9/2/14

CALL Class XVIII: Youth Court

Related Practices

Attorneys & Professionals

J.B. Lind, an associate in the Vorys Cincinnati office and a member of the litigation group, authored an article for the September issue of the Cincinnati Bar Association’s CBA Report titled “CALL Class XVIII: Youth Court.”  According to the article, each year the Cincinnati Academy of Leadership for Lawyers takes on a service project hoping to make a positive impact in Cincinnati.  Lind’s class, Class XVIII, chose the task of organizing a youth court.

The article states:

“Cincinnati’s Youth Court is designed for first time misdemeanor offenders ages 13-17. The process begins with a referral from juvenile court. In order for a case to be heard by the Youth Court, the child must first admit responsibility for his or her actions and both the parents and the child must consent to participating in the Youth Court.

Local teenagers are trained to serve as jurors, handling real-life cases involving their peers. After listening to the facts of the case, the high school students deliberate and hand down a sanction. Sanctions may include community service, a written apology or reflection, or even Youth Court jury duty. Law students are also enlisted to serve as counsel to the teens involved in the case. This unique model gives law students the opportunity to advocate for their client in a real case and courtroom—often for the first time.

The Youth Court program is unique in that it really effects three distinct groups of people: the participants and their parents, where our goal is to make this their first and last experience with the justice system; the jurors, whose exposure to these cases not only acts as a deterrent, but also opens their eyes to the realities that other teens face and encourages civic engagement; and the law students, who are given a rare opportunity to advocate in a real courtroom proceeding.”

To read the entire article, visit the Cincinnati Bar Association’s website. (Page 11).