Teen Court Orientation Welcomes Student Volunteers - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Teen Court Orientation Welcomes Student Volunteers

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PRINCETON (WVVA) – Student volunteers gathered at Mercer County Courthouse Thursday for a Teen Court Orientation.

"Teen Court is an alternative program for first time juvenile offenders," says Beth Sizemore, Teen Court Coordinator.

"I don't think many people realize this but, Teen Court is a Statutory Court," says Mary Griffith, Teen Court Judge.

This court allows student volunteers to learn about the court system while sentencing their peers.

Trained student volunteers serve as clerk, bailiff, jury, Prosecuting Attorney and Defense Attorney. 

Defendants who agree to appear before the Teen Court are sentenced by a jury of their peers and have 90 days from the night of their hearing to complete their sentence. 

Each defendant is required to complete between 16-40 hours of community service, as well as return to be a member of the Teen Court jury.  Other sentencing options include: counseling, drug testing, apology letter, written essay and additional jury sessions.

Once a defendant successfully completes Teen Court, their criminal record is wiped clean.

Teen Court meets three Thursdays of the month at the Mercer County Courthouse.

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