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NCJ Number: 123212 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: LaPorte Teen Court: Diversionary Juvenile Rehabilitation and More
Author(s): S E King
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 14
Type: Program Description (Model)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The LaPorte (Indiana) Teen Court, a joint effort of the LaPorte County Youth Service Bureau and the Circuit Court's Juvenile Probation Department, uses adolescent jurors, attorneys, clerks, and bailiffs to offer a diversionary alternative to traditional juvenile sanctions. The defendants are first-time offenders guilty of shoplifting, theft, vandalism, and alcoholic beverage violations.
Abstract: The sentences normally combine community service, restitution, apologies to the victims, essays, and future service as a Teen Court juror. Successful completion of a sentence within 90 days results in the Probation Department's dismissal of formal charges. Combining constructive sentencing, accountability to the community, and acceptance of personal responsibility, Teen Court also reduces court and probation officer caseloads and provides "hands-on" participation for the volunteer students in the criminal justice system. The student volunteers attend training sessions, including specialized training for prosecutors and defense attorneys, and two Teen Court proceedings before participating in an actual case. The attorneys base their cases on police reports and follow-up interviews. While only Teen Court attorneys can participate in the proceedings, the offender may retain a licensed attorney and may return to the regular juvenile justice system at any time, even after sentencing. Teen Court procedures basically follow traditional courtroom protocol, although the defendant is allowed to make a statement on his own behalf and can be questioned by jurors, which often focuses on aggravating and mitigating circumstances such as premeditation and provocation, and the character and remorse of the defendant. Although incarceration is not a sentencing option, juries are encouraged to make the punishment fit the crime. A year of experience with Teen Court suggests this model program may be adaptable to other communities in the State. 12 notes.
Main Term(s): Alternative court procedures; Juvenile first offenders
Index Term(s): Indiana; Participatory juvenile justice
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