El Dorado County students in grades 8 to 12 are invited to take an active role in the juvenile justice system through the Teen Court program. New Teen Court participant training will be conducted on August 16, 2017, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. in El Dorado County Superior Court, located at 495 Main Street in Placerville. After completing this training, teens will serve as court personnel for real cases in which a minor has committed an offense, admitted to that offense and chosen to be judged by his or her peers.
Teen Court provides a unique experience for local students, according to Teen Court Coordinator, Stephanie Carlson. "Students serve as jurors, attorneys, court clerks and bailiffs on real cases," said Carlson. "Superior Court Judges and senior attorneys preside over Teen Court. Community attorneys volunteer their time to help students develop cases. Youth learn about the juvenile justice system, and defendants receive a fair sentence from peers."
Youth must attend the training on August 16 to become volunteers in Teen Court. Students should arrive no later than 5:30 p.m. and dress in courtroom attire. Pre-registration is not required. Teen Court hearings will be held September 2017 through May 2018 on scheduled Wednesday nights.
The Teen Court program began in El Dorado County in 1992 and is funded through the El Dorado County Health and Human Services Agency, Alcohol and Drug Programs. Court cases are managed by the El Dorado County Probation Department. The County Superior Court Judges, Sheriff's Office, local Bar Association and local attorneys are important program partners.
"We currently have a need for additional attorneys to help mentor students," said Carlson. "Interested attorneys are asked to please contact me." For more information about Teen Court in Placerville, contact Carlson at (530) 621-6130. For information about Teen Court in South Lake Tahoe, contact Lisa Allen at (530) 573-7964.
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