Teen Court

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Teen Court

Benefiting the Community, Families, and Individual Teens

  • Teen Court Provides youths and their families the opportunity to participate in a community - based program providing positive peer influence
  • Empowers local youths to become actively involved in the community
  • Enhances communication skills
  • Provides accurate knowledge of the Justice System

How it works

To be heard and judged in Teen Court...

  • Youths who are charged with a criminal offense are referred to the Juvenile Crime Accountability Program. The referrals come from local law enforcement or the county juvenile department
  • An intake hearing is scheduled with the youth and his/her parent or guardian. At that time it is determined if the respondent meets the criteria to participate in the Teen Court Program
  • The offender is given a copy of the Oregon law and asked to evaluate their guilt or innocence. If he/she admits guilt, they are given a court date
  • At the hearing the case presenter reads the police report to the jury. The respondent is also required to testify about the incident.
  • The jury hears the case and is instructed by the youth judge to take the following considerations into account prior to sentencing.

The sentence needs to have components that will...

    • Increase the respondents understanding of his/her actions and the effects of those actions on others
    • Give the respondent opportunities to repair harm
    • Increase the respondents skills, competencies and ties to the community

Eligible Offenses/Crimes

Offenses appropriate for Teen Court include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Criminal Mischief
  • Shoplifting
  • Burglary
  • Menacing
  • Minor in Possession of Alcohol
  • Possession of a Controlled Substance
  • Harassment
  • Disorderly Conduct
  • Assault
  • Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle (UUMV)

Criteria to Participate

To participate in the Teen Court the following requirements must be met:

  • This must be a first time offense
  • The offender must accept responsibility for their behavior (i.e, they must admit their guilt before entering the program.)
  • The offender must agree to accept the Teen Court's judgment as a resolution

Teen Court Referrals

In general, Teen Court referrals come from law enforcement or the county juvenile department. If you believe your case may be appropriate for Teen Court but have not been offered the option, contact the juvenile department caseworker responsible for your case and ask if a referral is appropriate.

Teen Court Officers

The following job descriptions outline the duties of student officers of the court. Click here to get an application if you are interesting in volunteering.

  1. Judge: The judge serves as a central authority and moderator, keeping the hearing moving forward, assuring that points of order are kept, resolving disputes, and giving instructions to the jury.
  2. Case Presenters: They read the police report to the jury during court proceedings to give background on the respondent's case.
  3. Bailiff: The bailiff directs the jury in and out of the courtroom, leads the jury in deciding an appropriate disposition for the respondent, helps the judge maintain order in the court, and acts as a messenger between judge and jury.

What Happens in Court

The following is an outline of what occurs at a Teen Court Hearing

  1. The Jury takes their place in the courtroom
  2. The Bailiff seats the respondent, parent/guardian, and the case presenter
  3. The Bailiff the checks with all members of the Court to be sure they are ready. The Bailiff notifies the Judge when the Court is ready. When the Judge comes in the Bailiff says, "All rise. Redmond Teen Court is now in session."
  4. The Judge states the crime the respondent has been accused of, and asks if they understand the nature of their crime and if they plead guilty.
  5. After the respondent confirms that they know their crime and have plead guilty, the Judge swears in the Jury.
  6. After the Jury has been sworn in the Judge asks the Case Presenter to read the police report to the Jury.
  7. At this time the Judge swears in the respondent, and the Jury begins to ask questions pertaining the crime.
  8. After the Jury has asked questions of the respondent, if the parent(s)/guardian(s) are willing, the Jury asks questions of them as to how the crime has effected them.
  9. After all statements have been made, the family steps outside of the courtroom while the Jury decides upon an appropriate disposition for the respondent.
  10. Once the Jury has come up with an appropriate disposition, the family is brought back into the courtroom, and the disposition is read to the respondent and their family.
  11. After the disposition has been read the Case Presenter goes with the family back into the lobby and the contract is signed and entered into.

To view upcoming court dates use the link below: