Teen Court is a program run by teens for teens. Teen offenders, between the ages of 13 and 17, who have committed a misdemeanor crime have their cases heard by a jury of their peers. A local volunteer judge or attorney presides as Judge and is directly involved in the Court proceedings. The offenders assume responsibility for their behavior and accept the consequences of their actions through community service work, serving on the Teen Court jury and any punishment sanctioned by a Teen Court jury of their peers. Teen Court provides an educational experience for the offender and teen volunteers.
Teen Court | Communities in Schools Brunswick County
Teen Court Program
How does a Teen Court Work? Upon successful completion of the program charges against the defendant are dismissed. In addition to the obvious benefit of interrupting a developing pattern of inappropriate behavior, the Teen Court program helps to reinforce self-esteem, provide motivation for self-improvement and promote a healthy attitude toward authority. Teen Court is also designed to educate youth about the judicial process. Through direct participation, Teen Court addresses responsibility for one's behavior and accountability to one's community and peers, and enhances respect for the judicial process.
Lawrence County Teen Court is a c 3 non-profit. This program exists solely on community support, grants, fund-raising and donations. We would appreciate your consideration. Any amount is appreciated AND tax deductible. To date, there are 12 active teen courts in the State of South Dakota, at least one in each judicial circuit.
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.