September 18, 2013: Bar Association Recognizes Role of Youth Courts with Workshops for Teens and Attorneys

The New York State Bar Association will promote the value of the state’s Youth Court programs as an alternative way to deal with teenage delinquency during a daylong seminar in Albany on September 23.

The free event—co-sponsored by the New York State Bar Association in conjunction with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of New York and the Association of New York State Youth Courts—is designed to show how Youth Courts can: help reduce youth crime through peer intervention; build respect among teens for the rule of law; and expose high school students to careers in the law and law enforcement.

New York has more than 80 Youth Courts, in which teens serve as judges, jurors and attorneys in real-life situations involving fellow students. Legal proceedings are held for peers charged with minor offenses such as truancy, fighting, vandalism and shoplifting. Sanctions typically include community service, letters of apology, essays and counseling. Local judges, attorneys, educators and law enforcement personnel oversee the Youth Courts.

Through its Special Committee on Youth Courts, informational forums and grants, the New York State Bar Association and its charitable arm, the Bar Foundation, have long supported Youth Courts as a proven method of addressing adolescent delinquency. National statistics show that teens who go through the Youth Court system are far less likely to get into future trouble with the criminal justice system than those who go through the traditional court system.

The September 23 event is geared toward students, educators, law enforcement, the legal community and anyone else interested in establishing Youth Courts, improving existing courts or learning more about the Youth Court system.

Morning activities, to be held at the State Bar Center in Albany starting at 9:15 a.m., will include a panel discussion of innovative practices, workshop sessions on how to effectively prepare presentations to elected officials and other activities directed to youth volunteers.

The afternoon portion of the seminar will feature a mock Youth Court hearing, reception and awards ceremony, to be held from 1 to 4 p.m. at the James T. Foley Courthouse in Albany. U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of New York Richard S. Hartunian, former New York State Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye and former state Appellate Division Justice Bernard J. Malone, Jr. will host the celebration.

The State Bar Center, headquarters of the New York State Bar Association, is located at One Elk Street in Albany. The James T. Foley Courthouse is located at 445 Broadway in Albany.

While there is no cost to attend the program, registration is required for the morning workshops. To register, visit www.surveymonkey.com/s/YCEvent2013. For more information, visit the Association for New York State Youth Courts website at www.nysyouthcourts.org.

The 76,000-member New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. It was founded in 1876.

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Contact: Brandon J. Vogel 
Media Writer
bvogel@nysba.org
518-487-5535