The Allegany County Youth Bureau functions to assist in the development and funding of programs which encourage positive youth development. These programs encourage all youth to become involved, assist them in developing a sense of responsibility, and motivate them to make a positive contribution to their community. Throughout Allegany County, cultural and recreational opportunities are made accessible to young people so that they may build character and continue to mature physically, intellectually, and emotionally.
It is the mission of the Allegany County Youth Bureau and Board to work collaboratively with all youth service providers to provide our families and youth with opportunities to participate in a variety of educational and recreational programs which will enhance and promote a wide range of assets necessary for healthy development. We strive to provide innovative programs that will encourage empowerment, constructive use of time, positive values, positive identity, and social competencies so all our young people will grow up to be healthy, caring responsible adults.
Allegany County Youth Court
Youth Courts are one of the fastest growing programs in the community justice movement. In 2004 there are over 540 active Youth Court Programs throughout the United States. These programs embrace restitution and community service, two common forms of community or restorative justice, within their sentencing guidelines. In addition, Youth Courts send to the community and its youth a strong message that young people do not support law-breaking behavior.
Positive peer pressure plays a major role in our Court hearings at the Belmont Courthouse as juvenile defendants must explain their conduct to Allegany County students who serve as Judge, Bailiff, Defense, Prosecution, Jury Foreperson, and Jury. These student Youth Court members know the circumstances of life in Allegany County and provide thoughtful and appropriate sentences in each individual case. When youth participate in the Youth Court process either as defendants or volunteers they develop valuable skills that will help them become more responsible and productive citizens. Several of our Youth Court defendants that go through our program actually end up joining as Youth Court members once their sanctions have been completed successfully.
Youth Court provides and immediate response to mostly first time offenses that may be warning signs of future serious or violent delinquency. This early intervention also offers the defendant a second chance to make amends for his/her offense before being entered into the family/criminal court system, acquiring a record, paying Court fees, and being given the “juvenile delinquent” label.
The Allegany County Youth Court Director Sabrena Beaten can be reached at: