Youth Court is one of the fastest growing youth diversion programs in the nation. In South Carolina,there are over 35 separate youth courts serving many different communities and schools. In communities,Youth Court is a juvenile diversion option intended to keep young people with no criminal record out of the juvenile justice system,allowing them a second chance to maintain their clean juvenile records. In schools, youth court can handle actual criminal offenses in which the school resource officer is involved or it can be inserted into the discipline code to handle violations of school rules. Youth Courts function like a traditional court with all the key roles in place. The difference is that all of those roles are played by youth. Youth Courts use positive peer pressure as the primary mode of operation. They can be implemented in a variety of forms, but in all forms, youth serve to hear charges and impose a disposition. Youth Courts provide a fascinating opportunity to positively impact the young people of South Carolina while simultaneously educating youth offenders and non-offenders about the law and the judicial process.
Frequently Asked Questions
National Association of Youth Courts