Mercer County teens learn how to conduct a trial in court - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Mercer County teens learn how to conduct a trial in court

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PRINCETON, W. Va. (WVVA)- A unique program in Mercer County gives local teenagers hands-on experience in the courtroom, but they're not in trouble. They're actually running the show.

The program is called "Teen Court", and as its name suggests, it is comprised almost entirely of teenagers who are recruited from local middle and high schools.

Teen Court is held in Mercer County Circuit Court, and the teens are trained to conduct a real trial, taking on all roles required to run a courtroom.

The program runs in cooperation with the Juvenile Probation Office, who refers juveniles who have committed misdemeanor offenses to the Teen Court program for a trial.

It has to be their first offense, and they have to be under the age of 18 in order to qualify to go through Teen Court as defendants. The teens who volunteer in the courtroom say they learn a lot from the process.

Five dollars from each ticket given out by law enforcement officers in Mercer County goes to fund the Teen Court program.

For more on this program, you can contact Beth Sizemore, Teen Court's Program Coordinator, at 304-425-9973

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