Teen Court is a juvenile diversion and prevention program that links high school students, schools, teachers, parents, juvenile offenders, local police, and the Superior Court in an effort to reduce recidivism and encourage first time juvenile offenders to accept responsibility for their actions and to stay out of the juvenile court system.
The hope for the program is that a juvenile offender will not continue their criminal behavior after participating in a judicial process in which a jury of their peers - other teenagers - decide the verdict and recommend an appropriate consequence (sentence).
Southwestern hosts Dorsey High School's Teen Court in the Dixon Courtroom, and it is an opportunity for high school students to visit the law school, ask Teen Court members questions about law school, and consider law school as a career path they may want to pursue. In the future, the program hopes to provide additional educational outreach programs to the Teen Court students in our community.
The program is always looking for more law student members to participate. Members visit local high schools to observe Teen Court trials, as well as assist with jury instructions and jury deliberation. This is a growing program and we are actively pursuing possibilities to further involve law school students.