>>Teen Court is a real sentencing hearing for first time misdemeanor and felony juvenile offenders.
Although Teen Court is a non-judicial proceeding, the sanctions decided on by the jury are binding. All proceedings are conducted by trained teen attorneys, bailiffs, and jurors.
>>Everyone involved in the courtroom proceeding is a teenager except the judge, who is a bar-certified attorney or an actual judge. (There are adults who observe and supervise).
>>Student volunteers and past defendants fulfilling sentences make up the jury.
They watch real cases of teenagers who made a mistake in their actions and violated the laws of the United States. At the end of the trial, the jury of only teenage peers decides a just sentence for the defendant and the case.
>>Teen Court is one of the most utilized diversion programs in Leon County.
According to recent statistics, of those juveniles who are offered a non-judicial diversion program, the State Attorney has referred 45% to Teen Court.
>>Teen Court is effective.
Defendants who complete the Teen Court program are less likely to re-offend than those who are processed through traditional methods.
>>Our youth volunteers are also on the rise.
On a regular basis we have over 35 youth attending to serve as Jurors, Attorneys, Bailiffs, Clerks and Videographers.