The Center for Youth’s Rochester Teen Court program has been recognized for its work.
Rochester Teen Court received the Bank of America Impact Award on Tuesday during the 2013 Greater Rochester Awards luncheon. The event is a partnership between the United Way and the Rochester Business Journal.
The program gives first-time, nonviolent teen offenders’ alternative sentencing in an effort to keep them out of the criminal justice system. A siting Rochester court judge presides over the proceedings and teen jurors recommend sentencing.
"It slows the system down; it gives a chance to find out why the activity has taken place. Why that criminal activity has taken place,” says Elaine Spaull, the executive director of the Center for Youth. “It gives us a chance to really provide them with a different perspective on people."
Spaull says more than a thousand cases have been heard and nearly 80-percent of the youth that come through the program don't reoffend.
Spaull says cash received as part of the Impact Award will be funneled back into the Teen Court program.
The Greater Rochester Awards celebrate non-profit staff, executives, volunteers and programs that make the community a better place for residents. More than a dozen others also received recognition for their work at the event.