Mat-Su Youth Court

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Mat Su Youth Court | Wassila, AK | MV Alaska LawThe Mat-Su Youth Court is a non-profit organization that has been serving community youths since 1996.  This diversion program caters to first-time juvenile offenders and promotes accountability, restorative justice, and education at an early age.

The youth court system consists of teen attorneys, judges, clerks, and bailiffs.  The court meets twice a week to hear misdemeanor cases.  Since most of the cases who enter the system plead guilty, the cases are most often handled as just sentencing hearings.

Program staff and legal advisers guide and train the young attorneys and judges as the cases are presented in court.  I have worked as a legal advisor for the youth court for several years and can speak to how the integrated learning system promotes restorative education for the kids.

After hearing the cases, a three-judge panel gives sentences like service hours, an essay, a letter of apology, a drug/alcohol assessment, or a Juvenile Anti-Shoplifting class.

The program also offers classes for juveniles to learn about the law and court processes.  Working as a criminal law instructor, I have helped many children learn the different aspects of criminal law and criminal law sentencing.

The state-sanctioned court operates out of Matanuska-Susitna Valley, Alaska and relies on state and federal grants, city contributions, fundraising, and donations to keep up and running.

For more information on the program, you can contact the Youth Court, which is located at the City of Wasilla Police Department.

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About Jenn Messick

I am an attorney practicing at M/V Alaska Law, an Anchorage, AK law firm helping clients all throughout Alaska navigate legal issues in divorce, family law, probate, and bankruptcy. I’m an outdoors person who enjoys hiking, skiing, hunting, spending time with family, and the beautiful scenery in Alaska. Jenn Messick’s Google+ Profile

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