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What Is Youth Court?

Youth Court is a voluntary, diversion program that serves as an alternative to the traditional juvenile justice system. This innovative program, that has been functioning in Cuyahoga County since 2010, prevents first time offenders between the ages of 7-16 from having to have their cases handled by Family Court or the Cuyahoga County Probation Department.

Youth Court is a peer - run court comprised of trained young people ( between the ages of ( 13-18) that assume various court roles such as judges, prosecutors, defense counsel, & bailiffs. Proceeding through Youth Court provides for a more immediate and meaningful effect on a young person rather than the traditional juvenile justice system.

Youth court is based on the premise that young people want to do the right thing when making decisions. Those who make the wrong choice are most often gratified after going through Youth Court, to learn that they have an opportunity to make amends, Youth Court also educates the youth who operate it, providing them with the understanding of the Justice System.

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