Are you a middle or high school student that wants to learn more about the justice system? Consider joining the Youth Justice Court.
Every Thursday at 4 p.m., Queens Law Associates and Queens Library hosts the Youth Justice Court. Youth Justice Court (YJC) is a court run by young adults in the community. Members are empowered to help their community while learning about the law. The program is offered around Queens, but locally, it is held at the Queens Library For Teens (2002 Cornaga Ave) in Far Rockaway.
YJC is a training program preparing all members to advocate within the Youth Court model. Once training is completed, cases come to YJC and members will learn how to prepare a case for trial. YJC holds a hearing to investigate the circumstances and determine what sanction is necessary. Sanctions range from: writing an apology letter, community service at a designated location, or counseling sessions with a QLA social worker.
According to QLA’s Angela Williams, YJC is “a free program for young people. Students will take trips to the court house. They can complete their internship or community service hours simply by joining the program. Our vision behind this program is to have students leave the program becoming critical thinkers. Knowledge is power and it’s important that we teach our youth about their rights as Americans, immigrants, race, gender etc. Having some knowledge about the law is crucial these days.”