The juries in Teen Court are made up of trained high school volunteers, along with defendants who have previously been required to serve jury duty as a part of their sentence. All volunteers are trained by members of the local Bar association and court personnel. In contrast to other courts, Teen Court mandates that all defendants serve as jurors from Two to Twelve evenings at future Teen Court cases. Teen Court juries recommend participation in a community service agency as part of their sentence, with a minimum of fifteen hours and a maximum of one hundred hours. Other sanctions may be recommended such as drug urinalysis, boot camp, counseling, mentorship, essays, letters of apology, and restitution.
Teen Court judges juvenile offenders with a jury of their peers — and gives them a second chance
Teen Court | Ninth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida
As the year-old defendant sat in the witness box, he quietly answered one question after another in the courtroom. Who are his friends? Why are his grades low? What kinds of sports does he play? And most importantly — why did he inappropriately interact with a classmate, the action that brought him to court. It was not a prosecutor or defense attorney posing the questions, but students from Roosevelt High School in Boyle Heights. The students are part of Teen Court, an alternative early intervention program that allows eligible juvenile offenders to be questioned, judged and sentenced by a jury of their peers.
Judges are responsible for hearing court cases and serving the best interests of the offenders, victims and communities. Juvenile courts handle matters involving minors under age Juvenile judges have many of the same responsibilities that adult court judges have; however, there are also some distinct differences. Juvenile judges hear cases involving juveniles who are accused of crimes. They hear cases of youth up to age 18 who have been charged with crimes such as shoplifting, drug possession and burglary.
A teen court sometimes called youth court or peer court is a problem-solving court within the juvenile justice system where teens charged with certain types of offenses can be sentenced by a jury of same-aged peers. Depending on their training, community support, and agreements with traditional court systems, most teen or youth courts are recognized as valid, legal venues for the process of hearing cases , sentencing and sentence fulfillment. Teen courts and their verdicts are not authorized by public law.