Teen Court

I. Introduction A. In the year of 2006, 411 teens were referred to the Escambia county teen court. Only 25 of the teens reoffended. B. Teen court is a program designed to help teens learn accountability and responsibility after committing a crime. C. I became interested in this topic because I would like to learn what happens to teens that commit crimes, but don’t get incarcerated. D. It will help me learn about the court systems for when I become a lawyer in my later life. E.

I believe that teen court is a very helpful program that gives juveniles who committed a crime a second chance to get back on their feet so they don’t have a horrible record behind them. II. What is teen court? A. Teen Court is a real justice program run by teens for teens. 1. Juveniles who are the age of 12 through 17 who have committed a misdemeanor crime appear before a jury of their peers. 2. Crime must be first offense, and the respondent must admit involvement since this is a sentencing hearing only. B.

Teen Court is offered as a positive experience to divert a first time offender away from a pattern of criminal behavior. 1. Cases heard in Teen Court involve crimes such as shoplifting, disorderly conduct, destruction of property and possession of alcohol to name a few. 2. Cases heard in Teen Court do not go onto their records if they complete their sentence. C. This information is important to my research because it go into details about what exactly Teen Court is. III. Purpose of Teen Court A. The purpose of Teen Court is to interrupt the possibilities of any developing criminal behavior pattern.

1. Promoting self-esteem, motivation for self-improvement and a healthy attitude towards authority and accepting the consequences of their actions through their sanctions/disciplines, helps instill a respect for the law, law enforcement, the system of government, authority and turns the teen around to a goal of being a productive citizen. 2. Teen Court offers a unique challenge and opportunity to demonstrate to adults and teens their capacity for self-government and responsible citizenship, assuring a brighter future for the community. B.

The purpose of Teen Court is to divert less serious cases away from the more formal Juvenile Court. 1. 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 part of their sentence. 2. Teen Court juries recommend that a defendant perform community service work as part of the sentence, with a minimum of four hours and a maximum of fifty hours instead of being incarcerated. C. The information above will be useful since I had no idea what the purpose of teen court was. IV. How does Teen Court work? A. The hearing process 1.

The Judge, who is usually a local Judge or a practicing attorney, calls the defendant to the witness stand, swears him/her in, and then the Teen Court clerk reads the charge. 2. The defense and prosecuting attorneys question the defendant to learn the circumstances of the offense. After carefully listening to the facts, the teen jury leaves the courtroom to decide on a constructive sentence for the defendant. B. How does sentencing work? 1. The jury may decide that the teen has to complete community work service, abide by a curfew, serve jury duty, pay restitution, write a report, make an apology, tutor or be tutored, and many other things.

2. The defendant usually has five to eight weeks to complete what they were assigned. C. This information will be extremely useful because it tells how teen court differs from regular adult court. V. Method A. Interview B. I learned that has two different types of hearings and the state attorneys office refers to Mrs. Hill, who schedules their court dates. She also told me that I was eligible to volunteer along with any other 12-17 year olds. 1. I interviewed Mrs. Inger Hill. 2. My interview will consist of questions about the Escambia County Teen Court program.

3. I interviewed Mrs. Hill on the 16th of January in 2007. 4. My interview took place in the Juvenile Justice building of Escambia County. 5. The interview took place so I could become more informed about the Teen Court system in Escambia County. Mrs. Hill was the appropriate person for me to interview because she is the supervisor of the teen court program. 6. The information I was given in this interview will be a great source of information for my paper that I will be typing about Teen Court.