Teen Court is a program that gives first-time offenders between the ages of 10 and 17 a second chance, yet holds them accountable for their actions. A youthful law violator must stand before a jury of their peers, plead guilty and accept whatever sanctions they impose. Teens ages 13 to 17 act as Defense Attorney, Prosecuting Attorney, Bailiff, Clerk and Jury. The only participating adult in the courtroom is the Judge. If the offender pleads guilty, accepts the sentence, and successfully completes the sanctions, their record is cleared. Teen Court is based on the philosophy that a youthful law violator is less likely to continue to be an offender when a jury of their peers decides the punishment. It is anticipated that Teen Court will interrupt developing patterns of criminal behavior by promoting feelings of self-esteem, motivation for self-improvement, and a healthy attitude toward authority. Teen Court challenges the offenders, as well as the volunteer teens, to perform at their highest level of ability.
Positive peer pressure can have a tremendous impact on the teenagers you will be dealing with in Teen Court. Many of these teens may not have had the same opportunities as you. Some will come from solid homes and families but some will not be so lucky. You can make a positive difference in someone's life. Call today for further information.
Every position in Teen Court except the Judge is held by teens. This is a court held for teenagers by teenagers. A trial routine is followed. The prosecuting and defense attorneys make opening statements, the defendant takes the stand and is questioned, then both attorneys make closing statements. The case is then handed over to the jury who decides what punishment is appropriate for the crime that was committed.
Join the leaders of tomorrow! Be a part of something new and exciting in Clay County. Teen Court offers you an opportunity to get hands on experience in the judicial process. If you want to be an attorney, law enforcement officer, social worker, etc. Teen Court is an excellent opportunity for you. Perhaps you just want to make a difference in someone's life. Do not miss this chance to be involved in a rewarding experience.