Teen Court Program
The Teen Court program is a voluntary alternative to conventional judicial procedure. Cases handled are minor first-time misdemeanors. The Teen Court program aims to ensure offender accountability and facilitate victim/offender resolution.
- Almost all candidates are first offenders, but the candidate has the right to request an exception via a case-by-case evaluation
- The candidate must admit to and take full responsibility for the violation and sign a release agreement
- The candidate must reside in Benton County
- The candidate must be between 6 and 17 years of age
During Teen Court, a Peer Jury of approximately six high school and middle school students will question the offender. Usually, one member of the jury will be a former violator who has successfully completed Teen Court. The jury will deliberate and sentence the youth using Teen Court consequence guidelines. A contract will be drafted during Court. If the youth does not comply with the contract, he or she will be referred back to the Benton County Juvenile Department.
Consequences may include: a referral to some community educational or therapeutic resource, probation time, weekly phone reports to the Teen Court Director, restitution and/or community service, verbal and/or written apologies to the victim(s), educational instruction, and attendance at counseling, anger management, or peer pressure group therapy. There is a $15 participation fee.
For more information on the Teen Court program, contact the Juvenile Department at 541-766-6810.