Teen Court: An Alternate Approach to Juvenile Justice
Presented by Nancy Stevens
(2 hrs, 13 minutes.)

Is your school, local law agency, or civic organization searching for a juvenile justice program that is highly youth participatory, effective, and actively involves multiple aspects of the community? If so, you may wish to consider implementing a Teen Court. What is Teen Court? It is an alternative juvenile justice system that allows a 14 year-old shoplifter to be prosecuted by a 16-year-old lawyer and sentenced by jurors younger than 18 years of age. The philosophy of this approach is that a youth does not continue to be an offender when a jury of his/her peers determines his/her punishment. Also, through community service and education, a youth offender will better understand the consequences of his/her actions. Nancy Stevens, Teen Court Coordinator in Silver City, New Mexico, provides a wealth of knowledge, encouragement, and enthusiasm about the effectiveness of Teen Court and its implementation as well as an overview of the philosophy and history of Teen Court. Background information and resources needed to implement Teen Court are also provided.