Student volunteers sought for El Dorado County Teen Court program

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014 - 12:00 am
Last Modified: Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014 - 12:38 am

El Dorado County students in eighth through 12th grades are invited to participate in the county’s Teen Court program in Placerville.

A training session for Teen Court volunteers will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Sept. 10 in El Dorado County Superior Court, 495 Main St., Placerville.

After completing the mandatory training, students will serve as court personnel for real cases in which a minor has committed an offense, admitted the offense and chosen to be judged for sentencing by his or her peers, according to a county news release.

Students serve in roles such as juror, prosecuting and defense attorney, court clerk and bailiff. Rotating Superior Court judges and senior attorneys preside over Teen Court, and attorneys in the community volunteer their time to help students develop their cases.

“Students get a real understanding of the juvenile justice system, and defendants receive a fair and appropriate sentence through responsible consideration by the peers,” Randy Austin, Teen Court coordinator, said in a written statement.

Students interested in joining Teen Court must attend the Sept. 10 training and are asked to arrive at the courthouse no later than 5:45 p.m. Advance registration for the training is not required.

Teen Court hearings will be held on Wednesday nights Oct. 1, 2014 through May 2015. A calendar of hearing dates will be provided during the training.

The Teen Court program in El Dorado County began in 1992 and is funded through the El Dorado County Health and Human Services Agency, Alcohol and Drug Programs. Teen Court cases are referred and managed by the El Dorado County Probation Department.

For more information about Teen Court in Placerville or the volunteer training, call Austin at (530) 621-6380. For information about Teen Court in South Lake Tahoe, call Jorge Orozco at (530) 573-7964.

Call The Bee’s Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

Read more articles by Cathy Locke

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