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Roosevelt High School Teen Court Teen Court Philosophy Teen Court is a form of restorative justice. Under this philosophy, victims, their families, and the community are seen as the recipients of harm caused by an offender. Restorative justice has roots in Native American community healing practices. Teen Courts are rooted in the belief that the students who volunteer to participate as jurors, clerks, and bailiffs, and the juvenile offender will benefit from participation. The premise is that a juvenile offender will not continue delinquent behavior after participating in a judicial process in which a jury of their peers determines that he/she violated the law and recommends an appropriate consequence. Typical Offenses Youth Courts will Accept Percentage of Youth Courts that Accept this Type of Offense Theft 91% Traffic Violation 39% Vandalism 76% Truancy 39% Alcohol 73% Trespassing 38% Disorderly Conduct 73% Criminal Mischief 30% Assault 67% Possession of Drug Possession of Marijuana Paraphernalia 24% 60% Other drug offenses 20% Tobacco 59% Harassment 21% Curfew Violations 50% Fraud 8% School Disciplinary 45% Statistical Data from National Youth Court Center www.youthcourt.net The Los Angeles Model Honorable Superior Court Judge - Jose Sandoval serves as the Volunteer Judge at Roosevelt High Student volunteers take on the roles of: Student interpreter assists Spanish speaking parent. • Jurors • Court Clerks • Bailiffs • Interpreters A Fair Trial Los Angeles Teen Court does not require that minors admit guilt. Jurors are responsible for weighing evidence, the minor’s version of the incident and their credibility to determine Judge Sandoval listens intently to guilt and/or sentencing. respondent charged with battery on school property. Guilty? Minors come to court either admitting guilt or with an explanation of their innocence. The teen jurors must ask questions and gather enough information to render a verdict and/or Judge Sandoval and Judge Wesley give recommend a fair teen court jury pool pre-trial instructions. sentence. Sentencing Jurors are encouraged to be creative when sentencing offenders, yet they are given the following suggestions. 1. Letter(s) of Apology 2. Curfew / Association 3. Counseling / Tutoring 4. Community Service (min. 10 hrs.) (max. 120 hrs.) 5. Jury Duty 6. Essay 7. Incarceration or fines are not allowed. Superior Court Collaboration with GRP The Roosevelt High School Teen Court is the newest program in Los Angeles and is a result of partnership between the Court, the Mayor’s Office (GRP), Probation Dept. and the LA school district. Any minors who are picked up in the GRP area will be flagged for GRP services including Teen Court. Minors who attend Roosevelt will be referred to Wilson High School’s Teen Court. (This is done to prevent jurors from knowing the defendant). GRP services are offered to Teen Court defendants even after the mandatory 6-month probation period for Teen Court participants ends. Teen Court Provides Students & Community 1) A better understanding of the juvenile justice system. 2) A better understanding of recurring delinquency problems among juveniles. 3) An intimate look at the judicial system. 4) Exposure to careers in law/court related professions. 5) Exposure to the serious consequences of juvenile delinquency. 6) A meaningful role in helping restore the community. Teen Court Provides the Juvenile Offender The opportunity to have their verdict of guilt or innocence, and if applicable, their sentence decided by people in their own peer group as opposed to an adult judge. Offers a convicted juvenile offender the incentive of having no record of a criminal conviction if the sentence imposed is completed within a six month period. If the juvenile offender fails to comply with the conditions of informal probation for the entire six month period, the offender is transferred back into the traditional juvenile justice system for adjudication. This informal probation, early intervention program is authorized by Welfare and Institutions Code Sections 236 and 654. Roosevelt High Teen Court Kick-Off On May 24, 2006 Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa kicked-off our first Teen Court session at Roosevelt High Mayor Villaraigosa addresses the audience at the inaugural session of the Roosevelt Teen Court. School. Case # 1 - Petty Theft On March 11, 2006, At approximately 8:09pm. A loss prevention officer observed the minor and her two companions taking selected items from the various display racks and tables. All three suspects enter the fitting room and exited the fitting room without the items. The minor and her companions were detained after they exited the store without purchasing the items. Disposition 80 hours of community service. Curfew between the hours of 6:00pm and 6:00am. Cooperate in an individual and/or family counseling program. Write a letter of apology to J.C. Penney. Attend 5 Teen Court sessions at Roosevelt H.S. for 3 hrs. of community service credit for each attendance. Future Partnerships & Innovation Roosevelt High School Hollenbeck Middle School Stevenson Middle School Public Counsel of Los Angeles Los Angeles Center for Law & Justice Los Angeles School Police Explorer Program Los Angeles County One Teen Court per Judicial District and, eventually, Teen Courts at every major high school. Stopping Hate and Delinquency by Empowering Students (SHADES). Model for future collaboration with gang reduction efforts.
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