Dutchess County to explore youth court

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POUGHKEEPSIE – A proposal by Legislator Craig Brendli in July to establish a Dutchess County Youth Court was tabled by the Republican majority of the legislature until Tuesday night when a modified draft was passed by the entire 25-member board.

The original plan called for the creation of a youth court as a diversion to court for first-time youth offenders where they are represented, tried, and sentenced by their trained peers.  Similar programs exist in Putnam and Ulster counties.

The resolution passed on Tuesday night calls for the study to be conducted to determine the feasibility of a youth court or youth restorative justice program.  Town of Wappinger lawmaker Joey Cavaccini said that the original proposal was too narrow, and the study is a better idea.  “I want to see what types of programs are available for youth before committing to establishing a youth court.”

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