El Dorado County students in grades 8 through 12 are invited to participate in the juvenile justice system through the Teen Court program. Volunteer training will be held September 26, 2013 from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. in El Dorado County Superior Court, Department 4, located at 1354 Johnson Boulevard, South Lake Tahoe. Upon completion of the mandatory training, teens will serve as court personnel for real cases where a minor has committed an offense, admitted the offense, and chosen to be judged by his/her peers.
"This is a great community program that has been very popular with local youth," said Jorge Orozco, Teen Court Coordinator. "Students manage nearly every aspect of Teen Court, serving 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 juvenile justice system, and ensure that defendants receive an appropriate and fair sentence."
Youth interested in joining Teen Court must attend the volunteer training on September 26; they are asked to arrive no later than 4:45 p.m. Pre-registration for the training is not required. Students must be El Dorado County residents and enrolled in grades 8-12; private school students and homeschooled students are also welcome.
Teen Court hearings in South Lake Tahoe will begin October 17, 2013 and continue through May 2014. Hearings will be held on scheduled Thursday nights at Superior Court on 1354 Johnson Blvd., Department 4, in South Lake Tahoe at 5:00 p.m.; a calendar with hearing dates will be provided 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, Probation Department, District Attorney's Office, Public Defender's Office, and Sheriff's Office, also are 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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