Community he said teen court
Teens between the ages of 12 and 17 are referred to teen court from either the school system or law enforcement only if they first admit guilt. By doing this they stay out of the juvenile justice system and stand trial where they are defended, prosecuted and sanctioned by other teens serving the roles of defense attorney, prosecutor and jurors. There they make their case for their having learned from their mistakes. Jordan, 17, a rising senior at Richmond Senior High School, said he got involved in teen court as a sophomore through coordinator Bruce Stanback after he took an AP government class.
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Alternatives to Court and Detention
America's teen courts - justice for teens by teens
The courtroom was silent, except for some shuffling papers and nervous whispers. Now, if the Foreperson would please read the sentence of the jury. The judge then explained that if this had been traditional district court, s he could have received up to 60 days in a juvenile justice facility for committing a Class 2 Misdemeanor. Cases are referred by law enforcement, school resource officers, judges and court counselors. Sessions in Teen Court are structured to resemble traditional district court as much as possible.
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In Teen Court, Kids Have A Right To A Jury Of Their Peers
Officials said the program deters juvenile crime by offering offenders a different path. Teen Court gives low-level, first-time youth offenders a second chance to escape the criminal justice system by having their sentence considered by their peers - a group of teenage volunteers, acting as attorneys, judge and jury. The sentence is signed by an Orleans Parish Juvenile Court judge, according to officials, and typically includes community service. Ranord Darensburg, with the Orleans Parish Juvenile Court said the average youth offender the court sees has experienced at least five traumatic events in his or her life. He said Teen Court can help end the cycle of trauma and stop teens from becoming repeat offenders.
Youth courts train teenagers to handle real-life cases involving their peers, offering a restorative response to misbehavior. Youth courts use positive peer pressure to ensure that young people who have committed minor offenses pay back the community and receive the help they need to avoid further involvement in the justice system. Youth courts hear a range of low-level crimes; many handle cases that would otherwise wind up in Family Court or Criminal Court. The Center also assists local jurisdictions in their efforts to establish youth courts.
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