Teen Court is a pre-arrest diversion program designed for eligible misdemeanor offenders between the ages of 10-17. The program gives youth the opportunity to accept responsibility for their actions and make reparation through the use of therapeutic interventions, written assignments and community service. Specially trained youth serve as prosecutors and defense attorneys, bailiffs and jury members. A volunteer judge, who is a practicing attorney oversees a mock trial and approves a sentences formulated by the jury. The defendant, along with their parent/guardian, signs a contract agreeing to complete all of the assigned tasks. Upon successful completion of all tasks, no arrest or criminal charges will appear on the youth’s record.
Duval County Neighborhood Accountability Boards
Neighborhood Accountability Boards (NAB) represent a community based decision making process aimed at repairing harm brought on by crime committed by youthful offenders. The NAB is also a pre-arrest diversion program designed for eligible misdemeanor offenders between the ages of 10-17. The NAB receives a referral from law enforcement indicating that an offense has been committed by a juvenile resident of a targeted community. Members of the community participate in a restorative conference between the victim, offender and the offender’s family in order to repair the harm caused by the offense that has impacted that community. Each member of the Board participates in this consensus building process focusing on offender accountability, victim and community restoration and youth competency development. The end result is a time limited case plan that the offender is required to complete.
Both Teen Court and the Neighborhood Accountability Boards strive to interrupt developing patterns of criminal behavior by educating youth about responsibility and consequences of their actions, fostering a healthy attitude towards authority and addressing any substance abuse or mental health needs.
Through an anonymous donor from the Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, Teen Court is able to provide treatment services as needs indicate to address substance abuse, mental health and anger management issues to the youth in the program at no cost to the family. This collaboration is truly appreciated as we continue to use this money for the betterment of the program, the youth served and our community.
How To Volunteer
Teen Court and the Neighborhood Accountability Boards would not exist without our wonderful volunteers and we are always looking for more. There are several roles available for people interested in being a part of the program. All volunteer positions are subject to a criminal background check.
Teen Court Judge
– An adult judge, attorney or 2nd
year law student who presides over Teen Court sessions.
NAB Board Member
– An adult who participates in Neighborhood Accountability Board sessions to help establish youth sanctions. Training on Restorative Justice is provided.
– A youth age 12 – 18 years old who is charged with interviewing the juvenile offender and representing them in court. They are trying to get a minimal sentence for their client (juvenile offender).
- A youth age 12 – 18 years old who is charged with representing the State of Florida and attempting to prove the level of involvement that the juvenile offender had in the crime. They are trying to get the teen jurors to impose the maximum sentence on the juvenile offender.
Males MUST wear a collared shirt tucked in, a tie, dress pants or khaki pants with a belt and dress shoes.
Females MUST choose from the following: dress pants, dress, skirt, sleeved blouses and dress shoes. All outfits must be loose fitting, at least knee-length and with no exposed cleavage or midriff.
UNACCEPTABLE: shorts, jeans, hats, tennis shoes, sunglasses, flip-flops, spaghetti straps/halter tops, tank tops, sweat pants/sweat shirts, T-shirts. No gum, candy, food or drinks are allowed
Location and Time
Duval County Courthouse, 501 West Adams Street, Jacksonville, Fl. 32202.
Teen Court takes place on the 2 nd
floor Court Room 212.
Teen Court is held on Monday evening (please refer to our calendar for court session dates). Volunteers should arrive by 4:00 pm.
For more information about Teen Court, contact us at 904-255-1030.
News & Related Links
Jacksonville Daily Record
Clay County Teen Court Program
Nassau County Teen Court Program
Teen Court Calendar
Teen Court Brochure
Teen Court Volunteer Application