A message from Hon. Charles H. Ervin, Judge of the Sierra County Superior Court

Growing up in today’s world is a daily challenge.  When social media, peer influence and the young body’s physical and emotional changes converge, the young mind is susceptible to making poor choices.  Decision making skills and exercising good judgment develop with practice.  Kids listen to kids, learn from their peers and lead one another.  Instilling civil mindedness during these formative times helps transform “pipelines-to-prison” into stairways to success.

The California Association of Youth Courts believes civic engagement is energized through accountability and education instead of detention and incarceration.  We furnish our younger generations with foundational resources to nurture inclusion, provide problem solving alternatives and encourage conflict resolution.  Youth from public, private, parochial, native American, charter, continuation and home schools in every community are encouraged to engage with youth everywhere to implement programs which help protect justice for youth by youth.  With a restorative justice focus and trauma-informed approach, Youth Court volunteers help young offenders to be accountable for their actions, reflect on their poor choices and commit to repairing damage done, while restoring relations with families, schools and communities.  Inspiring leadership, analytical thinking and goal setting helps to create better-equipped future citizens to excel and achieve our shared constitutional guarantee of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness for everyone.

In the sea of change which accompanies pandemic and social justice movements, we are driven to expand our vision and combine our energies to inspire and equip all youth with the tools to resolve conflict and instill civic awareness and responsibility.  Please join the California Association of Youth Courts in leading the worldwide movement that sustains beneficial outcomes and empowers youth to help save lives, improve decision making and train our youth to become responsible adults.