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Comparison of Statewide Youth Court Associations and Networking Groups (From Selected Topics on Youth Courts: A Monograph, P 93-105, 2004, Tracy Godwin Mullins, ed. -- See NCJ-208164)

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2004
13 pages
This paper draws on lessons learned from existing State youth court associations and networking groups to provide information to other youth-court programs interested in forming a statewide association or group.
The recommendations are based on interviews with representatives of State youth court associations and networking groups to determine their purpose, organizational structure, activities, and the advantages of forming an association, as well as challenges States faced during the organizing process. The three primary organizational approaches of statewide youth-court associations are as a formalized self-governing association, as a formalized group under a State or statewide agency/organization, or as an informal networking group. Benefits of organizing on a State level include the ability to network with others who are working in youth court programs, the capacity to plan and organize education and training events for youth court staff and/or court volunteers, and an enhanced ability to promote the youth court concept and gain more political and financial support within the State. Some common activities of State youth court associations/groups are described, and tips are offered for organizing on a State level. These tips are to contact other youth courts in the State; find a core group of committed individuals to get the association/group started; involve youth in the planning and development of the association; consider where and how often the association/group will meet; contact other State associations and networking groups; determine the purpose for organizing; identify and communicate with local stakeholders; determine who will be members; and keep the membership informed, involved, and engaged in the process. 3 figures and 1 reference

Date Published: January 1, 2004