Monday Date. Teen Court. Building Peace. August 5 th. August 12 th. August 19 th.
Lawrence County Teen Court
This large collaborative effort was borne of the growing concern with the incidence of juvenile re-arrest and the likelihood that these juveniles would gravitate toward more serious adult crimes. To stem the tide of juvenile arrests and the recidivism, 16 key stakeholders devised a new way to deal with juveniles accused of a first-time misdemeanor offense. Thus, a youth, through successful completion of diversion, earns a non-arrest record on a potential misdemeanor charge. About 70 percent of the direct diverted youths are in one of the programs. Participants in this program for first time juvenile offenders charged with a misdemeanor are scheduled for a hearing, at which sanctions are assigned. Follow-up hearings are held in six to eight weeks to determine if the offender has met the requirements for avoiding a juvenile record. In most cases, fulfillment of all sanctions avoids prosecution and a juvenile record.
Teen Court Program
Teen Court provides meaningful and constructive alternatives to the formal prosecution of young offenders who have accepted responsibility for their offense s. This diversion program provides specific and immediate sanctions and services to youth. Teen Court utilizes the positive impact of peer pressure. The defendants are provided resources for individual and family services. The victim and community are compensated for the criminal act.
Teen Court is a diversion program offered to first time juvenile offenders in which they admit to their involvement in the offense and agree to have their case heard before a peer jury of Teen Court student volunteers in a court setting. The judges, which include Circuit, District, and Special Appeals judges, volunteer their time and are present to answer legal questions and set the tone for the courtroom. Using Teen Court guidelines, the jury decides the appropriate disposition which includes mandatory community service hours, appropriate educational programs, and may include essays, apology letters, or Teen Court jury duties. If the juvenile offender respondent completes the assigned disposition within 60 days, the original charge is dismissed and will not appear in the juvenile's record.