29. September 2010 11:30
Real cases and crimes are adjudicated by the Teen Court system. Phoenix School of Law recently hosted a Teen Court Summit.
Teen Court is a diversion program for young people to avoid Juvenile Court by volunteering to go to a court of their peers for the purpose of not building up a criminal record, and steering clear of prison. Teens serve as advocates, bailiffs, as well as juries for the teen accused. Some teens achieve Advanced Attorney Training certification. Sometimes an adult judge is involved.
Teen Courts are closed to the public but parents and victims usually may attend. A guilty plea is often required. The teen jury renders punishment that is enforceable. Teen juries are often tougher than adults on the accused. The consequence of failure in Teen Court for the accused is being sent back to the juvenile justice system for proceedings. Currently there are 81 Teen Courts in the state of Arizona.
The Arizona Teen Court Association has more information.