This sixth Supportive School Discipline Webinar Series event provided the knowledge that school, district, and court staff, law enforcement and legal personnel, youth, families, and other community stakeholders need to better understand how the use of youth courts in schools can ensure offender accountability while offering fair and restorative consequences for discipline infractions. By directing lower level cases away from the formal justice system, youth courts can be an integral part of a school’s supportive disciplinary process, serving as an alternative to traditional disciplinary measures such as suspension and detention.
The Webinar featured Ms. Nancy Fishman, Project Director for the Center for Court Innovation’s Youth Justice Programs, who introduced the concept of youth courts and discuss various youth court models currently used in schools. She was joined by Ms. Lorrie Hurckes, Co-Director and Youth Court Coordinator with the Dane County TimeBank. Ms. Hurckes shared Madison, Wisconsin’s unique approach to youth courts in schools, which builds on the success of the national TimeBank model for exchanging time and services in the community. The Webinar also featured Ms. Kate Spaulding, who oversees the Pima Prevention Partnership’s (Tucson, Arizona) Teen Court in the Schools (TCIS) program. She discussed TCIS’ models of peer-led court proceedings and highlighted the program’s success in Tucson-area high schools.
As a result of participating in this session, participantswere able to:
- Understand the primary purposes and functions of youth courts
- Examine how, through policy and practice change, schools can use youth courts to develop a supportive discipline system
- Understand the importance of peers in the youth court process and the goals of accountability and restoration.
- Identify various models of youth courts employed by schools and districts using examples from some jurisdictions
This Webinar is appropriate for school district superintendents and allied staff, teachers, and support staff, school climate teams, student support personnel, school resource and security officers, probation/parole officers, law enforcement, judges and court administrators, legal personnel, youth, family members, and other community stakeholders.