Peer Justice: How and why youth courts work

Alaska is the only state with a statute governing youth courts. Alaska Youth Court (AYC) operates under Alaska Statute 47.12.400, which authorizes youth courts to hear, determine, and dispose of cases involving a minor who commits a misdemeanor. For defendants who participate and complete the process, court records of their offense are sealed and may not be used in the future.

Results are positive. Teens referred to youth courts re-offend in the first year at a rate of 16 percent; those handled through the juvenile justice system have a re-offense rate of 39 percent.

In this edition of Justice Alaska, Senior Judge Elaine Andrews and Kathleen McCoy host representatives from the Anchorage Youth Court. We’ll hear from the current teen chief judge and from the agency’s adult executive director on how the program works, and why it is effective. We’ll also cover youth courts and tribal diversion efforts from teens in other parts of the state.

Thanks for listening!


HOSTS: Kathleen McCoy and Senior Judge Elaine Andrews


  • Sarah Chen, chief judge, Anchorage Youth Court
  • Rebecca Koford, executive director, Anchorage Youth Court
  • (by phone) Pam Smith, Maya Coler, Nome Youth Court



  • Call 550-8433 (Anchorage) or 1-888-353-5752  (statewide) during the live broadcast (2:00 – 3:00pm)
  • Send email to before, during or after the broadcast.
  • Post your comment or question below

LIVE BROADCAST: Wednesday, April 18, 2018, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. (Alaska time)

REPEAT BROADCAST: Wednesday, April 18, 2018, 8:00 – 9:00 p.m. (Alaska time)

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kmccoy (at) alaskapublic (dot) org | About Kathleen

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