Youth Court

Youth Court

Youth Court Coordinator

Lisa Miller


Elmira Youth Court Program

Elmira Youth Court is an alternative to the criminal justice system for young people who have committed a crime or an offense. The goal of Youth Court is to intervene in early anti-social, delinquent, and criminal behavior, and to reduce the incidence and prevent the escalation of such behavior.

Elmira Youth Court is a diversion program that gives first-time offenders a chance to avoid entering the criminal justice system or Family Court. It holds these youthful offenders accountable for their actions as they are judged by their peers. It also gives members an opportunity to work in the criminal justice system firsthand, prosecuting, defending, and judging the actions of their peers.

The Elmira Youth Court was started in Elmira in 1997 as a proactive response to increasing juvenile crime. Rather than allow the situation to spiral out of control, Police Chief Michael Ciminelli and the Elmira City Council adopted the Youth Court Program and it was developed by Rick Kallenborn. Youths who went through the Youth Court Program received a second chance to right their wrongs without obtaining a criminal record. Instead, the Youth Court issues sentences such as performing community service for a local organization write an essay or report, write a letter of apology, educational classes, and other forms of sentencing.

The Elmira Youth Court program is one of the busiest in the State of New York. Handling more than 200 cases per year, it serves the City of Elmira and the Elmira City School District. Offenders are referred to the Youth Court by the School Resource Officers (SRO)/ Special Police Officers (SPO), police agencies, school administrators, and parents/guardians.

The success of the Elmira Youth Court has been tremendous. Nearly 90% of the youths complete their sentences within the specified time. Some offenders who are issued community service continue to serve their organization after completing the sentence. Others become interested in the criminal justice system and become members of the Youth Court Program.

There are more than 100 members of the Elmira Youth Court Program. Members serve as clerks, facts attorneys, law guardians, and judges handling cases, making judgments, and issuing sentences. Members of Youth Court are young people who have successfully completed a law-related education training program. Areas of instruction include an overview of the criminal justice system, the organization, jurisdiction, and operation of Youth Court, the penal law, the consequences of crime, and sentencing issues. Also discussed are rehabilitation as a goal, the nature and types of evidence that are admissible in court and other issues. The training program concludes with a bar exam. After the bar exam, interviews are conducted with the Youth Court Coordinator and panel.  Youth Court members are selected to fill vacant spots. Each member of Youth Court is required to sign and adhere to a confidentiality statement.

If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a Youth Court member, applications are available in your schools Main Office or click the link below. Members must be attending a school in the Elmira City School District and/or a resident in the City of Elmira and must be in 7th through 12th grade.  New Member Training begins in October.

If you have any questions, please contact the Youth Court Coordinator.

Send email to the Youth Court Coordinator

Sign up for new Members Training here :


City of Elmira Curfew

The City of Elmira has a curfew for youths 16 years of age and younger that prohibit them from being in a public place between the hours of 11:00pm and 5:00am. Both parents and youths that are deemed in violation of this ordinance shall be held accountable and dealt with accordingly by the Elmira Police Department.
Click here for the complete details of the Curfew Ordinance

Congratulations to our 2022 Seniors!

Photos from our 2023 Induction