Teen Court of Greater Baton Rouge
Teen Court - Communities In Schools of Chatham County
Any juvenile who breaks the law and is charged with select misdemeanor or felony charges and admits guilt. Also, no child may be referred that has been charged with any offense that is sexual in nature, gang related, or involving firearms. In addition, non-violent felonies may be referred to Teen Court at the discretion of the Juvenile Court Judge and approval of the State Attorney. Once a case is referred, attendance and participation are mandatory in order for the case to be closed successfully. Most teens participate fully and appreciate the Teen Court experience. Peers of the defendants occupy the roles of the attorneys, clerk, bailiff and the jury. The attorneys come early on court days, look over the docket and the cases and they decide who is going to prosecute or defend each defendant whose case is being heard that day.
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Teen Court programs were established to prevent and reduce the occurrence of juvenile delinquent activity. Teen courts are judicial diversion programs that use positive peer pressure and other appropriate sanctions to show the youthful offender the consequences of violating the law and the positive side of behaving in a more constructive manner. Since then, the program has been replicated with a few minor changes in various counties in Florida as well as in other states. TEEN COURT is based upon the premise that youthful offenders will more readily accept responsibility for their actions when judged and sentenced by their peers.