Youth Court is a diversion program designed on the concept of “positive peer pressure”. Juvenile offenders are given the choice of appearing before our court or going to the Jackson County Circuit Court, Family Court Division in Kansas City, MO. They will be defended, tried, judged, convicted or exonerated by a court comprised of other youths. Youth Court has guidelines established by adults. Adult attorneys and the youth officer are available for advice. However, the youths will make the final decisions.
This unique program has been providing a worthwhile service to the Lee’s Summit community since 1988. It provides an educational and operational forum for up and coming young adults concerning the criminal justice system. Juveniles who have been charged with delinquent or status offenses are often overlooked by a crowded and understaffed system, but can be appropriately handled in this program. There are actual cases of criminal activity being handled in our forum. A mature-minded, responsible teenager is needed to ensure justice is served for the defendant and the victims of our city.
The Lee’s Summit Youth Court is a cooperative project co-sponsored by the Eastern Jackson County Bar Association, the Jackson County Circuit Court Family Court Division, and the Lee’s Summit Police Department and is funded by the City of Lee’s Summit, Missouri. The primary objective of Youth Court is and will always be to reduce incidents of juvenile offenses which are occurring in our city, as well as diverting the offending juveniles from the justice system. This provides an alternative to the Juvenile Court process, as well as allowing the offenders to take responsibility for their actions
You must be between the ages of 13 (must turn 13 on or before May 1st) and 19 years, and be either a resident of Lee’s Summit, Missouri or attending a public, private school or home school within the R-7 School District boundaries. You must not have a juvenile record, and if selected, must be available for assignments in Court (typically the third Monday between 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM of every month).
Training is held locally either at one of the R-7 High Schools or at the Police Department Complex, and will be conducted by the Steering Committee members, Resource Attorneys and Judges. The training will require availability for eight consecutive two-hour training classes, and pass a bar examination. Completion of these requirements will be followed by a graduation.
For questions, you can contact Officer Charles Gippner or Officer Chris Colon via email by clicking on their names below.
Officer Charles Gippner
Officer Chris Colon
Youth Court Attorney Application
Download a Youth Court Community Service Log