Youth court programs in New Bedford and Fall River are getting a boost from Beacon Hill.

Local lawmakers have secured $100,000 for youth courts in both cities.

Youth courts are juvenile diversion programs that offer first time youthful offenders the chance to go before a jury of their peers, rather than appear in the traditional juvenile justice system.

Rep Robert Koczera of New Bedford says he supported the funding because "youth court has a stellar track record of helping kids before they get caught up in a cycle of destructive behavior."

The programs have served more than 1,700 young people in its 13 year history.