A tool for youth charged with status offenses, such as alcohol or drug possession and other misdemeanors. Teen Courts promote & provide avenues for positive development.
Teen Courts provide jurisdictions with an alternative method for sanctioning youth offenders. Teen Courts mobilize a diverse mix of youth volunteers for active and constructive involvement in re-addressing problems in their communities. This presents a unique opportunity to teach young people valuable life skills. It also sends a strong message to the community (including youth) that young people do not condone law-breaking behaviors, including underage drinking, use of drugs or impaired driving.
What Does Teen Court Do?
Educates youth on the impact their behavior has on their communities, families and themselves. Helps to promote growth in the following areas:
Positive Decision Making * Accepting Responsibility * Accountability * Positive interaction with the Criminal Justice System * Communication Skills * Development of Self-Esteem * Realization that involvement in criminal activity is not accepted by their peers * Volunteerism; giving back to their communities * Exposure to Career Opportunities * Workplace Behavior * Health/Safety Problems associated with Risky Behavior
Teen Court provides an educational experience for the entire community. It enhances the Juvenile Justice system by stressing accountability and community involvement.
Teen Court is designed to address the needs of the offenders, involve their families and encourage community participation. Through the Teen Court jury system, a youth’s peers determine logical, equitable consequences for his/her misconduct.
Teen Court seeks to prevent the potential escalation of youth misbehavior by providing positive avenues for personal and social success. It involves young people in taking responsibility for their actions, and provides the community an active role in empowering teens to succeed through accountability and service.