Teen Court's mission is to hold youth accountable for their actions while teaching them about the court system, as well as providing them to rehabilitative measure(s) or sanctions.
Teen Court programs operate as community resources for the diversion of juveniles pursuant to statute (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-1706. Teen Court is an alternative system of justice, which offers juvenile offenders an opportunity to take responsibility for their offenses through community service and other educational opportunities.
Teen Court is operated and ran by student volunteers acting as the jury, prosecution, defense, clerk of court and bailiff with the oversight of the Teen Court Case Manager. These programs saves hundreds of thousands of dollars in community expense and allows the juvenile court system to concentrate more time and energy on critical juvenile offenders.
Teen Court trainings are held throughout the year and is always taking applications for volunteers.
- All Teen Court proceedings are conducted by trained youth volunteers
- Teen Court of Randolph County uses the adult judge model
- This means all volunteers are youth except the Judge
- The jury is composed of youth volunteers as well as defendants
- The jury decides the constructive sentence for youth
- Volunteers will receive monthly trainings and mock trial practice
- Teen Court can also count toward volunteer hours for school clubs
- Teen Court could not operate successfully without the support of our volunteer Judges.
- Teen Court always welcomes volunteers to serve as Judge during hearings.
- If you are a Judge or Attorney and interested in volunteering please email Pam Resch.
The intake is a mandatory appointment where the offender and family meets with the case manager to fill out paperwork and discuss his/her case. The intake can last up to thirty minutes.
What is expected during the intake?
- A parent / guardian is required to be present for the intake along with the defendant
- The Teen Court Case Manager will schedule your Teen Court hearing date and deadline for the constructive sentence to be completed
Teen Court Hearing Process
- Defendant must sign in with the Teen Court Coordinator.
- Defendant will meet with his/her Defense Attorney.
- Defendant will be escorted to the courtroom and he/she will be introduced to the jury to determine if potential jurors know the defendant personally.
- The Teen Court Hearing will begin
- The Judge instructs jury on determining an appropriate constructive sentence. They are then led to the jury room to deliberate.
- Once the Jury reaches a verdict the defendant and parent are called by the Judge. The Judge will then read the verdict and instruct the defendant to meet with the Teen Court Coordinator
What you should know!
- Are held accountable for their actions
- Are given the opportunity to repay their debt to their victims and the community
- Have the opportunity to learn positive behavioral patterns
- Receive encouragement to act more judiciously
- Have the opportunity to clear any criminal record
- Have the opportunity to return as a volunteer
- The weight of being judged by peers has a corrective influence on conduct and serves as a model for more constructive behavior
- Learn the responsibility of serving their community
- Take an active role as a citizen in the judicial process
- Have the opportunity to work with an alternative program
- Participate in group interactions
- Develop community responsibility
- Develop public speaking skills
- The peer jury sentence makes a strong statement that breaking the law is not acceptable behavior