One day after school last December, year-old Michael took the stand in a Brooklyn courtroom. His name has been changed since he is a minor. He had walked in with a scowl, but now looked like he was about to cry. The New York Police Department takes turnstile jumping very seriously. More than 37, people received incarceration time for fare evasion from to the first half of , according to state data ; 1, of them were minors.
Youth courts serve as immediate intervention with minor offenders who can be diverted from the juvenile justice system. These courts fill an intervention gap in many jurisdictions in which heavy caseloads and the need to focus on more serious offenders result in a low priority for the enforcement of misdemeanor charges. Youth courts provide immediate sanctions, holding young persons accountable for minor delinquent acts in a positive manner, while extending that accountability to the community—usually in the form of community service. Thus they hold considerable promise as an immediate intervention in a graduated sanctions system.
The nation's highest court has had plenty to say about everything from free speech at school to teenagers' rights in the legal system. For those of us on the outside, the U. Supreme Court can seem remote and mysterious.
The dog days of summer are usually a hibernation period for teenagers. But, some teenagers in Leon County are spending their summers getting a reality check by stepping into a courtroom and deciding the fate of one of their peers. Attari and five other teen volunteers have chosen to spend their Tuesday night prosecuting a year-old boy for criminal mischief in Teen Court.