News Release

Newly Created National Youth Court Center
For Immediate Release: 10/15/1999

The U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) and the American Probation and Parole Association (APPA) announce the creation of the National Youth Court Center. OJJDP is supporting the $1 million Center in collaboration with the U.S. Departments of Transportation, Education, Health and Human Services.

The implementation of youth court programs in the United States is a growing phenomenon. Currently there are more than 630 youth court programs operating in 46 states and the District of Columbia. According to OJJDP Administrator Shay Bilchick these prevention and early intervention programs are making a positive difference in the lives of first-time juvenile offenders. "Establishing the National Youth Court Center will provide one-stop shopping to community organizations interested in developing and operating effective youth court models."

The National Youth Court Center, which will be operated by the American Probation and Parole Association, aims to assist communities in developing and operating effective youth court programs that promote positive youth development and help strengthen the ability of the juvenile justice system to hold youth accountable for their behavior. Goals of the National Youth Court Center include:

  • To serve as an information clearinghouse for information about operations and practices of youth court programs in the United States.
  • To coordinate and deliver training seminars, technical assistance, and conferences on the development, implementation and enhancement of youth court programs.
  • To develop national guidelines for youth court programs and other resources to help elevate the standard of youth court programs’ operations and practices.
  • To collaborate and form partnerships with supporting federal, national, state and local agencies and organizations in the development and production of resources for youth court programs.
  • In addition, with the support of the Center, the American Bar Association (ABA) will produce four student training manuals and an accompanying instructor’s manual to assist youth courts in developing and delivering youth volunteer training programs. Phi Alpha Delta, the largest law fraternity in the world, will develop a campaign to encourage the legal community to become involved in establishing youth court programs.

Information on the National Youth Court Center can be obtained on its web site at http://www.youthcourt.net