El Dorado County students in grades 8 through 12 in South Lake Tahoe are invited to participate in the juvenile justice system through the Teen Court program. Volunteer training will be held September 25, 2014 from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. in El Dorado County Superior Court, Department 4, located at 1354 Johnson Boulevard, South Lake Tahoe. After completing the mandatory training, teens will serve as court personnel for real cases in which a minor has committed an offense, admitted the offense and chosen to be judged by his/her peers.
"The Teen Court program provides a unique opportunity for youth to gain real world experience in a courtroom setting," said Jorge Orozco, Teen Court Coordinator. "Students serve as prosecuting and defense attorneys, court clerks, bailiffs, and jury members. Superior Court Judges preside over Teen Court and volunteer attorneys help students develop cases. Students learn about the justice system and ensure defendants receive an appropriate and fair sentence."
Youth interested in joining Teen Court must attend the volunteer training on September 25. Pre-registration for the training is not required. Teen Court hearings in South Lake Tahoe will begin October 16, 2014 and continue through May 2015. Hearings will be held on scheduled Thursday nights at Superior Court in South Lake Tahoe at 5:00 p.m.; a calendar with hearing dates will be given to each student on the night of training.
The Teen Court program began in 1992 in El Dorado County and is funded through the El Dorado County Health & Human Services Agency, Mental Health Division, Alcohol and Drug Programs. Cases are referred and managed by the El Dorado County Probation Department. The County Superior Court Judges, District Attorney's Office, Public Defender's Office and Sheriff's Office are also very important program partners.
For more information about Teen Court in South Lake Tahoe, or the volunteer training, contact Jorge Orozco at (530) 573-7964. For information about Teen Court in Placerville, contact Randy Austin at (530) 621-6380.
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