Teen Court is a voluntary program offered by the Prosecutor's Office. The other option is Juvenile Court. At your intake appointment with Northwest Youth Services, you will read the police report, discuss your case, and fill out paperwork including a questionnaire.
Teen Court is a voluntary diversion program in which teens sentence their peers for first time misdemeanor offenses such as shoplifting, school altercations and damage to property. Teen volunteers perform the roles of prosecuting and defense attorneys, bailiff and jurors. In Teen Court the defendant has admitted guilt, therefore the jury's responsibility is to determine a constructive sentence. Teen Court hearings are held in a local courthouse with strict confidentiality. Licensed attorneys serve as judges. Defendants are questioned by both the teen defense and prosecution attorneys to determine the circumstances of the offense. After careful consideration of the facts and circumstances, the teen jury determines a fair and constructive sentence, which may include community service and participation in future teen court sessions, counseling, attending educational programs, writing essays and letters of apology and repaying the victim. Top of the Page. Public Resources.
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It offers an alternative to traditional Juvenile Justice penalties by allowing offenders to be sentenced by a jury of their peers. Compliance with the sentencing, which can include community service, restitution, written apologies to wronged parties, and counseling, results in avoidance of formal prosecution. The program is offered in five locations three in Indianapolis, one in Franklin and one in Lawrence and is made possible through volunteers, including attorneys who offer their times as judges, teens who volunteer as jurors and attorneys, and law students who serve as mentors for the teen attorneys. Court proceedings are adversarial, where volunteer teen attorneys provide arguments for harsher or lighter sentences, and jurors have an opportunity to ask their own questions. Judges will explain what the consequences would have been had the defendant been convicted as an adult. Defendants have an opportunity to provide their perspective of the offense, express remorse, and offer apologies to family members present for the proceedings.
Teen Court is a juvenile diversion and prevention program that links high school students, schools, teachers, parents, juvenile offenders, probation officers, and the Los Angeles Superior Court in an effort to reduce recidivism and encourage first time juvenile offenders to accept responsibility for their actions and to stay out of the juvenile court system. The hope for the program is that a juvenile offender will not continue their criminal behavior after participating in a judicial process in which a jury of their peers - other teenagers - decide the verdict and recommend an appropriate consequence sentence. Southwestern hosts multiple high schools Teen Courts in the Dixon Courtroom, and it is an opportunity for high school students to visit the law school, ask Teen Court members questions about law school, and consider law as a career path they may want to pursue. The program is always looking for more law student members to participate. Members visit local high schools to observe Teen Court trials and assist with jury instructions and jury deliberation. Los Angeles Superior Court.