Project Youth Court
PO Box 9043
New Haven CT 06532
Contact Information
Address PO Box 9043
New Haven, CT 06532-
Telephone (203) 843-1713 x
Fax 203-900-8703
E-mail jmichaud@projectyouthcourt.org
Mission

Project Youth Court Diversion Program envisions the deterrence of negative juvenile behavior by redirecting our youth to behave in a positive manner and therefore becoming an asset to our community. Youth Court strives to promote feelings of self-esteem and desire for self-improvement, and foster a healthy attitude toward rules and authority. By intervening in early anti-social, delinquent and criminal behavior and reducing the incidence and preventing escalation of such behavior at the onset of these actions, youth will be deterred. Youth Court provides guidance, rehabilitative placements, mentoring and close supervision of juvenile offenders and, in turn, will develop youth to become positive contributing citizens of their community. The program also envisions educating and personally enriching many volunteer members and jurors of the program in law-related education, which also fosters their development by encouraging them to participate in extra-curricular activities.

At A Glance
Year of Incorporation 2014
Organization's type of tax exempt status Public Supported Charity
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years No
Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Jane Michaud
Board Chair Mr. Andrew Grass
Board Chair Company Affiliation McKinsey and Company
Financial Summary
 
Projected Revenue $132,000.00
Projected Expenses $131,728.00
Statements
Mission

Project Youth Court Diversion Program envisions the deterrence of negative juvenile behavior by redirecting our youth to behave in a positive manner and therefore becoming an asset to our community. Youth Court strives to promote feelings of self-esteem and desire for self-improvement, and foster a healthy attitude toward rules and authority. By intervening in early anti-social, delinquent and criminal behavior and reducing the incidence and preventing escalation of such behavior at the onset of these actions, youth will be deterred. Youth Court provides guidance, rehabilitative placements, mentoring and close supervision of juvenile offenders and, in turn, will develop youth to become positive contributing citizens of their community. The program also envisions educating and personally enriching many volunteer members and jurors of the program in law-related education, which also fosters their development by encouraging them to participate in extra-curricular activities.

Background

Project Youth Court (PYC), a 501c3 organization founded in 2014, manages a year round Youth Court in New Haven – the only youth court in Connecticut. Youth Court engages a youth’s peers to repair the harm caused by a youth’s action and give them a second chance to build a stronger community. The mission is to introduce area youth to and engage them in activities and services that promote feelings of self-esteem and self-improvement as they develop healthy attitudes toward authority and an understanding of restorative justice. The purpose is to provide youth ages 12-18 with positive development activities designed to meet specific needs of both at-risk youth and student volunteers. By intervening in early anti-social, delinquent behavior, and reducing the incidence and preventing escalation of behavior at onset, our clients will be better equipped with skills to succeed in school, college, work, and in life. The training and opportunities our volunteers receive will also help them succeed in school, college, work, and in life.

PYC is based on the philosophy that youth are less likely to re-offend when a peer jury consists of student volunteers, as well as clients serving jury duty, helps determine their restorative contract. Clients need to admit responsibility in the incident to be referred. Student volunteers, trained by local judges, attorneys and Youth Court staff, serve in the courtroom as attorneys, clerks, bailiffs and jurors. Our clients receive a restorative contract from a jury of their peers based on guidelines established by our case manager.

PYC commenced its initial year operations in 2015 establishing its structure, creating a network of advisors, and recruiting and training volunteers. It began receiving cases in October 2015 with referrals from the Juvenile Review Board and New Haven Police Department School Resource Officers. To date, it has received 44 case referrals and recruited and trained 60 high school volunteers from seven New Haven schools. PYC has annual capacity to divert 36-72 juvenile offenders from the formal juvenile justice system in order to help youth avoid the stigma of a criminal history, teach respect for the rule of law, and benefit the community by lowering juvenile recidivism. PYC collaborates with many community agencies and various law enforcement groups. Our Case Manager holds 1-2 hour in-take sessions with clients and their parents/guardians at Youth Court offices or a mutually-agreed upon location. Volunteer training and jury sessions are held in the actual courtroom of U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Meyer. Volunteer training consists of approximately five sessions totaling 10 hours, although training is continual.
Impact
Accomplishments: 
  1. Recruited 60 youth to become members of the Project Youth Court.
  2. Director has met with referral agencies: NHPD and NHPS to develop protocol for referrals.
  3. Conducted 20 sessions of training. Youth volunteers must attend  trainings which is a prerequisite for participation. 
  4. Organized guest speakers to instruct law related training sessions.
  5. Continue to locate and secure appropriate agencies for community service placements.
  6. Collect and analyze data regarding the program participants.
  7. Director sends a disposition to the referring agency regarding the progress of the offender upon successful completion.
  8. Prepare proper case records and financial reports.
Goals:
  1. To increase the number of identified juvenile and youthful offenders participating in structured and restorative alternative community sanctions programming.
  2. To involve youth in the adjudication/sanctioning processes at the decision-making level: thereby enhancing their knowledge of the functioning of the Criminal Justice system and the impacts of crime on the individual and the community.
  3. To establish partnerships/linkages with local police, probation and Family Court for referral of youth suitable for sentencing by Youth Court.
  4. To insure that all eligible juvenile offenders are subject to a form of sanction, commensurate to their offense, that reflects the local community’s resolve to hold young offenders accountable for their actions.
  5. To develop a system of screening juveniles or young offenders to determine their suitability for participation in community sanctions programming.
  6. To develop project plans in coordination with other local agencies or community-based service providers to provide community sanctions and other, alternative supervision and treatment services to clients.
  7. To encourage the development and adoption of local policies that enhance project objectives.
  8. To involve local youth from schools and community organizations as participants (court officers and jurors) in Youth Court process and to increase their knowledge and appreciation for the criminal justice process.
Needs
Most Pressing Needs: 
1.  Funding:  Our program's main cost is paying a full-time Executive Director to ensure that we can devote the time and attention to our clients - $50,400.00.  With future funding, we would like to hire one part time employee at $30,600.00 and one fellow from an area university for $10,200.00.  Tax costs associated with the above employees are $19,428.60.00. Benefits- $9000.00.
 
2.  Funding: Case services funding allows us to subsidize any services we need to refer our clients to so that a family's financial circumstances are not a factor in receiving help.  $6,000.00.
 
3.  Funding: Volunteer events, training, recognition, scholarships, and transportation costs to support our high school volunteers' development. Staff training to provide our Case Manager and community volunteers with any training resources needed to effectively deliver services. Administrative costs which include insurance, office supplies, postage, legal, and office space.  $16,300.00.
 
4.  Solidify a consistent stream of referrals from NHPD and NHPS.
 
5.  Continue to recruit youth volunteers from area high schools, with the goal to have representatives from all high schools.
CEO Statement

Why do we need Project Youth Court?

Over the past two decades, hundreds of communities have determined that they needed a youth court because youth courts offer a positive alternative to traditional juvenile justice and school disciplinary procedures. Additionally, youth courts: serve as a prevention and early intervention program; hold juvenile offenders accountable for their actions; provide another option on the continuum of services available to youth; promote restorative justice principles;educate youth about the legal system; offer an opportunity for young people to connect positively with adults and youth from their community;  and encourage youth to take ownership in their own health and well-being and that of their communities.

Our clients who have admitted responsibility to a criminal charge or school rules violation, upon successful completion of their youth court Restorative Contract, benefit by not having a record of conviction. This second chance provides the opportunity to enter into military service, law school, teaching, or other careers that otherwise are not possible with a conviction and increases the chances of law abiding behavior and success for the youth due to the dismissal of the charge. The youth court process enables the client to become actively engaged in repairing the harm to themselves, the community, and the victim.

Our participants also benefit from an increased awareness of civic engagement and community service. Through community service work and serving assigned jury duties, our clients better understand the responsibility of strengthening the community. Some clients even choose to stay involved as student volunteers after successful completion of their sanctions. Student volunteers are exposed to career opportunities, obtain community service hours, and benefit from the opportunity to be positive role models for at-risk youth while developing their leadership skills, public speaking ability, resilience, and confidence.

A Youth Court parent elegantly recounted the impact youth court has had on her child’s growth, “Project Youth Court has given my daughter an additional opportunity to broaden her perspective and personal growth. At home, we are able to have discussions about context, law, why a circumstance is a mitigating one, not just an excuse. Additionally, we focus on patience, kindness, team work and work ethic.”

Board Chair Statement

Project Youth Court (PYC) has had remarkable growth already. I’ve been so excited to see all the impact that our dedicated staff and high volunteers have had on the community in such a short time. In under 2 years, we’ve gone trying to recruit our first volunteers to having over 40 volunteers in 10 schools. Our volunteers have put in hours of time to become leaders in restorative justice, public speaking, and trauma-informed practices. Our volunteers’ success and praise they’ve won from the U.S. Secretary of Education, U.S. Senators and District Court judges shows what happens when you empower young members of our community. From a governance perspective, PYC faces many of the same challenges that young, growing nonprofits face including coordination and long-term, sustainable funding.


We’ve recruited a fantastic Board of Directors and Advisory Board who are actively working on addressing our strategic challenges to strengthen the program. Our first challenge has been to have dedicated coordination with the network of state and local resources and stakeholders ranging from non-profit resources to government efforts. We’ve made great progress and now are partners with the City of New Haven’s Youth Stat program, the New Haven Trauma Coalition, the United Way of Greater New Haven, and the New Haven Public School system.


As our number of participants has increased, we need more capacity which requires funding beyond ad hoc short-term and one-time grants. Part of the solution is to have close coordination with other institutions that are aligned with our mission; however, the most critical component is to have a reliable, recurring grant so our services have both adequate funding and the ability to plan in advance. As U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal was quoted in a New Haven Independent article, Youth Court is “a real innovation, enormously creative” where you can “either invest and pay now, or pay later.”


I helped found and continue to volunteer with PYC because of the impact I’ve seen youth courts make in the community. When I started volunteering at a youth court after 8th grade, I personally saw how participating in youth court empowered and brought together youth in the community. It’s truly amazing how powerful youth in the community are when given the responsibility and tools to lead.


I also want to share the reflections from one of our board members who began volunteering for us in 2015. “I choose to volunteer with PYC because I care about the children in my community, and PYC is the organization that is truly making a difference. As an attorney, I have found that I have been able to use my skills and abilities to educate and mentor the PYC participants so that they can achieve their goals. Volunteering with PYC is immensely rewarding. I have been able to literally see the students transform before my eyes.

What many people may not realize is that PYC is not just a restorative justice organization; it is an organization that empowers and encourages all of the students involved. PYC embraces the children that are struggling the most in our community; children that are struggling with homelessness, substance abuse, hunger, and overall poverty. PYC uplifts and empowers these children and provides them with the tools to navigate the obstacles that they encounter.”

Service Categories
Primary Organization Category Youth Development / Youth Development Programs
Secondary Organization Category Crime & Legal - Related / Legal Services
Tertiary Organization Category Community Improvement, Capacity Building /
Areas Served
New Haven
Project Youth Court serves New Haven and the surrounding towns. 
CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments The organization seeks to fill its board vacancies with members who come from a variety of  professional careers that are required to support the program mission and provide organizational governance.  Current board members have legal, finance, academic, business and law enforcement backgrounds.  
Programs
Description

Project Youth Court, a 501c3 organization founded in 2014, which manages a year round Youth Court in New Haven – the only youth court in Connecticut. PYC engages youth peers to repair the harm caused by a youth’s action and give them a second chance to build a stronger community. The mission is to introduce area youth to and engage them in activities and services that promote feelings of self-esteem and self-improvement as they develop healthy attitudes toward authority and an understanding of restorative justice. The purpose is to provide youth ages 18 and younger with positive development activities designed to meet specific needs of both at-risk youth and student volunteers. By intervening in early antisocial, delinquent behavior, and reducing the incidence and preventing escalation of behavior at onset, our clients will be better equipped with skills to succeed in school, work, and life. The training and opportunities our volunteers receive will also help them succeed in the same arenas.

Population Served At-Risk Populations / Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) / Adolescents Only (13-19 years)
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service. A short-term goal of Project Youth Court involves immediate diversion of youths from the formal juvenile justice system such that they can avoid the stigma of a criminal history, while still learning to respect the rule of law. This includes the youth offender completing the restorative contract established by the youth volunteers and approved by the adult judge. We also aim to immediately address any educational barriers that clients are facing when they are diverted to Youth Court. Project Youth Court also continually gives youth volunteers the opportunity to promote restorative justice themselves by participating.
Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state.

The intermediate and long term goals of Project Youth Court include preventing a record of conviction for the offending youths upon the successful completion the youth’s restorative contract. This second chance provides the opportunity to enter into military service, law school, teaching, or other careers that otherwise are not possible with a conviction and increases the chances of law abiding behavior and success for the youth due to the dismissal of the charge. The youth court process enables the client to become actively engaged in repairing the harm to themselves, the community, and the victim. Our clients benefit from an increased awareness of civic engagement and community service. Through community service work and time on the peer jury, our clients better understand the responsibility of strengthening the community. The long-term goals of Project Youth Court is ultimately to reduce juvenile recidivism.

Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact.
      Project Youth Court provides youth authentic learning experiences to explore their rights and responsibilities under the law, and confront and resolve conflict through a restorative justice philosophy. Learning by doing and preventing antisocial behavior through positive role modeling, are two essential characteristics of youth court. Through this experience youth develop lifelong skills all citizens need: to think critically, to gather, interpret, and act appropriately on information, and to participate in a law-based society.
     Project Youth Court’s goals for its volunteer members are to instill an awareness of civic engagement as well as the development of restorative, legal, public speaking, and leadership skills. Furthermore, it is our mission to reduce juvenile recidivism rates as well as incidents of misconduct throughout schooling and community involvement. In order to measure these goals, Project Youth Court utilizes participant satisfaction surveys, measuring community service participation of active members, as well as measuring the reduction of participant school misconduct reports.
Examples of Program SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success.

       Project Youth Court strives to focus on the individual needs of our clients in order to ensure our goal of preventing youth recidivism is met effectively. This requires that we understand each of our clients and tailor our services specifically towards meeting and accommodating their needs.
       Project Youth Court recently experienced the challenge of providing a 9 year-old client with our services. In an effort to tailor the Youth Court towards meeting the needs of this client, it was necessary for our volunteers to adjust the processes and procedures of our court to best convey the meaning of restorative justice to our client. As the usual process of a trial by jury would have been too overwhelming for a 9 year-old and difficult for our client to understand, we reduced the jury to only a limited number of volunteer members. Additionally, as the typical vocabulary that is used in the courtroom would have been difficult for our client to fully understand, it was necessary that we adjusted the concepts referred to in our services in order to engage the client and meet the demands of restorative justice.
      As a result of the funding provided, our services were tailored particularly to our individual client's needs. By dedicating the necessary funds, time, and effort towards this case, our client successfully met the demands of restorative justice and greatly benefited from the experience of Project Youth Court. Our volunteers developed a significant bond with the 9 year-old client and one even became a frequent mentor of the child. Our client's involvement with the community had a positive impact on his development. As a client of PYC, he became involved with community programs and lessons that he greatly enjoyed, served his community doing what he loved, and discovered the ways in which both he and the community could benefit through the process of restorative justice.

Program Comments
CEO Comments
A consistent flow of cases has been one of the issues we are having to address. Referral sources include but are not limited to the New Haven Police Department and New Haven Public Schools (NHPS). We are in the process of working with these two community agencies to ensure a consistent flow of cases. Currently, we are receiving many cases from NHPS. These cases are being sent to us "in place of expulsion/suspension" which clearly is a positive step for the youth of NHPS. Allowing students to be in school versus out of school, but still being held accountable for their actions is a best case scenario for youth who have behavioral issues in school. 
 
 
 
CEO/Executive Director
Ms. Jane Michaud
Term Start Sept 2016
Email jmichaud@projectyouthcourt.org
Experience Jane Michaud, Executive Director, has a Master's Degree in Special Education with a focus on Learning Disabilities from Southern Connecticut State University. She taught Special Education for 10 years before staying at home to raise her two sons. While teaching, Jane had worked with students of various disabilities individually and in groups to promote full academic functioning. She also administered and interpreted assessment results and implemented action plans. While home she advocated for children with special education needs along with their parents.  At PYC, Jane received initial training from the Case Manager and Executive Director of Sarasota County Teen Court - a 25- year established youth court in Sarasota, FL and also from the program manager of the Juvenile Review Board. Jane has currently been the Program Manager and more recently the Executive Director for over two years. 
Staff
Number of Full Time Staff 1
Number of Part Time Staff 0
Number of Volunteers 5
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate 100%
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 1
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 0
Female 1
Unspecified 0
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency N/A
Non Management Formal Evaluation N/A
Non Management Formal Evaluation Frequency N/A
Collaborations
We collaborate with the City of New Haven's Youth Services Department, specifically Youth Stat and the New Haven Police Department. We are also the Leader in Residence for New Haven Public Schools School Based Diversion Initiative. We work with all NH Public Schools. Other organizations that we collaborate with are: Clifford Beers, NH Trauma Coalition, DCF, Juvenile Probation, Integrated Wellness, Justice Education Center, NH Housing Authority, STRIVE, ALIVE, University of NH, Youth @ Work, Catholic Charities, LEAP, Peer Tutoring,  SPED Advocacy, and many others. 
Affiliations
AffiliationYear
United Way of Greater New Haven2016
Comments
CEO Comments PYC is run by one paid employee and adult volunteers. Most recently, because of the need for more staff, a UNH Intern was recruited to assist with the day to day runnings of the organization which has been helpful. We are continuing to address funding issues in an effort to hire another paid staff.
Board Chair
Mr. Andrew Grass
Company Affiliation McKinsey and Company
Term Sept 2016 to Aug 2018
Board of Directors
NameAffiliation
Mr. Benjamin Cheney Wiggin and Dana
Mr. Joshua Feinzig Cambridge University
Mr. Ronnell Higgins Yale Police
Mr. William Kalinowski Burzenski and Company
Mr. John Letizia Letizia Law
Ms. Amanda Oakes Shipman Goodwin
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 5
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 6
Female 1
Governance
Board Term Lengths 2
Written Board Selection Criteria Under Development
Written Conflict of Interest Policy Under Development
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 60%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Risk Management Provisions
Professional Liability
Board Co-Chair
Mr. Benjamin Cheney
Company Affiliation Wiggin and Dana
Term Sept 2016 to Sept 2018
Email bcheney@wiggin.com
Standing Committees
Board Development / Board Orientation
Executive
Finance
Additional Board/s Members and Affiliations
NameAffiliation
Professor Lloyd D. Grieger Yale University
Ms. Megan Ifill Youth Court Parent
Ms. Laoise King Educational Policy Consultant
Mr. John G. Levi Chair, Legal Services Corporation; Partner, Sidley Austin LLP
The Honorable Jeffrey Alker Meyer U.S. District Court of Connecticut
Mr. Ronald A. Netter Community volunteer
Ms. Jahia Owens Community volunteer
Ms. Katie Self Former President, National Association of Youth Courts
Mr. Remy Zimmermann Retired Partner, Wiggin and Dana
 
 
Financials
Fiscal Year Start July 01 2016
Fiscal Year End June 30 2017
Projected Revenue $132,000.00
Projected Expenses $131,728.00
Spending Policy N/A
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund No
Documents
Form 990s
Form 9902016
Audit Documents
Profit & Loss2016
IRS Letter of Exemption
IRS approval letter
Detailed Financials
Prior Three Years Expense Allocations Chart
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$16,135----
Administration Expense------
Fundraising Expense------
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.96----
Program Expense/Total Expenses100%----
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%----
Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities Chart
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$460----
Current Assets$460----
Long-Term Liabilities------
Current Liabilities$1,131----
Total Net Assets($671)----
Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountGoodyear Foundation $5,000----
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount ------
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount ------
Solvency
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities0.41----
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%----
Capitial Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Comments
CEO Comments Expanding our donor base and corresponding contributions is also an area we are looking to increase. Increased funding would leverage professional and private contributions as well as potential funding from local sources.
Foundation Staff Comments

This profile, including the financial summaries prepared and submitted by the organization based on its own independent and/or internal audit processes and regulatory submissions, has been read by The Community Foundation. Financial information is input by Foundation staff directly from the organization’s IRS Form 990, audited financial statements or other financial documents approved by the nonprofit’s board. The Foundation has not audited the organization’s financial statements or tax filings, and makes no representations or warranties thereon. The Community Foundation requires three years of financial information from the nonprofit organization; however, this requirement may not be available for some organizations due to their more recent incorporation or formation. The Community Foundation is continuing to receive information submitted by the organization and may periodically update the organization’s profile to reflect the most current financial and other information available. The organization has completed the fields required by The Community Foundation and updated their profile in the last year. To see if the organization has received a competitive grant from The Community Foundation in the last five years, please go to the General Information Tab of the profile.

Address PO Box 9043
New Haven, CT 06532
Primary Phone 203 843-1713
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Jane Michaud
Board Chair Mr. Andrew Grass
Board Chair Company Affiliation McKinsey and Company

 

Related Information

Nurture Children & Youth

When families, schools and communities take the view that children and youth are valued and respected assets to society, they necessarily support environments that nurture youth development. Children raised to embrace positive social values, to seek self-understanding, and to value their self-worth grow to become community-minded young adults with a sense of belonging and a belief in their resiliency. See how you can help our community's children grow into tomorrow's leaders.

Promote Civic Vitality

Greater New Haven’s vibrancy is linked to its communities’ support of its neighborhoods, public gardens and sports, as well as its commitment to the protection of its people and pets.