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WPCNR WESTCHESTER LAW JOURNAL. Special to WPCNR from the City of Mount Vernon. June 15, 2021:

The City of Mount Vernon has announced that the Youth Shelter Program of Westchester (YSOW) will be the lead agency in a new partnership with the 9th Judicial District and Mount Vernon City Court.

The Emerging Adult Justice Part of the Mount Vernon City Court is a new initiative established in the Ninth Judicial District.

The mission of the Mount Vernon Emerging Adult Justice Part or “Emerging Adult Court” is to provide meaningful opportunities for resolving criminal cases by pursuing alternatives to conventional prosecution, sentencing and incarceration for young people between the ages of 18-25.

Headed by Executive Director Joanne Dunn, YSOW will serve as the lead agency providing the coordination of services and case management for all involved within this critical project. The objective will be connecting young adults with services, resources, and opportunities through a collaborative effort involving public and private stakeholders to place emerging adults on the path of success and self-autonomy in becoming productive members of society.  

To learn more, you can hear Ms. Dunn on a recent edition of White Plains Television’s “People to Be Heard” where Ms. Dunn explains how handling of young adult offenders will be improved through alternative case management of offenders up to age 25.

You can see that interview at

Since assuming the role of Executive Director of the Youth Shelter Program of Westchester in 2020, Joanne Dunn has sought to engage in conversations on the various aspects of criminal justice in an effort to effect change, particularly around alternatives to youth incarceration. “What we know here at the shelter is that young people are far better than the worst thing that they’ve done. We focus on their dreams, their aspirations, and their ambitions…to become successful members of their communities. And after 40 years of successfully providing meaningful opportunities for young people to turn their life around, I am grateful to the City of Mount Vernon to allow us to take the lead here,” said Ms. Dunn.

The kickoff of The Emerging Adult Justice Part of the Mount Vernon City Court will be on June 17 at 12pm on the steps of City Hall. It is a free event and all are welcome to attend.

For more information about the Youth Shelter visit

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