Teens helping teens to take responsibility in the courtroom and beyond.
"Teen Court teaches lessons that last a lifetime"
Teen court is an alternative system for justice for New Hanover County high school students. It is a diversionary court that keeps first-time juvenile offenders out of the court system. Offenders who are willing to admit guilt are held accountable for their actions. They plead guilty and are sentenced by their peers for their misdemeanor offenses. Student volunteers take the various roles of clerks, bailiffs, attorneys and jurors.
Not only is Teen Court a "hands-on" opportunity for offenders and volunteers to learn about the legal system, but it is also a vehicle for positive peer pressure. Juveniles brought before Teen Court as offenders learn to accept responsibility for their actions. They pay back the community through community service, Teen Court duties, and other possible sanctions. The whole process empowers youths to take responsibility for problems of crime and violence in their own schools and communities.
If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact ADA Lindsey McKee of the District Attorney's Office at (910) 341-1401 or Sheila Evans of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Center at (910) 362-8000.