David Bookstaver, Director
Mai Yee, Assistant Director
Date: May 30, 2000
|Court System Announces Nation's First Juvenile Probation Violation Court|
|BRONX, NY - Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye and Chief Administrative
Judge Jonathan Lippman today announced the creation of the Juvenile Probation
Violation Court in the Bronx, the first court in the nation focusing on
delinquent youths assigned to intensive probation. Operating as a pilot
project within the Bronx Family Court, the new program re-engineers the
relationship between the court system and the Department of Probation by
establishing an early, active judicial presence in juvenile probation cases
to address minor infractions aggressively before they escalate to more
serious, often criminal, behavior.
The court will handle cases exclusively from the New York City Department of Probation's intensive supervision program for juvenile delinquents. Assigning these cases after sentence to one judge will give both the court and the Department of Probation additional tools to assure compliance among young probationers. Presently, these cases rarely appear in court until a violation has been committed, which may be too late in terms of preventing long-term criminal involvement for these high-risk youths. Under the new program, probationers will be required to appear regularly before a judge, who will monitor compliance and can impose a comprehensive menu of sanctions as needed to promote responsible behavior. The court will serve as the central hub of communication and cooperation among the multiple agencies involved in juvenile probation cases, ensuring that critical decision-making information is accurate and current.
"Juvenile probationers are at a critical juncture in their lives," said Chief Judge Kaye. "They can either be restored as law-abiding members of their communities or succumb to the pull of criminality. With a 35-percent violation rate for juveniles receiving intensive probationary supervision in New York City, the Juvenile Probation Violation Court will focus on early intervention in an effort to keep young offenders from engaging in more serious misconduct. Instead of waiting to step in when a severe violation has already occurred, the court will monitor these youngsters during the entire period of probation, providing supportive services to address their problems, and if necessary imposing immediate sanctions along the way to discourage further criminal activity. The assistance this innovative new court will offer to help maintain law-abiding behavior among juvenile delinquents can reap positive long-term outcomes for these youths, their families and the community."
Judge Lippman said, "The Juvenile Probation Violation Court is a result of cooperation between the New York State court system and the New York City Department of Probation, which initiated a special program in 1990 to help juvenile probationers stay out of trouble. The byproduct of this intergovernmental partnership is a court that promises to help steer high-risk youths away from destructive behavior and keep them with their families and in their schools and communities, without compromising public safety."
Probation Commissioner Raul Russi noted, "Over the last six years, New York City has made tremendous progress in reducing crime. However, to protect those gains and make this city even safer, we must find more effective ways to intervene in the lives of troubled youth. The creation of the Juvenile Probation Violation Court will give us a powerful new tool in dealing with high-risk juvenile delinquents. I am confident that this historic initiative will help to reduce the chances that the young people placed on probation will go on to become career criminals."
The Juvenile Probation Violation Court, scheduled to open this Fall, will feature the following:
Broad Partnerships: The court will foster collaborative partnerships to ensure access to services that address problems such as substance abuse, mental health issues and effective parenting. As truancy is a significant factor in juvenile crime, the Board of Education will be a major partner in the court program.