Raise the Age: Juvenile Justice

ACCORD, A Center for Dispute Resolution, Inc works to best anticipate the upcoming Raise the Age legislation that will be going into effect on October 1st, 2018. The Unified Court System is in support of a local network of Community Dispute Resolution Centers (CDRCs), and as the Center for Broome and Tioga Counties, we must develop plans to implement the Raise the Age (RTA) Legislation to best address juvenile justice matters.

At this time, we have considered how our local CDRC can assist our court system as it relates to RTA. ACCORD can have a great impact in out communities based on the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) services we provide, which includes our newest Conflict Coaching service to be offered to upcoming referral sources and other clientele. ADR services can help our community in response to juvenile delinquency, placement, and/or successful re-entry.

The new RTA Legislation offers us the opportunity to examine how we can use the ADR services we provide at ACCORD to improve outcomes for youth and families, reduce the number of court appearances, improve client perception of fairness, which have proven to be very important when considering the promotion of procedural justice. New York State CDRCs are responsible for service more than 15,000 young people annually through the provision of youth-related ADR services by partnering with:

  • Local Schools
  • The Department of Social Services
  • Probation Departments
  • Police
  • Other non-profit organizations

In conjunction with these partners, CDRCs can use an array of approaches including restorative practices, mediation, training and advocacy, and conflict coaching (more specifically in school-based services, pre-PINS diversion, re-entry services, restorative justice, and conflict coaching) which can assist youth in the development of lifelong skills. Through these practices we can help youth who have committed criminal offenses to build stronger connections to their communities and decrease the rate of re-offending.

ADR services such as mediation involves a dialogue-based conflict resolution process that is gaining recognition for it’s utilization in juvenile justice matters. These services allow participants to develop a better understanding of their actions, clarification of issues, while exploring various options for a mutually acceptable resolution to conflict. Partnerships and the use of ADR have already been used as a school-based strategy, part of the Pre-PINS process, in minor criminal matters, and in support of the re-entry process.

To learn more, please contact Moira Osorio for more information at moirao@accordny.com.

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