Illinois Youth Court Association:
IYCA Receives Chicago Schools Award
Chicago Public Schools Recognition Ceremony
On June 5, 2003, a Recognition Ceremony was held for the Chicago Public Schools Peer Jury Program. The Illinois Youth Court Association co-sponsored the ceremony. The keynote speaker was Lee Allen Jones, a local writer and motivational speaker. The youth and adult peer jury volunteers were all recognized individually for their work.
In addition, certain individuals received special recognitions for their work with restorative justice and youth courts. These individuals included the Attorney General Lisa Madigan; Judge Sophia H. Hall; Judge Curtis Heaston; Catherine Ryan, Chief of the Juvenile Justice Bureau in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office; Bernadine Dorn, Director of the Children and Family Justice Center at Northwestern University; and Carolyn Pereira, Executive Director of the Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago. Congratulations to all the award recipients.
Prior to the awards distribution, focus groups were conducted with 18 youth and adults. The purpose was to evaluate their trainings learn how their peer juries are operating in the schools, and determine what assistance they need. While the focus groups were being conducted, other students participated in a mock peer jury and town hall discussion on the Glenbrook North High School hazing incidents in Northbrook, IL. This exercise helped students discuss and apply the concepts of restorative justice and the practices of peer jury to the hazing incident.
These Chicago high schools have been working diligently on developing their peer juries. On February 5, and 6, 2003, each school attended a one-day peer jury training. There were 141 attendees, which included 33 school staff and 87 students. During April, May, and June, the Citywide Advisory committee, which guides the initiative, conducted site visits to each school.