How Washington DC is using TimeBanking as part of their juvenile diversion program…

Time Dollar Youth Court is a Washington, DC intervention program which keeps teens out of juvenile detention by giving them a second chance to right their wrongs and contribute to their communities. 

  • Youth at the DC TimeDollar Youth Court speak from the heart about the value and impact of this crucial diversion program. The Youth Court diverts 1000+ referrals from the DC juvenile justice system, over 60% of these nonviolent offenses would otherwise result in an arrest record. DC Police, Metro Police, and the DC school system directly refer offenders to this court.
  • TimeDollar Youth Court is a real court, officially authorized by the DC Superior Court. It improves a youth’s ability to contribute to their own rehabilitation by involving them in a peer administered court. The hearings and penalties are real, and kids are sentenced to substantive community service terms. This program leads to lower recidivism rates than the juvenile justice system with a re-arrest rate less than half that of the District as a whole. The program is inexpensive to operate, community driven, and saves the District millions of dollars each year; many many times its cost.
  • Time Dollar Youth Court provides second chances to hundreds of kids each year. These kids in D.C. need this program. In the past year it has improved and grown tremendously. The program saves D.C. millions of dollars each year and without the program these kids will end up in the system and never get out. Why not give them a second chance while they can still change their lives. They need guidance and people to relate to. Time Dollar Youth Court is a place where they can find this.

Looks like funding cuts have shut the program down…

“The Youth Court of the District of Columbia, one of the only organizations dealing with juvenile delinquency in Washington, is currently on life support. It was forced to close their doors late last year due to a crippling reduction in funding by the D.C. government. While it was temporarily reopened this year due to some short-term stop-gap funding, there is no guarantee going forward that youth courts will be available to D.C.’s youth”