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Youth Court of Oswego County

What is Youth Court?

The Oswego Youth Court is a Family Court diversion program aimed at reducing juvenile delinquency in the City/County of Oswego.  It is a trial by peers process for first time offenders between the ages of seven and less than sixteen, who have allegedly committed violations and/or misdemeanors.  Youth Court offers these youth an opportunity to constructively assume responsibility for their actions as well as offers them a chance to learn about the justice system.

How are Offenders Referred?

Once an offense is committed, the offender is apprehended and interviewed by area Police Departments, the Oswego County Sheriffs' Department, the NYS Police or the Oswego County Probation Department.  The officer then decides if the case is appropriate for Youth Court, fills out a referral form and refers the case to the Youth Court Coordinator.

Who Benefits from the Youth Court Program?

  • Offenders benefit through being judged by their peers, they don't have to pay attorney fees or go to Family Court.  This allows for offenders to possibly receive sentences that are related to their offenses.

  • Youth Court members benefit by helping their communities, influencing their peers in a positive way, gain better public speaking, interviewing and writing skills.  This provides practical experience in dealing with the judicial system.

  • Law Enforcement benefits by having another avenue to send youth who have committed first time minor offenses.

  • The entire community benefits by giving youth the chance to change their behaviors and give back to their communities through community services.

What is the Youth Court Procedure?

  • Once a referral is received by the Youth Court, the coordinator sets an appointment for the offender and his/her parents to meet with the coordinator to discuss the youths rights and the court procedures.

  • A court date is then set after the parent (s) and offender agrees to participate in the process.

  • The night of Youth Court the offender is assigned two defense attorney's.  They assist the youth in presenting their case to the judge.

  • Once the case has been presented to the judges, the judges have the following sentencing options: 

  1. Unconditional discharge
  2. 0-70 hours of community service
  3. 0-70 suspended work hours
  4. Restitution
  5. Essays
  6. Letters of apology
  7. Projects
  8. Farnham
  • After a sentence has been given by the judges the offender must complete the this sentence by their closing date.

  • Failure to complete sentences results in the case being sent to Probation or Family Court.      

Who can be A Youth Court Member?

Youth Court members are students from area high schools who volunteer their time to provide a fair and equitable system in which juvenile crime may be handled.

  • Students in grades 7-12 are eligible to become members.

  • Each interested student fills out an application and is then notified of upcoming training sessions.

  • All members must complete a 20 training program in the areas of the NYS Penal Law, the judicial system.  This will be coupled with learning the roles and responsibilities of the attorney, clerk or judge.

Contact Information

Kristen Slimmer, City Youth Coordinator

Oswego City-County Youth Bureau

70 Bunner Street

Oswego, NY 13126

Phone 315-349-3401 or 315-349-3575


Questions about the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau/Parks and Recreation?

70 Bunner St. Oswego, NY 13126 315-349-3451