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Media Access Guidelines for Youth Courts (From Selected Topics on Youth Courts: A Monograph, P 107-118, 2004, Tracy Godwin Mullins, ed. -- See NCJ-208164)

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2004
12 pages
These guidelines supplement the National Youth Court Guidelines of 2000 in assisting youth court programs in balancing competing interests and developing a framework for making sound policy related to media access.
The first guideline advises that youth courts consult State statutes, rules, and practice to determine the media access that would be allowed in their local courts where juvenile cases are heard. At a minimum, youth courts should provide for at least as much protection for youth as the local court of jurisdiction for juvenile cases. The second guideline recommends that even where local law and practice allow media access, programs should ensure that pictures, names, and other identifying characteristics of the offending youth are not disclosed by the media. The third guideline would prohibit media access to the court's deliberation process, even though local law and practice may not prohibit it. The fourth guideline states that even where local law and practice allow media access, all youth and their parents/guardians should be given full disclosure of the nature and extent of the media access and the potential outcomes for them if they agree to media access. Media access should not be allowed without the written, informed consent of the youth and his/her parents/guardians; written consent should also be obtained from victims and witnesses whose identities may be revealed. The fifth guideline advises that programs should enter into written agreements with the media that allow the program some level of control over the scope of the media coverage; allow the program, as a condition of access, to review and approve the final edited version of the material to be published; and include an understanding that the media will present the youth court process in a dignified manner. The rationale for and tips for implementing each guideline are offered. 26 notes

Date Published: January 1, 2004