Orleans DSS seeks to restart Youth Court

Posted 14 March 2023 at 12:13 pm

Press Release, Orleans County Department of Social Services

ALBION – The Orleans County Department of Social Services has recently hired a Youth Court coordinator to develop a Youth Court program.

Youth Court is an alternative for young people who face disciplinary action through school or law enforcement. It provides young people with the opportunity to learn from their mistakes without facing the juvenile justice system.

We are currently reaching out to each of the five school districts in the county to recruit Youth Court members. The Youth Court members will be trained by professionals including attorneys, judges and service providers in order to qualify to serve in various roles on the youth court.

Youth Court members participate as judge, jury and advocates as they impose sanctions on their peers that reflect restorative justice ideals and connect the peer and their family to the community.

Youth Court members need to be entering grades 7 through 11 for the upcoming 2023-2024 school year. Having a history with Juvenile Justice or Juvenile Diversion Program in the past does not prohibit youth from participation in the program.

Members are committed to attending the hearings and participating in enrichment programs.  Participation in Youth Court may fulfill requirements for community service hours if approved by your school district.

This is an exciting opportunity to take an active role in your community and with your fellow students. You can make a difference and I am anxiously looking forward to taking this journey with you.

If anyone is interested in participating in this venture please reach out to Jeannine Larkin at (585) 589-3149 or (585) 297-0137.