The El Dorado County Teen Court programs in Placerville and South Lake Tahoe will conduct training for new student volunteers and for all student attorneys this month.
Placerville will hold its training from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 16, at the El Dorado Superior Courthouse, 495 Main St. in Placerville. South Lake Tahoe will hold its training from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 17, at the El Dorado Superior Courthouse, 1354 Johnson Blvd., Department 4, South Lake Tahoe.
“Teen Court is a highly successful program for El Dorado County students in grades 8 through 12 who want to take an active role in the juvenile justice system,” said Randy Austin, Teen Court coordinator in Placerville.
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 nearly every aspect of Teen Court. “Students serve as the prosecuting and defense attorneys, court clerk, bailiff, and jury,” Austin explained. “Rotating Superior Court Judges preside over Teen Court, and volunteer attorneys from the community aid student attorneys in developing their cases.”
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 important program partners.
The Teen Court program generally runs from October through May of each year. In Placerville court hearings are held on the first and third Wednesday of each month at Superior Court on Main Street in Placerville at 6 p.m. In South Lake Tahoe court hearings are held on the third Thursday of each month at Superior Count on Johnson Boulevard at 5 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 in Placerville contact Austin at (530) 621-6130 and in South Lake Tahoe contact Jorge Orozco at (530) 573-7964 or visit edcgov.us/publicheath.