Benefits of Teen Court / Requirements:
In Florida, Teen Courts give appropriate offenders between the ages of 10 and 17 a second chance, yet holds them accountable for their actions. A youthful law violator must stand before a jury of their peers, admit guilt, and accept whatever sanctions they impose. These sanctions are educational based, and are intended to aid the juvenile in understanding the judicial system, learn from the experience, and allow them to have a positive impact on their peers.
These programs are based on the philosophy that a youthful law violator is less likely to continue to be an offender when a jury of their peers decides the punishment. It is anticipated that Teen Court will interrupt developing patterns of criminal behavior by promoting feelings of self-esteem, motivation for self-improvement, and a healthy attitude toward authority. Teen Court challenges the offenders, as well as the volunteer teens, to perform at their highest level of ability.
Teen Courts have been shown to help diminish the number of juvenile delinquency cases, as well as diminish the recidivism rate among juveniles.