). NYSD is the largest service event in the world, and records and celebrates the contributions that youth make to their communities throughout the year.
Since 2003, the United States Justice Department has served as a national partner in the event. These grants served to assist youth courts in planning and conducting a service project during NYSD. Fifteen of the mini-grants were designated for service projects that addressed traffic safety issues. Other mini-grants were used by youth courts to plan and conduct activities during NYSD week. National Youth Service Day is now referred to as Global Youth Service Day. Global Youth Justice, LLC is a partner in Global Youth Service Day which is celebrated every April for three days. Start planning now for the next Global Youth Service Day!
On May 1, 2005,
people across the nation celebrated Law Day.
Law Day is an annual event sponsored by the American Bar Association
(ABA), Division of Public Education.
Lawyers, judges, educators, and legal professionals gather to celebrate
our legal system and their faith in people’s abilities to make wise decisions
in our democracy. The theme of Law Day
in 2005 was “The American Jury: We the People in Action”. Youth courts across the nation participated
in this event. Many youth courts
received the Law Day Planning Guide. This guide contains valuable information on
how to make Law Day a success year after year.
The guide is available on the ABA web site at www.abanet.org/publiced/lawday/guidemain.html. For more information about Law Day, visit the ABA web site at www.aba.org. Law Day is every May for one day and teen courts and youth courts are strongly urged to involve their youth and adults to participate each year. Global Youth Justice is a partner in Law Day and we encourage all local youth court and teen court programs to participate. Log on to www.globalyouthjustice.org Start planning now for the next Law Day!
During fiscal year 2005 the state of Alaska was awarded a Congressional earmark in the amount of $986,643 under the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Congressional Earmark Program. The purpose of the grant project was to build capacity in the Alaska Youth Court and Community Panel Program through the enhancement of existing youth courts and community panels and expansion of the program into other communities around the state. This project provided increased resources to address juvenile crime at the front end of the service continuum. Activities included ongoing training and technical assistance, juvenile offender diversion and case disposition, case management, community development, and sustainability planning. The project served approximately 900 victims, 900 juvenile offenders, and 1,200 adult and youth volunteers throughout the state during a one-year period. An evaluation component also was developed and implemented to gauge effectiveness of both the youth court model and the community panel model in urban and rural settings. For more information on Youth Courts in Alaska, please visit United Youth Courts of Alaska
TIME Magazine Publishes Historic Article on Colonie Youth Court Program
On Monday, July 18, 2005 an article on the Colonie Youth Court Program in Colonie, New York appeared in Time magazine. The article, entitled “A Jury of Their Peers” by Jeremy Caplan, describes a typical case handled by the youth court program in Colonie, New York, and explains how youth court is becoming an institution across the United States. This article is available on Time magazine’s web site at www.time.com and was read by millions around the world. Scott Peterson was the founding director of the Colonie Youth Court in 1993 and worked there until 19978 before joining OJJDP in later in 1997 to launch a large scale National Youth Court Program.
Teen Court and Youth Court State Associations and State Network Groups convened in Washington, DC
On October 1, 2005, the federal government, lead by then OJJDP program manager Scott Peterson from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency (OJJDP) with support from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools, launched an eighteen month initiative to enhance existing state associations and support the development of new state associations. One of the primary objectives of this initiative was to increase, over an 18-month period, the number of state associations and networking groups from 18 to 25. Additionally, the goal was to ensure that operational associations are functioning on a higher level than the previous year, and that the group of associations and networking groups become more cohesive on a national level. For a listing of State Coalitions and State Networking Groups, please log on to www.globalyouthjustice.org. For assistance implementing and/or enhancing a State Coalition or State Association, please email TechnicalAssistance@GlobalYouthJustice.org
Child Labor Committee presented the Lewis Hine Award to Scott B. Peterson for
his leadership and advocacy to expand the youth court movement in America and
around the world. The Lewis Hine Award
honors unheralded Americans and several better-known leaders for their unique
contributions to the essential job of helping children and youth move towards
self-sufficiency and satisfying adulthoods.
In 1993, Scott B. Peterson's mind was on fire with the idea of picking
up on a new and innovative program called youth court. At that time, Scott was working
in Albany, New York, at a homeless youth shelter. He wanted to do something
different, something more, and something that would keep many teenagers from
ending up in shelters. A youth court - an alternative to a traditional juvenile
justice system - made up of teenaged youth who volunteer to act as judges,
attorneys and juries, made sense to Scott.
A committee that included Scott was formed, and the youth court concept was explored as a viable option to dealing with delinquent youth. As a result of this committee the Capital District and the Colonie Youth Court Program were established in 1994. Less than two years later, Scott was asked by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice to help them establish similar youth courts throughout the state. He worked closely on the compilation of instructional manuals and operational materials. Soon thereafter the federal government also came to the Albany area to explore the possibility of promoting the notion of youth courts throughout the country. And they did.
The United States Department of Justice did more than incorporate the concept of youth courts into its national program; they also took Scott with them as part of the package. In the nine years he has coordinated the Federal Youth Court Program, he has done much to contribute to the establishment of hundreds of youth court programs around the United States. Thanks to Scott's efforts, the growth of the youth court concept has been recognized by the federal government, hailed by the Urban Institute, and praised by UNICEF as a positive force in our world. In 2008 and in 2009, Scott Peterson will travel around the globe to an increasing number of countries and continue his efforts to expand the use of youth courts and teen courts as a diversion to the formal juvenile justice and criminal justice system. Mr. Peterson donated the money to a Teen Suicide program and Youth Service America. A photo of Scott Peterson accepting the award is available on www.globalyouthjustice.org
American Bar Association Releases Guide Book to Typical Offenses Handled in Youth Court Programs
This document, entitled Youth Cases for Youth Courts: A Guide to the Typical Offenses Handled by Youth Courts, was published in 2006 by the American Bar Association (ABA), Division for Public Education. It is an invaluable guide for both new and existing youth courts that are trying to determine the types of cases their program should accept or that want to expand their referral base. It begins by discussing how to create and maintain a referral committee and what overall factors youth courts should consider in making decisions about what cases to accept and reject. Readers also will find plenty of advice and practical tips from leaders of some of the most successful and longstanding youth courts across the country. The second section of the document includes outlines of 27 offenses commonly accepted by youth courts, and includes information about special issues youth courts might face with respect to each offense, and tips for creative dispositions. This document is available for purchase from the ABA at www.abanet.org and can be downloaded for free on www.GlobalYouthJustice.org
United States Senate Passes Resolution Designating September 2006 as National Youth Court Month (National Youth Court Month began in 2002).
United States Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska submitted a resolution designating September 2006 as National Youth Court Month. This resolution was supported by Senators Murkowski of Alaska; Akaka of Hawaii; DeWine of Ohio; Feingold of Wisconsin; Domenici of New Mexico; and Chambliss of Georgia, and was passed on September 25, 2006. The resolution reads as follows:
Whereas a strong country begins with strong communities in which all citizens play an active role and invest in the success and future of the youth of the United States;
Whereas the fifth National Youth Court Month celebrates the outstanding achievement of youth courts throughout the country;
Whereas in 2005, more than 110,000 youths volunteered to hear more than 115,000 juvenile cases, and more than 20,000 adults volunteered to facilitate peer justice in youth court programs;
Whereas 1,158 youth court programs in 49 States and the District of Columbia provide restorative justice for juvenile offenders, resulting in effective crime prevention, early intervention and education for all youth participants, and enhanced public safety throughout the United States;
Whereas, by holding juvenile offenders accountable, reconciling victims, communities, juvenile offenders, and their families, and reducing caseloads for the juvenile justice system, youth courts address offenses that might otherwise go unaddressed until the offending behavior escalates and redirects the efforts of juvenile offenders toward becoming contributing members of their communities;
Whereas Federal, State, and local governments, corporations, foundations, service organizations, educational institutions, juvenile justice agencies, and individual adults support youth courts because youth court programs actively promote and contribute to building successful, productive lives and futures for the youth of the United States;
Whereas a fundamental correlation exists between youth service and lifelong adult commitment to and involvement in one's community;
Whereas volunteer service and related service learning opportunities enable young people to build character and develop and enhance life-skills, such as responsibility, decision-making, time management, teamwork, public speaking, and leadership, which prospective employers will value; and
Whereas participating in youth court programs encourages youth court members to become valuable members of their communities: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Senate designates September 2006 as `National Youth Court Month'”.
By designating this month National Youth Court Month, the Senate has highlighted the importance of youth volunteer service.”
In 2006, the Constitutional Rights Foundation, in coordination with the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, published a document entitled Giving Back: Introducing Community Service Learning/Improving Mandated Community Service for Juvenile Offenders. This document is an updated and revised edition of the original Giving Back: A Community Service-Learning Manual for Youth Courts. It gives youth courts and other juvenile justice agencies the tools they need to apply school-based service-learning methods to court-mandated community service. This document provides skill building strategies and materials to introduce juvenile offenders to basic concepts of community and community problems and offers three options for planning and implementing community service-learning projects specifically designed to deal with ten offenses that youth courts and other juvenile justice agencies most frequently address. This document is available on www.globalyouthjustice.org
In 2006, the Federal Youth Court Program, with funding from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, awarded mini-grants to 81 youth court programs. These grants were awarded in conjunction with National and Global Youth Service Day (NGYSD). NGYSD is the largest service event in the world. This event supports youth on a life-long path of service and civic engagement, and educates the public, the media, and elected officials about the role of youth as community resources.
These grants served to assist youth courts in planning and conducting NGYSD projects. A few of the activities conducted by youth courts in 2006 included assembling care packages for military units deployed to Iraq; designing and creating murals to cover walls for a visitation room where children in foster care visit their parents; building a memorial trail to identify youth who have died in the past year as a result of underage drinking or DUI crashes; reading books to children in hospitals and libraries; and working with local animal shelters.
Since 2003, the federal government has awarded over 300 mini-grants and hundreds of local youth courts have undertaken projects in support of this initiative. For more information about National and Global Youth Service Day, visit the web site at http://ysa.org/NatlGYSD/tabid/59/Default.aspx.
A Record 1,127 Youth Courts were operating throughout the United States in 2006.
By 2006 forty-nine States and the District of Columbia had at least one youth court program. In addition, hundreds more communities were in the process of planning and establishing local youth court programs. CT is the only state without an existing program. If you have an operational teen court or youth court, please email your full contact information to email@example.com
The National Youth Court Resources Publication Guide and CD-Rom was release in 2006. This document is a compilation of resources that have been developed to provide assistance to communities that want to start or enhance youth, teen, peer, or student court programs. Anyone looking for answers or information on a multitude of youth court issues will find a publication to help in this document and CD-Rom. For more information, or to download any of the publications listed in this resource document, go to www.globalyouthjustice.org as all the publications on this CD-Rom are available to be downloaded for free. For a hard copy of the CD-Rom mailed to you for a small shipping and duplication fee, please email technicalassistance@GlobalYouthJustice.org
First Lady Laura Bush Visits the Colonie Youth Court Program
On October 4, 2006, while the First Lady was in the Capital Region of New York campaigning for a local Congressman, she visited the Colonie Youth Court Program in Latham, New York. During her visit, the First Lady observed a mock trial, and talked with some of the youth court volunteers and defendants about their experiences with the program. This is the first time a First Lady has visited a youth court. This was coordinated by Scott Peterson while he worked in the Executive Branch of the United States Government. Mr. Peterson also was the founder and former director the Colonie Youth Court back in 1993. For more information about the First Lady’s visit to the Colonie Youth Court Program, visit their web site at www.colonie.org/police/YouthCourt/index.htm.
Russian Judges Meet With Teen Court Officials From Montgomery
A delegation of judges from Russia met
with the Teen Court Coordinator in Montgomery County, Maryland to have a
session of court filmed and subtitled for use in developing Teen Court in
Maryland-Leningrad Rule of Law project hosted a delegation of three judges from
the Kingesepp City Court in Russia.
Russian Judges Elena Kulshina, Tatiana Arzshanenko, and Lubov
Kondrashova made up the delegation.
The delegation began the educational portion of the program by visiting the Juvenile Assessment Center, which is a multi-agency center bringing together the services of the Montgomery County Police Department, the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services, the Maryland Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) and other agencies. Next, the delegates had the opportunity to have roundtable discussions with agency heads of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Screening and Assessment Services for Children and Adolescents (SASCA), Child and Adolescent Forensic Evaluation Services (CAFES) and Child Welfare Services; the Police Department’s Youth Services Investigative Unit; the Maryland Department of Juvenile Justice intake and supervision unit; the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s Alternative Community Service Program, and Montgomery County Public Schools.
Record Number of State Youth Court Associations and Networking Groups Operating in the United States
By 2007, the number of states that have formal and informal State Youth Court Associations and State Networking Groups has reached 17. These organizations support local youth courts, teen courts, student courts and peer courts, by providing continuing education and training for those operating youth courts; maintaining a communication network between existing youth courts to develop consistency between programs; promoting the development of other youth courts; and reducing juvenile crime. About 12 of these State Youth Court Associations are non-profit organizations like those operating in Texas and Florida and Maryland. Several others are operated by State Administering agencies such as the Kentucky Administrative Office of the Courts and the Tennessee Bar Association. Others are operated by a group of local youth court and teen court coordinators and directors who meet several times a year and plan activities. For a listing of more than fifteen (15) of these State Associations and State Networking Groups, please log on to www.GlobalYouthJustice.org
More than 13,000 volunteer youth recruitment poster distributed across America.
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention funded the design, printing and distribution of over 13,000 posters to local youth courts, teen courts, peer courts and student courts. More than 1,200 local programs each got 10 posters in the mail to recruit even more volunteer youth and this also increased this visibility of local programs. In 2007, there were more than 100,000 youth volunteering in local youth and teen court programs across America according to a national statistical survey conducted by George Washington University. Visit “Quick Facts about the Global Youth Justice Movement” on www.GlobalYouthJustice.org
National Youth Court Training Draws more than 150 Attendees
The Office of
Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), in collaboration with the
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the U.S. Department of
Education’s Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools, and the National Council of
Juvenile and Family Court Judges, sponsored a newly developed National Double
Track Youth Court Training Program. This
training was held on June 10-13, 2007, in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. National Trainers included Nancy Livingston,
Gary Kepley, and Scott Peterson among others.
Track one of the training was designed for communities interested in establishing a youth court program and for new youth court staff and volunteers. Track two was designed for experienced youth court staff and volunteers seeking innovative techniques to enhance current programs. The first National Double-Track Training took place January 2007, and was filled to capacity with 150 registrants. In 2010, there are two (2) upcoming trainings offered by Global Youth Justice, LLC. One will be in June of 2010 in Cape Cod and the other will be in December of 2010 in Las Vegas.
Photo Journalist from Japan works on Youth Court Book
In 2007, Atsu Otsuka, a photojournalist who is committed to promoting peace and justice worldwide, began working with the youth court coordinator in Clallam, Washington on a project dedicated to youth courts. Otsuka will write a book about youth court, and would like to introduce the concept to the Japanese government. For more information about Atsu Otsuka, and her many projects, visit her web site at http://atsukophoto.com.
South Dakota Passes Legislation Establishing a Teen Court Grant Fund
the first endowment of $100,000 to be used for the creation of new teen courts within the state. Great job South Dakota! For more information about state youth and teen court legislation see An Update on Teen Court Legislation by Michelle E. Heward. For more information log on to www.GlobalYouthJustice.org
Canadian Journal Highlights the Youth Court Movement
The May/June issues of Law Now: Life in Canada published a journal article called “The Next Big Thing: Teen Courts in America”. This article examines how teen court, a simple idea that inspired a grassroots movement, has become the most replicated juvenile justice program in American history. Co-written by Scott Peterson, the article describes how teen courts in America work, and goes on to state that youth justice leaders in Canada have taken not of the success of teen courts in America and desire to introduce the concept north of the border. The article goes on to surmise that due to the success and growth of the youth court movement, and the interest in the concept from other countries, there is little doubt that the movement will soon be a truly international one. This article helped expand the Global Youth Justice Movement to other countries. A copy of this article is available on the Law Now web site at www.lawnow.org. and www.GlobalYouthJustice.org
National Training to Establish a State Teen or Youth Court Association or Networking Group takes place in Washington, DC.
In October 28-31, 2007, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention convened a team-approach training for states that do not have associations yet, but do have five or more local youth courts, teen courts, peer courts and/or student courts. More than forty youth and teen court professionals from seven states met to discuss the establishment of more state associations and networking groups to further enhance the local, state, and national movement through networking of local youth court leaders. Nancy Livingston and Gary Kepley were the lead trainers from Wisconsin and Illinois with Scott Peterson.
Europe Launches its 1st Youth Court (Peer Panel) in England/UK
The Global Youth Justice Movement expands to Europe. In September 2007, the United Kingdom’s National Centre for Restorative Justice convened an international conference at the Lancashire Police headquarters in Preston, Lancashire. The purpose of the conference was to launch three new Restorative Justice Centers. At the heart of the Centers are Peer Panels, which are the British version of youth/teen courts in the United States. Approximately 200 delegates joined United Kingdom Government Ministers and the Restorative Justice Centre’s project ambassador, Archbishop Tutu. The conference was designed to both acknowledge the significant contributions that the United States Department of Justice has made to the United Kingdom’s efforts to establish and institutionalize peer panels in England, and also to further build the relationship between peer panels and youth/teen courts.
The awesome Simon Evans from NACRO in the UK spearheaded this effort which came to fruition as Europe now has local youth court programs – referred to as peer panels that are now being established so more young people around the globe experience the benefits of peer justice. Scott Bernard Peterson from the United States traveled to the United Kingdom to help launch the very first Peer Panels in England with a keynoter address to more than 500 adults and youth from the UK to include top Government officials from the UK. Photos are available on www.GlobalYouthJustice.org.
Before leaving federal service, Scott Peterson wanted to empower local youth court and teen court adult staff to do what the federal government had successfully been doing under the stewardship of Scott Peterson for the past decade. Three (3) to four (4) mostly youth court and teen court staff from about 18 states with formal and informal state associations and state coalitions met at four (4) national meetings with about seventy-five (75) of these individuals who committed to moving forward to establish the National Association of Youth Courts, Inc. These meetings took place in New Orleans, San Diego, and Washington, DC.
By early spring of 2007, there was a board of directors in place and an executive committee who all pledged their commitment in front of their 75 peers. Incorporation had taken place and an application was submitted for 501c3 status. Scott Peterson also reached out to three (3) other federal agencies and raised $500,000 in federal funds that were awarded to the national association to help them go out on their own. At this point, Scott Peterson moved on to planning for his Global Youth Justice and passed the reins over to the National Association of Youth Courts leadership after eleven (11) years of federal/national leadership.
Mr. Peterson is not and has never been on the board or a paying member for National Association of Youth Courts (NAYC). The National Association of Youth Courts, Inc. is off to a much slower than expected start almost several years later and it has not earned the critical support of local teen court/youth court adult staff across the country. OJJDP also did not renew their federal grant. Before paying a a membership fee, as with all associations, Mr. Peterson suggests potential members request specific information on what benefits they will receive in return for their payment.
Global Youth Justice hopes by 2020 there are a dozen or more multi-state, national and/or international organizations, to include public and private, like Global Youth Justice, LLC. supporting the Global Youth Justice Movement. This approach to have multiple agencies and organizations has proven to be very effective for other youth programs such as “Mentoring”. Global Youth Justice, LLC will gladly support any other credible and legitimate local, state, regional, national and/or international organization supporting the Global Youth Justice Movement. Scott encourages local and state youth justice adult staff to be creative and establish public and private efforts to advance the youth justice movement on many fronts. Please feel free to call us and discuss any ideas for going out on your own or with others. The timing is right to take an entrepreneurial approach to this work - it is very healthy for the Global Youth Justice Movement.
Historic 1st Report to the Nation is released
In September 2008, “Youth Courts: A Report to the Nation – A 15 Year Report” was released to a wide audience. This historic publication appeared in more than thirty-five (35) e-newsletters and on hundreds of websites. This document was researched and co-written by Scott B. Peterson with help from the talented Jill Beres. The document and report is the largest and most comprehensive report ever compiled on Youth Court. It chronicles how youth court has evolved from a handful of local grassroots efforts to a national and international movement. A copy is available on www.GlobalYouthJustice.org.
Global Youth Justice, LLC is established in March of 2009.
The mission of Global Youth Justice, LLC is to “Promote the global expansion of juvenile justice programs commonly referred to as youth court, teen court, peer court, student court, youth peer jury, and youth peer panel”. Global Youth Justice, LLC was incorporated in the State of Massachusetts in the United States of America in March of 2009 by Scott B. Peterson. Mr. Peterson serves as the President and Founder of Global Youth Justice, LLC. For almost two (2) decades Mr. Peterson has successfully and relentlessly championed the Global Youth Justice Movement on a local, state, national and international level. Mr. Peterson is regarded as the leading authority in America and around the world on these juvenile justice programs commonly referred to as youth court, teen court, peer court, student court, youth peer jury, and youth peer panel.
Global Youth Justice, LLC is the latest initiative of Mr. Peterson to advance the Global Youth Justice Movement. Global Youth Justice, LLC differs from all previous national or international initiatives to support the Global Youth Justice Movement. Global Youth Justice, LLC was established for a wide range of purposes to include educating, advocating, and lobbying for the expansion of juvenile justice programs commonly referred to as youth courts, also referred to as teen courts, peer courts, student courts, youth peer juries, and youth peer panels.
Unlike restrictions placed on the federal government and most not-for-profits, Global Youth Justice, LLC is allowed to engage in activities such as lobbying Presidents, Prime Ministers, Heads of State, Congress, Governors, Mayors, State and County Legislatures, and other elected and appointed public officials. Global Youth Justice, LLC will also engage in providing international leadership, facilitate global coordination, build collaborations, disseminate information, launch campaigns, convene events, and offer training and technical assistance on a local, state, national and global level. To learn more about and/or to inquire how to get involved with Global Youth Justice, LLC, please email Scott.Peterson@GlobalYouthJustice.org and/or log on to www.GlobalYouthJustice.org beginning on September 1, 2009.
The 2009 National Training to establish a Youth Court or Teen Court
The Global Issue
Resource Center in collaboration with Scott Peterson from Global Youth Justice,
LLC convened the first national training to establish a youth court or teen
court in almost two (2) years. This
national training took place in Cleveland, Ohio from March 30-31. A strong showing of representatives from more
than fifty (50) communities attended this national training. More than twenty (20) states and the District
of Columbia were represented at this national training. National trainers include the leading
authorities on Youth and Teen Court to include Ms. Nancy Livingston from
Wisconsin, Mr. Gay Kepley from Illinois, Mr. David Garcia, and Mrs. Karen
Lard-Garcia from New Mexico. Mr. Scott
Peterson served as both trainer and keynote speaker.
This is the first national implementation training Mr. Peterson has launched since leaving federal service in February of 2008. Registration for this national training is as high as previous national trainings over the past decade Mr. Peterson spearheaded while a federal employee, and even slightly higher, and in tough economic times. This is a good sign the National Youth Court and Teen Court Movement is still strong and growing. To be placed on a list for upcoming trainings – email technicalassistance@GlobalYouthJustice.org
www.GlobalYouthJustice is Launched on September 1, 2009
Global Youth Justice, LLC launched Www.GlobalYouthJustice.org on September 1, 2009. National and International partners of Global Youth Justice, LLC will send several hundred thousand emails will initially go out across to world announcing the release of this new global website to expand the Global Youth Justice Movement. The historic launch of www.GlobalYouthJustice.org will begin the first formal international effort to expand youth court, teen court, student court, peer court, and youth peer panel programs. Www.GlobalYouthJustice.org is the face of Global Youth Justice, LLC and it will only continue to grow with each passing month. The launch of www.GlobalYouthJustice.org will be a fresh and innovative addition to the movement.
The website is designed for both youth and adults and it will serve as a catalyst for positive social change. Www.GlobalYouthJustice.org is not restricted from lobbying and advocating here in America and around the world. Www.GlobalYouthJustice.org already includes new Statistics to the upcoming Global Youth Justice Awards to Lobbying to becoming a Global Youth Justice Ambassador to upcoming International Trainings to the Global E-Newsletter and much, much more. Scott Peterson would especially like to thank Mr. James Olezene from San Antonio, Texas. He is the webmaster for Global Youth Justice, LLC. Bookmark it today and put a link on your website Www.GlobalYouthJustice.org
1st Global Youth Justice Institute and Staff Retreat
June 14-17, 2010 in Provincetown, Cape Cod, MA, USA
The Provincetown Inn and Resort
This 1st Global Youth Justice Institute and Retreat is designed for the adult staff who currently or have previously worked full-time and/or part-time in local programs in a wide range of capacities to include operational, administrative, and in support capacities. Peer training and sharing will be a primary focus of this 1st Global Youth Justice Institute and Staff retreat. Topics will include funding, grant writing, improving and managing community service and volunteer training, implementing and enhancing state coalitions, supporting the professional advancement of careers in local youth court and teen court programs, and other much more.
The 2010 International Training to Establish a Youth Court/Teen Court
December 7-9, 2010 in Las Vegas, NV, USA
The Tuscany Suites
Help Document the Global Youth Justice
More than 150 youth and adults from the world are gratefully acknowledged for already helping document the history of the Global Youth Justice Movement. Please continue to join in the effort to help Global Youth Justice, LLC serve as a historian and create a central repository for sharing the key events that are largely responsible for shaping the Global Youth Justice Movement in to the 21st Century in America and around the world. Youth and adults to include those formerly and currently involved in the Global Youth Justice Movement are encouraged to send their submission suggestions to Scott.Peterson@GlobalYouthJustice.org .
your submission with a short caption and in less than 100 words if
possible. If your entry is posted on www.GlobalYouthJustice.org you
will receive a commemorative Global Youth Justice Mouse Pad.