The best approach to preventing juvenile delinquency is to intervene in the lives of youthful offenders at the first opportunity, when they commit low-level offenses, to discourage them from moving to more serious crimes. Teen Court does that in two ways: First, Teen Court diverts youthful offenders from the traditional justice system, replacing judges and attorneys with peers from other schools who question, judge and sentence alleged offenders, providing a more meaningful court experience for offenders. Second, for the students who volunteer to participate as jurors, clerks and bailiffs, Teen Court offers valuable lessons about how courts operate and what it is like to be a part of the justice system. Many Teen Court jurors later express an interest in studying law.
VCH is proud to coordinate and deliver the Venice Teen Court program at Venice High School. The program meets on a monthly basis and adjudicates 10-15 youth cases each school year.