Create an Account - Increase your productivity, customize your experience, and engage in information you care about. Skip to Main Content. Sign In. Upon successful completion of the program, offenders' cases are dismissed and not appear as a conviction on their record. Jury members assign a community service sentence according to the Discipline Grid. Defendants are allowed 90 days to complete the assigned community service hours, serve 3 jury terms and complete any required educational classes.
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A juvenile justice diversion program for early teen offenders where youth, accompanied by their parents, go in front of an adult judge and a jury of teen peers, who create unique and restorative sentences, rather than the traditional juvenile justice or school disciplinary process. Typical crimes referred to Teen Court include alcohol and drug offenses, petty theft, burglary, assault, driving offenses, curfew violations, trespassing, graffiti and vandalism. The youth must take responsibility for their offense before attending their peer review hearing and agree to accept the sentence provided by the jury. There is a fee for all services and a sliding fee scale is available upon request.
All functions in the Teen Court courtroom, except that of the Judge, are to be carried out by teens, including the prosecuting attorney, defense attorney, court clerk, court bailiff and all jurors. The Judge is a volunteer attorney that sits on the bench. Sentences recommended by the Teen Jury may include community service tasks, serving as a teen juror, restitution, and participation in the Life Skills classes offered by the Teen Court program. Sentences will vary in length of commitment in accordance with the severity of the case, but cannot last longer than 90 days.
Educators and service-learning advocates know that--to be most effective--community service needs to be supported by classroom study. This issue of Service-Learning NETWORK explores the notion that youth courts can serve as learning laboratories, not just for youthful offenders but for the entire student body. By providing an ongoing forum in which students can apply critical-thinking, leadership, and civic-education skills, youth courts--also described as teen or peer courts --can help students and teachers complete the service-learning equation between classroom theory and meaningful school- and community-based practice.