Please note, due to the program cycle Youth Court is not accepting applications for new jurors at the present time; however referral cases are being accepted. Information will be posted in spring of 2014 regarding future training opportunities for jurors. Thank you!
Click here for an application to serve as Youth Court Peer Jury Panel member.
Click here to inquire about referring a case to Pittsford Youth Court.
Pittsford Youth Court is a community-based intervention/prevention program that encourages the involvement of youth in youth issues, serving as an alternative response within the juvenile justice and school systems for first-time juvenile offenders. Youth Court enhances community safety by holding juvenile offenders accountable for their actions and promoting long-term behavioral change, while providing learning opportunities for offenders and youth volunteers.
The Youth Court system, successful in over 1,200 communities nationwide, presents an alternative approach to juvenile justice. Youth Courts employ concepts such as positive peer influence, accountability and youth involvement in youth issues. The court addresses first time, non-violent offenses committed in the community. Youth Court also educates the young people that participate as jurors about the legal and judicial systems and empowers local youth to be active in helping their community solve problems. They become part of the solution by being the decision-makers in
peer-to-peer resolution of issues.
Pittsford Youth Court practices restorative justice principles, which is an approach that holds offenders accountable, includes the community in the response and develops the skills and competencies of the offender so they will be less likely to offend again.
|Some examples of offenses that could be referred to Youth Court:|
|• Vandalism||• Cyberbullying||• Truancy|
|• Theft||• Substance abuse/use||• Harassment/Bullying|
|• Fighting||• Criminal mischief||• Weapons possession|
|• Cheating||• Disorderly conduct||• Shoplifting|
How offenses get referred to Youth Court:
First-time offenders, ages 8-18 enter the youth court system by way of referral from the courts, the schools or law enforcement. Participants and their parents/guardians must admit to the charge or complaint and agree to accept the consequences determined by their peers on the Youth Court. Parents of the offenders and victims of the offense may also request referral to Youth Court. For more information on referring a case call 248-6243.
How to become involved in Youth Court:
If you have an interest in serving on a Youth Court Peer Jury Panel, applications are available through this website or your school principal’s office. Sophomores, juniors and seniors are eligible to serve as jurors. Once your application is approved, a panelist must participate in a 16 hour New York State sanctioned Youth Court training course. This training is generally held in late August for the upcoming school year.
Students may also participate by serving on the Youth Court Advisory Board. The Advisory Board oversees the operations of the Court and provides guidance and support of the program. Inquiries on serving on the advisory board should be directed to the Youth Court Coordinator.
Youth Court Advisory Board Membership
|Hon. John Bernacki, Pittsford Town Justice|
|Christopher Calabrese, Pittsford resident|
|Alex Cassidy, student, Pittsford Mendon High School|
|Casey Mulroy, student, Pittsford Sutherland High School|
|Liz Konar, Principle, Sutherland High School|
|Captain Lou Tomassetti, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office|
|Dale Cameron-Kody, Pittsford Alliance for a Substance Free Youth|
|Lisa Fulmer, Executive Director, Pittsford Youth Services|
|Sandra Zutes, Pittsford Town Supervisor|
Then-supervisor Bill Carpenter, Youth Court Coordinator Jill Harter Lennox, trainer Kathy Iacovangelo,
and Judge John Bernacki pictured with Pittsford teenagers chosen as
panelists / jurors in the 2012-2013 Youth Court. These students received extensive
training were administered an oath of confidentiality by Judge Bernacki.