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Recommended Practices for Youth Courts: A Manual for New York Youth Court Coordinators and Practitioners

NCJ Number
Dory Hack; Jacqueline Sherman
Date Published
March 2010
121 pages
This Manual for New York State Youth Court Coordinators and Practitioners contains recommended practices that offer guidance on maintaining effective and high-quality program services, as well as how to report on their successes.
A few core principles are evident throughout the practices of New York State youth courts and they are supported by the national body of literature on youth courts. One principle is the use of restorative justice principles in encouraging respondents to take responsibility for their actions and play more positive roles in their communities in the context of prosocial peer influences. Another principle is the development of youth leadership in youth courts in both the youth volunteers and respondents. A third principle is civic education gained through knowledge, experience, and perceptions of the value of community well-being. After outlining underlying principles for youth courts, guidance for management and staffing focuses on staff roles and responsibilities, professional development, the use of adult volunteers, and the development and use of advisory boards. A major section on funding addresses fundraising strategies, followed by a section on youth volunteers. The latter encompasses recruitment methods, training format, training topics, advocate training, ongoing training, responsibilities for younger court members, the periodic review of court members, and the use of online social networking. Other areas for which practices are recommended include referrals and intake, as well as hearings and the post-hearing process. An overview of research and resources for youth courts is followed by a presentation of funding from the New York State Youth Court Survey. Other major sections of the manual contain an index of resources for youth court practitioners, profiles of select youth courts, and tools for program evaluation. A 29-item bibliography and appended New York State Youth Court Survey questionnaire and the protocol for site visits