Youth Court

After the Anaya Sushi fundraiser, ten HSC ALSJ students headed over to Yale Law School for Youth Court orientation.

Youth Court Featured




What’s Youth Court?

The Project Youth Court web site explains, “Youth Courts function similarly to the typical courtroom, but trained youth volunteers act as jurors, bailiffs, clerks, and attorneys. An offender who chooses to participate in Youth Court receives an appropriate sentence, such as volunteer hours, participation in programs, or service on a future youth jury. A participant’s progress is then tracked after the hearing to ensure that the sentence is carried out, and the participant’s criminal record is then removed. Throughout the case, an adult volunteer, often a judge or attorney, oversees the process.”

This is real–not mock–court with real stakes.

Why Youth Court?

“As compared to traditional juvenile justice systems, Youth Courts yield lower recidivism rates. A 2002 report by the nonprofit policy research organization Urban Institute analyzed 500 cases and concluded the following: 1) in Alaska, recidivism for youth court cases was around 6%, compared with around 23% for cases handled by the traditional juvenile justice system, and 2) in Missouri, recidivism for youth court cases was about 9%, compared with about 28% for cases handled by the traditional juvenile justice system (Butts, Buck, and Coggeshall 2002)” (

Why are HSC ALSJ students so invested in Youth Court?

In addition to being an Academy for Law and Social Justice, we are committed to restorative justice practices. “Under this model, restitution is the rule, not the exception. Offenders work together with the victim or a representative for the victim to come up with a way to repair the harm effectively” (


Youth Court Restorative Justice





Youth Court Restorative Justice 2