Teen Court docket is coming again to Lakewood after a pandemic pause.
In Teen Court docket, teenagers who do minor crimes may be tried and sentenced by a jury of their friends.
It’s a diversion program, which means that upon completion of their sentence, the cost may be dismissed.
“I feel the best half about teen court docket is constructive peer strain,” says Lakewood Teen Court docket Coordinator Caleb Mulvin, who can also be a probation officer.
Children ages 13-17 can play the roles of protection attorneys, prosecutors, the jury, or the choose.
They are going to analysis the felony justice system, study the legal guidelines, get to know the defendants, and maintain trials.
Mulvin says the method may assist the teenager defendants study the implications of their actions, and assist them make higher decisions.
“By way of taking part in teen court docket, they’re gonna be capable of develop expertise and develop empathy for the victims,” says Mulvin. “And so they’ll be capable of write both an essay, or apology letter to their sufferer, take lessons like Discovering Higher Selections.”
The objective of this system is restorative justice—or repairing the hurt that their crimes did to the neighborhood.
“I can inform you anecdotally is that we don’t have our teen court docket children coming again by way of this method,” says Lakewood Chief Probation Officer Jennifer Zubalik. “Nearly all of them are profitable and transfer on and don’t ever have one other contact with felony justice.”
Lakewood Teen Court docket will maintain its first coaching on August 29.
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