Youth Court uses a Restorative Justice model in the classroom where students who receive pink slips or disciplinary actions at their school can have their issue discussed among their peers in mock court room setting rather than going through the Principal’s Office. Students in the mock courtrooms take turns playing roles as Judge, jury, defendant’s lawyer, bailiff announcer, and legal teams.
The goals of Youth Court are to:
Encourage youth to think about the consequences to their actions
Establish a way for youth to listen to and decide how to handle their peers’ misbehaviors
Provide students with an opportunity to learn more about legal careers
Decrease the number of school expulsions, drop out rates, and detentions
PSR Philadelphia has hosted Youth Courts since the mid 90s at over a dozen middle and high schools. According to the National Association of Youth Courts, Youth Court programs exist in 39 states across the United States. Indeed Youth Court builds leadership and accountability.
If you would like to sponsor a Youth Court in a local Philadelphia school or if your school would like a Youth Court in your school, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.