The Sixth Division (Juvenile Court) Teen Court Diversion Program concludes the 2017-2018 school year and plans a mini law training camp for the 2018-2019 school year.
The Jefferson County Teen Court program gives first-time offenders, between the ages of 10 and 17, a second chance. It also holds them accountable for their actions, according to a news release.
“The defendant must stand before a jury of their peers, plead guilty and accept the sanctions they impose. Teen volunteers, ages 13 to 17, act as defense attorney, prosecuting attorney, bailiff, clerk and jury. The only participating adult in the courtroom is the judge,” according to the release.
Sixty seven youth volunteers committed approximately 1,210 hours of service to the program for the 2017-2018 school year, according to Jeffrey Billingsley, the Jefferson County Teen Court coordinator.
Teen Court volunteers have also provided approximately 494 hours of service to local agencies such as B.R.A.V.E., fall festival, National Night Out, and the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Toy Drive in which the Teen Court volunteers donated more than 50 toys and other items.
“Our program has been a positive force in the lives of approximately 32 teens this year by providing them a second chance while holding them accountable for their behavior,” he said.
The Teen Court program generally runs from September through April. In Jefferson County, court hearings are held on the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 4 p.m. The program is open to all Jefferson County students in grades 9-12.
The program will host a mini law camp from 4-6 p.m. Aug. 27 at the Jack Jones Juvenile Justice Center Building, at 301 E. Second Ave., for the 2018-2019 school year.
Details: Jeffrey Billingsley, 870-541-5455.