Trinidad: Exchanging Experience in Youth Court Programs

From August 7 to 14, 2016, NCSC hosted a delegation of 20 high school students for peer resolution training in Miami and New York City.

While in Miami, the students participated in the Summer Teen Court Attorney Training Program held annually at the University of Miami School of Law. The Teen Court Program is designed to train youth court volunteers in the elements of the judicial process, including, among others, legal terminology, courtroom decorum, delivery of opening and closing arguments, and cross-examination. The students also had the opportunity to attend a reception in their honor hosted by the Foundation for Youth and Economic Development, and the Miami-Dade Economic Advocacy Trust, held at the Miami Dade County Children’s Courthouse.

In Miami and New York City, the students had the opportunity to observe proceedings and speak with staff at a number of active youth courts, including, the Miami Dade County Teen Court, the Brownsville Youth Court, the Red Hook Youth Court, the New York County Family Court, and the Newark Youth Court. While at these venues, the students were able to interact with peer resolution volunteers working at the courts, and in some instances, to participate in the process directly by acting as jury members.

The study program was funded by USAID under the Juvenile Court Project of Trinidad and Tobago (JCPTT), implemented by the United Nations Development Programme, in partnership with NCSC. NCSC is providing technical assistance to the JCPTT to establish two juvenile courts in Trinidad and Tobago.