Oct 29, 2009

New Harlem Youth Court Members Inducted

On Wednesday, October 28, 2009, the Harlem Youth Court held an induction ceremony for its newest Youth Court members. Special guest speakers included the Hon. Ruben Martino, Presiding Judge at the Harlem Community Justice Center, and Ms. Vanda Seward, the new State-wide Director of Reentry for the NYS Division of Parole.

The Harlem Youth Court engages teenagers who have had minor police contact or who have been truant. These youth "respondents" can have their cases heard and decided by a jury of their peers—other teens from the neighborhood who have been trained to perform the roles of judge, jury and attorneys. Youth Court respondents receive peer-imposed sanctions that are both educational and restorative to the community. Youth Court empowers young people to take responsibility for standards of behavior in their community and to be accountable to each other.