Youth Program Offers Circle Sentencing With Barter Incentive
Community Youth Court, now in its second year, is administered by
Youth Services of Southern Wisconsin, a nonprofit agency
specializing in programs for youths and their families.
the Youth Services courts, the Allied Community program uses circle
sentencing, a restorative justice process that involves members of
the accused’s community, including adults. All other Youth Services
programs are peer courts where teens, under the guidance of an
adult, determine sentences.
Youths ages 12
to 16 who live in or offend in the Allied area can be referred to
youth court for such ordinance violations as curfew offenses,
habitual truancy, tobacco use, trespassing or fighting. They have
909 days to complete their sentences.
offenders, standing before other teenagers to acknowledge
misbehavior cuts down on the BS factor,” said Madison Police Officer
Greg Rossetti. “Kids who go through the youth court seem to
stabilize their behavior, and the ones who stay on to train and
serve as jurors develop leadership, public speaking, and critical
The court in
Darbo-Worthington is run by the Dan County Timebank Network. Youths
who serve as jurors in that court earn “time dollars” that they can
use to barter for services—like karate lessons or hair
styling—offered by other members of the network. Timebank and Youth
Services are working to merge aspects of their youth court programs,
including making the time dollars available to all juvenile jurors.