Youth Peer Court (YPC) is a voluntary program which serves as an alternative to the traditional juvenile justice system to address minor crimes, truancy and school dropout. It offers youth aged 10-17 who are first time offenders, an opportunity to have their cases heard by a jury of their peers instead of their local Municipal Court.
YPC use trained youth aged 13-19 to serve in various roles on the court while adult community members sit on an advisory board. Briarpatch staff provides oversight and support during all Peer Court sessions. These courts are designed to provide a more immediate and meaningful experience for young people as compared to the traditional municipal court systems.
Each Youth Peer Court is tailored to the specific needs of the community it operates within with courts appearing in:
- Sun Prairie
- Cottage Grove
- The Allied-Dunns Marsh
- Southwest Madison neighborhoods
- Youth jurors heard 98 cases with 81% of youth successfully completing their YPC sentences