El Dorado County students in grades 8-12 are invited to participate in the juvenile justice system through the Teen Court program. Volunteer training will be held Sept. 12 from 6 to 8 p.m. in El Dorado County Superior Court, located at 495 Main Street in Placerville. After completing 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 or her peers.
“This is a great program for our local youth,” said Jeanette Sargenti-Royal, Teen Court Coordinator. “Students manage nearly every aspect of Teen Court. Students serve in the roles of prosecuting and defense attorney, court clerk, bailiff and jury. Rotating Superior Court Judges preside over Teen Court and volunteer attorneys in the community help students develop their cases. Students get a real understanding of the juvenile justice system, and their interest and enthusiasm ensures that defendants receive a fair and appropriate sentence.”
Youth interested in joining Teen Court must attend the volunteer training on Sept. 12; they are asked to arrive no later than 5:45 p.m. Pre-registration for the volunteer 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 will begin Oct. 3, 2012 and continue through May of 2013. Hearings will generally be held on the first and third Wednesday of each month at Superior Court on Main Street in Placerville at 6 p.m.
The highly successful Teen Court program began in 1992 in El Dorado County and is funded through the El Dorado County Health & Human Services Agency, Public Health Division, Alcohol and Drug Programs. Cases are referred and managed by the El Dorado County Probation Department. The County Superior Court Judges and Sheriff’s Office also are very important program partners.
For more information about Teen Court, or the volunteer training, contact Randy Austin at 530-621-6380.