Youth Court This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   In many communities, when a person under the age of sixteen is arrested for a minor crime or violation, like shoplifting, trespassing, or possession of a weapon, they are given a warning, or even let off with a minor penalty. This policy results in repeat offenses, as well as a foundation for future crime when the juvenile becomes older.

I volunteer my time to a program call Youth Court which was established to deal with the problem of youth offenders. Set up by the Town of Clarkstown's police department and juvenile aid bureau, Youth Court is an actual court run by young adults.

Each position in the court - judge, clerk, bailiff, prosecution, and defense - is occupied by a "peer" who is a volunteer like I am. I have participated in all but one of the Youth Court's positions.

If found guilty, an appropriate punishment is given to the offender. This normally includes some type of community service activity. Therefore, Youth Court not only prevents repeat offenders through punishment, but does service to the community. I feel great satisfaction in helping prevent future crime in my community. I also have learned much about our judicial process through our instruction. However, the greatest joy I find in this volunteer work is in the satisfaction I receive knowing I have helped someone else. fl


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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