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.
Teen Court | Ninth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida
An Official Website of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. 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. The message given by a peer jury will be long remembered by those seeking to fit within a group and be accepted.
Teen Court is a nationally recognized early intervention and restorative justice program for juveniles ages , giving the offender a second chance while holding them accountable for their actions. The teen accepts responsibility for their offense, appears before a judge and their peers, and is sentenced. The goal of the Teen Court Program is to interrupt developing patterns of criminal behavior by promoting feelings of self-esteem, motivation for self-improvement, and a healthy attitude toward authority. Teen Court challenges the offenders, as well as the volunteer teens, to perform at their highest level of ability. Teen Courts give appropriate offenders a second chance, yet holds them accountable for their actions.
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.