Teen Court Referrals
To make a referral to Teen Court, the referral source must first explain to the child and the family the basic tenets of the Teen Court Program, including the need for admission of guilt. If the youth and family are interested in this diversion option, the referral source must help them to complete a simple referral information sheet and give the youth and family a brochure about the program. The referral is then mailed, faxed or hand-delivered to the Teen Court coordinator, who schedules the family for an intake appointment. The Teen Court Program is explained in more detail, and the youth and family are given the opportunity to ask questions and opt out of the program if they are no longer interested in Teen Court.
Those youth and families whose cases are determined not suitable for Teen Court or youth, who choose not to pursue Teen Court, will have their cases returned to the referral source for further action.
The referral Form for SROs, General Law Enforcement, District Attorneys and District Court Judges can be found here.
Offenses Appropriate for Teen Court
There is an expectation of strong lines of communication between the referral sources, Teen Court coordinator, and the court system. Teen Court will only consider first time misdemeanor offenses. The following have been set forth as recommendations of appropriate Teen Court referrals:
- Possession of alcoholic beverages/marijuana
- Possession of stolen property
- Intimidation or Harassment
- Affray/Communicating threats
- Assault with no serious injury
Offenses that will not be considered for Teen Court:
- Sexual assaults
- Violent assaults or acts resulting in serious injury or death
- The sale or delivery of controlled substances
- Gang violence or hate crimes
- Any offense where the juvenile has serious mental or emotional difficulties
If you have questions about whether a youth is appropriate for Teen Court please contact Kate Giduz at firstname.lastname@example.org or (919) 967-4511.