Teen Court is a juvenile diversion program where first-time youth offenders who have committed misdemeanor crimes, are tried by a jury of their peers in an atmosphere similar to traditional court proceedings. Student volunteers serve as jury members, jury foreperson, bailiff, clerk of court, as well as defense and prosecuting attorneys. Participation helps volunteers to improve their communication and problem solving skills and offers experience dealing with conflict resolution.
Teen Court volunteers also have the opportunity to participate yearly in a Mock Trial competition sponsored by the North Carolina Advocates for Justice. The competition allows the participants to test their courtroom skills against students from other areas of the state.
Additionally, Teen Court volunteers choose to participate in a variety of community service projects including beach clean-ups and Trick-or-Treat Under the Sea, an event held annually at the NorthCarolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island. Recently, Teen Court volunteers worked together with defendants and participants in the Community service & restitution program to pack 10,000 meals to be sent to hungry children and their families around the world. The event was coordinated by Stop Hunger Now, a Raleigh based international hunger relief agency.
Teen Court participants packed 10,000 meals for Stop Hunger Now.
Teen Court, Community Service and Restitution and Youth Accountability and Counseling Services (YACS) make up what is known as The Community of Juvenile Services. All three components are funded by the Juvenile Crime Prevention Council, and serve pre-adjudicated at- risk youth and adjudicated juveniles.
For more information contact Program Director Elizabeth Spruill at 252.475.5689.