Provides funding for activities of Youth Courts in New York State.
On January 1, 2009, the Board of Directors of The New York Bar Foundation renamed its Youth Court Fund in honor of retired Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals of the State of New York, Judith S. Kaye. It is only fitting for this fund to now carry the name of Judith S. Kaye, a woman who has spearheaded administrative reform and devoted much of her career to improving the lives of children and families. The Youth Court Fund was created in 2008 by The Foundation’s Board of Directors when it determined that New York’s Youth Courts were struggling to survive because of limited financial support and that The Foundation would begin a campaign to raise funds to provide assistance for Youth Court activities. The purpose of each Youth Court is to seek to improve juvenile justice outcomes through an alternative to the criminal justice system for community youth.
There are more than 100 Youth Courts in cities, towns and villages in New York that deliver justice to youths between the ages of seven and 15. The purpose of each is to seek to improve juvenile justice outcomes through an alternative to the criminal justice system for community youth. Youth Courts have been emerging as the fastest growing juvenile intervention programs in the country and are patterned after the Family Court process. Girls and boys, who have committed an offense no greater than a misdemeanor, are helped by early intervention and education and learn to appreciate the justice system and the law through a Youth Court experience. Youth Courts hold offenders accountable for negative behavior, and at the same time, teach them to respect themselves along with individuals, families and property in their own communities. Youth Courts are collaborations of local criminal justice agencies, schools and the community and are operated by high school-age youth.