Rochester Teen Court

Rochester Teen Court is a diversion program delivered by The Center for Youth for nonviolent offenders, ages 16-18. Defendants participate voluntarily in this sentencing court after accepting responsibility for their actions in a traditional courtroom. Local judges preside over the proceedings, and teen jurors recommend sentencing. Youth volunteers also serve as attorneys and court personnel.

Youth courts use positive peer pressure to ensure that young people who have committed minor offenses pay back the community and receive the help they need to avoid further involvement in the justice system. Youth courts hear a range of low-level crimes; many handle cases that would otherwise wind up in Family Court or Criminal Court. The Center also assists local jurisdictions in their efforts to establish youth courts.

Restorative Justice

Participation in youth courts is voluntary and requires young people to take responsibility for their actions. Through the hearing or restorative circle, the respondent has the opportunity to tell their story and answer questions posed by the jury. With a focus on restorative justice, sanctions typically include community service, letters of apology, and skill-building workshops. Successful completion of sanctions typically results in a favorable disposition of the case by the referring agency.

Youth Leadership

Youth volunteers cultivate their leadership skills and are exposed to a range of education and career opportunities. Young people with previous justice-involvement are strongly encouraged to apply. All youth court members receive 30-40 hours training before serving.

Teen Court’s main objective is to ensure a teen’s first encounter with the criminal justice system is his or her last. The program is designed to:

After-School Programs

The Center for Youth staff, volunteers and interns deliver after-school programs to provide academic enrichment and recreational opportunities. We promote school and community engagement with the goals of increasing attendance, increasing academic success, decreasing suspensions and fostering well-rounded youth.

Alternative-to-Suspension (ATS)

The Center for Youth delivers the ATS program in Rochester City Schools as well as suburban and charter schools.

is designed to:

  • reduce short-term, out of-school suspensions;
  • minimize disruptive behavior;
  • avoid future suspensions;
  • and keep youth on track with their academics.

Instead of sending students home, schools keep students in a classroom with a Social Learning Specialist from The Center for Youth and a teacher or teacher’s aide. The Center for Youth provides socio-emotional support, teaching life-skills and positive coping mechanisms, while the teacher ensures the students complete their regular classroom assignments.

Extended Learning Time

We offer support services for schools in the Rochester City School District that have extended learning time. Our prevention educators develop and deliver prevention education curricula and workshops, and our child family therapists establish relationships with parents, guardians and caregivers to foster the success of their children.

Learn 2 Earn

The Center for Youth offers Learn2Earn to assist youth in establishing and successfully attaining educational and employment goals.

New Beginning

The Center for Youth, in partnership with the Youth and Justice Program of the RCSD, has developed an academic alternative program, featuring a personalized learning environment –The New Beginning Program is a ground-breaking approach that addresses the academic and social-emotional issues of young men, ages 16-21 that have experienced personal challenges.  This school offers a structured, consistent, predictable and supportive environment that promotes positive relationships that are imperative to the young men’s sense of security, safety and self. 

Prevention Education Services (PES)

Our team of prevention education specialists offers research-based, interactive workshops geared toward schools and other youth organizations in Monroe County. Evidence-based prevention programs such as Botvin’s Life Skills help children and teens make healthy decisions.

Examples topics include:

  • Communication
  • Alcohol and drug awareness
  • Prejudice
  • Depression and suicide
  • Sexuality
  • Conflict resolution

School-Based Counseling

Our school-based counselors provide crisis-intervention counseling to students, families or groups as well as referral services.

Contact us for More Info

Need help now? Call our crisis line.

24 Hour Crisis Line


Use the form below if you don’t have access to a phone, or have a non-urgent message:


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