The El Dorado County Teen Court program in Placerville will conduct training for new student volunteers, and for all student attorneys currently in the program, on Wednesday, Jan. 18, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the El Dorado Superior Courthouse, 495 Main St. in Placerville.
Teen Court is a highly successful local program for El Dorado County students in grades eight through 12 who want to take an active role in the juvenile justice system. Upon completion of the mandatory training, teens will serve as court personnel for real cases in which an offense has been committed by a minor, the minor has admitted to the offense and has chosen to be judged by his/her peers.
“Students manage almost every aspect of Teen Court,” said Jeanette Phillips, Teen Court coordinator. “Except for the judge, all other participants are students: the prosecuting and defense attorneys, court clerk, bailiff and jury. Rotating Superior Court judges preside over Teen Court, and volunteer attorneys from the community aid student attorneys in developing their cases. Students come away with a real understanding of the juvenile justice system, and their interest and enthusiasm ensures that all defendants receive a fair and appropriate sentence.”
The Teen Court program began in 1992 in El Dorado County and is funded through the Alcohol and Drug Programs of the El Dorado County Public Health Division, Health and Human Services Agency. 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.
The Teen Court program generally runs from October through May of each year; court hearings are generally held on the first and third Wednesday of each month at Superior Court on Main Street in Placerville at 6 p.m. The program is open to all El Dorado County students in grades eight through 12 who attend public or private school, or are homeschooled.
For more information about Teen Court contact Phillips at (530) 621-6130. For information about other services of the Alcohol and Drug Programs visit edcgov.us/publicheath.