Southport Rotary Evening Club members volunteer at the Teen Court Program, which is a partnership between Communities in Schools and the Brunswick County District Attorney’s office, made possible through financial support provided by the Juvenile Crime Prevention Council and Brunswick County Schools. Teen Court is an alternative system of justice that offers first-time juvenile offenders ages 12-18; it is an opportunity to admit responsibility for their offenses and receive a constructive sentence from their peers. Teen Court also provides a “hands-on” educational experience for student volunteers as attorneys, jurors, bailiffs and clerks, in real cases involving first-time juvenile offenders, in an effort to help them better understand our system of justice.
Teen Court does not determine guilt or innocence; rather, it recommends a constructive sentence for the juvenile defendant that includes restitution, community service, and counseling.
A juvenile referred to Teen Court appears before a jury of peers and is defended and prosecuted by peers. Evidence indicates that not only do young people stay out of trouble following a Teen Court appearance, but also the program saves thousands of dollars in community expense and allows the juvenile courts to concentrate more time and energy on critical juvenile offenders.
PICTURED: ZACH CLOUSER, ROTARY MEMBER, WORKING WITH STUDENTS AT TEEN COURT.