Teen Court is a program that’s all about helping teenagers, aged 10 to 18, take responsibility for their actions. And guess what? It’s totally voluntary, which makes it pretty unique.
But it’s not a one-way street! Our community benefits too. When these young folks get involved in community service, everyone wins. It’s like a circle of positivity.
And here’s the cool part: we treat each individual with respect and keep everything confidential. Nobody wants to be labeled for a mistake, right?
The whole idea behind Teen Court is to give our young people a fresh start and a sense of accountability. We believe that they can become valuable members of our community, making positive contributions.
So, in a nutshell, it’s all about breaking the cycle and giving our youth the chance to shine, while avoiding negative labels. How awesome is that?
How Does it Work?
Teen Court is a program where young people who have committed minor offenses can participate voluntarily. To get into Teen Court, a juvenile first needs to be referred from the State Attorney’s office. Importantly, only those who admit their guilt are eligible for this program.
Now, here’s the interesting part: in Teen Court, almost everything is run by teenagers themselves! Teenagers take on roles like the prosecuting attorney, defense attorney, court clerk, court bailiff, and even the jurors. The only adult in the room is the Judge, who’s a volunteer attorney.
When it comes to deciding what should happen to the young offender, it’s the Teen Jury’s job. They can recommend different things like community service, being a juror in another case, paying restitution, or even joining Life Skills classes provided by the Teen Court program.
So, it’s like a court run by teens, helping their peers learn from their mistakes and make amends.