(Placerville, CA) - El Dorado County youth in grades 8 through 12 are invited to take an active role in the juvenile justice system through the Teen Court program. Training is mandatory for all new and returning participants. Teen Court volunteer training will be held on January 17, 2018, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at El Dorado County Superior Court, located at 495 Main Street in Placerville. After completing training, teens serve as court personnel in real cases where a minor has committed an offense, admitted the offense, and has chosen to be judged for sentencing by their peers.
"This is a unique opportunity for youth in our community," said Stephanie Carlson, Health Education Coordinator with Teen Court. "Students serve as jurors, attorneys, court clerk and bailiff. Superior Court judges preside over Teen Court, and adult attorneys serve as mentors, donating their time to help students develop cases. Students get a real understanding of the juvenile justice system. Defendants get a fair and appropriate sentence through responsible consideration by their peers. It is not about punishment, but a chance to gain a better understanding of the offense and the consequences of their actions."
Youth interested in serving on Teen Court must attend the training on January 17, 2018. Parking for the training is available in the local area, including a parking garage. Walking to the Court House may take a few minutes. Sign-in begins at 5:15 p.m.; students are asked to arrive at the Court House no later than 5:30 p.m.
Pre-registration for the training is not required. Students must be El Dorado County residents and enrolled in grades 8-12; private school and homeschooled students are also welcome. Teen Court hearings will be held February through May 2018, on scheduled Wednesday nights. A hearing calendar will be provided to the students.
The highly successful Teen Court program began in 1992 in El Dorado County and is funded through the El Dorado County Health & Human Services Agency, Behavioral Health Division, Alcohol and Drug Programs. Cases are referred and managed by the El Dorado County Probation Department. The County Superior Court Judges, the Sheriff's Office, the local Bar Association and local attorneys are important program partners. For more information about Teen Court, or the training, contact Carlson at (530) 621-6130.
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