New Bedford Youth Court

New Bedford created the first Youth Court in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

The New Bedford Youth Court is true community collaboration comprised of schools, police, courts, youth volunteers, and a host of community organizations.

Youth Court respondents are offending youth ages 8 to 16, who are primarily first time offenders. These youth are referred to Youth Court as an alternative to the traditional court system. 

In Youth Court, offending youth do not contest the offense, rather they provided an opportunity to offer their view regarding the offense. The offending youth are sanctioned by a group of their peers. High school students serve as prosecuting attorneys, defense attorneys and other court personnel. The jury is comprised of student volunteers. A volunteer adult, acting as a judge, presides over the hearings.

Respondents must be referred by an authorized agency such as a school, the police or the courts. Sanctions are issued to each offending youth that must be performed for successful program completion. Sanctions may include community service, counseling, written/verbal apologies, etc.

For more information please contact your child's principal, school adjustment counselor or attendance officer - OR- 

Positive Action Against Chemical Addiction (PAACA)

(508) 979-1580

​ »