Youth Court is an alternative to Family Court. First time juvenile offenders are offered the privilege of appearing before a court composed of junior high and high school students.
The primary goals of the Grandview Youth Court are to teach high-risk youths the necessity of taking responsibility for their own actions and to help keep kids from being arrested again.
This unique court serves the community in diverse ways. It educates youth to a better understanding of the laws and allows them to examine the workings of the Justice System. Problem youths with minor offenses are often overlooked but can be appropriately handled in this court, benefiting the community, the police, and themselves.
Want to be a member of Youth Court? Getting involved is a great way to help the community and build valuable experience. Prospective members receive an initial six weeks of training classes presented by local attorneys. At the end of training, all students must pass a "bar" exam before serving in Youth Court.
- Youth must be at least 12 years old (in the 7th grade) and may be as old as 19 years of age
- A resident of the City of Grandview, Missouri, or attending Grandview Consolidated School District #4.
How does it work? Juveniles between 8 and 17 years of age charged with first offenses may be eligible for Youth Court. Common cases heard in Youth Court involve minor offenses like harassment, shoplifting, trespassing, destruction of property, disorderly conduct, and possession of alcohol or drug paraphernalia.
After a juvenile has been arrested, a Grandview Police Officer, specializing in juvenile affairs, reviews the case for consideration by Youth Court. If the officer decides Youth Court is appropriate, the youth's parents are sent a letter giving them a choice of attending Youth Court at the City Services Building on Main Street or the Jackson County Family Court in downtown Kansas City.
Once Youth Court is chosen, a youth's case is assigned a Youth Defense Attorney and a Youth Prosecutor. The defendant is then tried and judged before a Youth Judge. The only adults present at the trial are the juvenile's parents, a local attorney, and the Youth Court Director. The attorney and director are used only as court resources for youth participants.
All decisions are made by the Youth Judge. If found guilty or pleads guilty, the court will hand down a sentence of one or a combination of community service hours (not to exceed 50 hours), apology to victims (if appropriate), and a written essay on a theme pertaining to the crime.
All juvenile proceedings and records are confidential as per Family Court rules. All court records are destroyed by the Youth Court office on the juvenile's seventeenth birthday.
To get involved or for more information, call Mike McComas at (816) 767-1030 or visit the website at www.grandviewyouthcourt.com.