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. Teen courts are staffed by youth volunteers who serve in various capacities within the program, trained and acting in the roles of jurors , lawyers , bailiffs , and clerks. Most teen courts are sentencing courts in which the offender has already admitted guilt or pleaded no contest.
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In Teen Court, Kids Have A Right To A Jury Of Their Peers
What is a Teen Court?
Our contention is that if peer pressure can be used to exert a negative influence, it likewise can be used as a positive force. Those who work with youth know just how instrumental peer pressure can be in the decision-making process of all young minds. Teen Court is based upon the premise that most young people want to do what is right when making decisions. Even those who may make the wrong choice due to external factors such as peer pressure are often gratified to learn that they have an opportunity to make amends. Peer pressure in this court setting will have a more immediate and meaningful effect upon the individual than the more traditional juvenile justice approach.
All functions in the Teen Court courtroom, except that of the Judge, are to be carried out by teens, including the prosecuting attorney, defense attorney, court clerk, court bailiff and all jurors. The Judge is a volunteer attorney that sits on the bench. Sentences recommended by the Teen Jury may include community service tasks, serving as a teen juror, restitution, and participation in the Life Skills classes offered by the Teen Court program. Sentences will vary in length of commitment in accordance with the severity of the case, but cannot last longer than 90 days.
One day after school last December, year-old Michael took the stand in a Brooklyn courtroom. His name has been changed since he is a minor. He had walked in with a scowl, but now looked like he was about to cry. The New York Police Department takes turnstile jumping very seriously. More than 37, people received incarceration time for fare evasion from to the first half of , according to state data ; 1, of them were minors.