What is JCYC?

The Jersey City Youth Counsel (JCYC) is a youth court program available to help first-time youth offenders, aged 12-17, who have committed minor offense get back on track and avoid court involvement. These young people (called “respondents”) appear before a judge and jury of their peers – other Jersey City teenagers – who determine fair and appropriate sanctions.

The JCYC emphasizes:

  • Responsibility
  • Making the Community Whole
  • Help
  • Leadership
  • Connecting to the Community

2017-18 JERSEY CITY YOUTH COUNSEL APPLICATION

Happy Holidays from JCYC

 

JCYC Members and Staff at St. Peters University-Campus Kitchen preparing food for the homeless

 Recruitment for JCYC

JCYC members and staff sits in for Court Room Etiquette meeting

 

 

How does it work?

Most of JCYC referrals are for youth who have demonstrated a pattern of disruptive behavior or in response to a specific offense that has occurred.

To be eligible for referral to the JCYC, a youth and his/her parent or guardian must consent to participation in a JCYC hearing and the youth must acknowledge his/her role in the offense.

At the JCYC hearing, the youth “respondent” shares his/her story and is questioned by members of the JCYC jury. During JCYC hearings, none of the information is recorded or used in any way against the youth other than in connection with JCYC hearing. In fact, all hearing attendees must sign an oath of confidentiality. After considering all the information and the respondent’s personal strengths, the jury decides on fair and appropriate sanctions that hold the respondent accountable, restore harm done to the community, and assist the respondent to avoid trouble in the future.

JCYC staff members closely monitor the completion of sanctions and share the results with the referring organization. Respondents and their families, where the need is identified, are also provided with voluntary social service referrals.

 

What types of sanctions can be given at the JCYC?

  • Community Service
  • Letter of Apology
  • Essay/Written Reflection

Skill-building workshops such as:

  • Responding to Conflict
  • Goal-Setting
  • Decision-Making

Customized sanction responsive to the specific behavior or incident

 Guest Speaker and JCYC members converse on the topic of internet safetyJCYC Members during an ice breaker session and enjoying laughter together
 JCYC Members and Staff particpates in St. Peters University Street Clean Up

JCYC Members Food Preperation at St. Peters University Campus Kitchen

What kind of community service projects do the JCYC members and respondents participate in?

Community service projects are performed throughout the year with local Jersey City organizations. Some areas of focus for the JCYC’s community service projects include:

  • Environment and Community Clean-Ups
  • Youth and Seniors
  • Food Insecurity

 

How did the JCYC start?

Jersey City decided to create a youth court program that encompassed the concept of restorative community justice in response to interest from local community leaders in the development of early interventions that can help young people avoid becoming entangled in the criminal justice system and with a strong commitment to positive youth development, The JCYC is just one part of the City’s commitment to positive youth programming.

 JCYC Tour of the Supreme Court House

JCYC Members and Staff takes Photo with St. Peter's University Campus Kitchen Coordinator

JCYC Member and FBI Guest Speaker

JCYC members and Cert Coodinator tour

More to know about JCYC:

JCYC currently employs a diverse group of 31 teenagers from 12 different high schools and all 6 wards of Jersey City

JCYC hearings are held at the Jersey City Municipal Court, located at 365 Summit Avenue, 2nd Floor

Training for JCYC members incorporates information from guests such as judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, police officers, and social workers

Please contact us if you are interested in:

Becoming a Member of the JCYC
  • Applicants must be under the age of 18, Jersey City residents enrolled in a high school or GED program, and able to work in the United States. Members are paid, and before they can serve on the JCYC, they must successfully complete 45+ hours of training on topics such as:
    • Criminal Justice
    • Critical Thinking
    • Public Speaking
    • Consensus Building
    • Advocacy

CLICK HERE TO APPLY FOR JERSEY CITY YOUTH COUNSEL 2017-18

Referring Youth
  • JCYC accepts referrals from law enforcement, public and charter schools, and community organizations
Becoming a Community Service Site
  • The JCYC is always on the lookout for local businesses and organizations that can provide meaningful opportunities for community contribution and civic engagement for our youth

For more information on the JCYC, please call (201) 209 – 6735, or email jcyc@jcnj.org

To refer a case to the Jersey City Youth Counsel, please fill out the JCYC Referral Form below:

JCYC Referral Form