Teen Court will not accept cases involving sexual offenses, firearms, hate crimes, motor vehicle violations, and offenses that have resulted in serious injury. Cases are referred to Teen Court by law enforcement, school resource officers, judges and court counselors. Defendants who refuse to participate in Teen Court are directed back to the referring agency and may be subject to prosecution in traditional juvenile or district court. The program is voluntary and confidential. Trained student volunteers take on the roles of attorneys, clerks, bailiffs, and jurors.
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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.
It offers an alternative to traditional Juvenile Justice penalties by allowing offenders to be sentenced by a jury of their peers. Compliance with the sentencing, which can include community service, restitution, written apologies to wronged parties, and counseling, results in avoidance of formal prosecution. The program is offered in five locations three in Indianapolis, one in Franklin and one in Lawrence and is made possible through volunteers, including attorneys who offer their times as judges, teens who volunteer as jurors and attorneys, and law students who serve as mentors for the teen attorneys.
The North Carolina Teen Court Association was created for the purpose of serving as a link to bring all local Teen Court programs together as a unit. Our mission statement says it best; our goal is to promote, encourage, and support the development and implementation of Teen Court programs across North Carolina. We are proud to serve as a central source to unite Teen Court Programs across the state. Cynthia L. She bought new ideas and a passion for serving youth. Jett was a dedicated employee who loved her job and the kids she served.