Baltimore city teen court
Teen Court is held at the Eastside District Courthouse.
A YOUTH DIVERSION PROGRAM
The Baltimore City Teen Court, (BCTC) is entering its fourteenth year of operation and has diverted over 1,800 youth from the Department of Juvenile Services. BCTC has provided service learning opportunities for more then 800 Baltimore City middle and high school youth. There are several workable models of Teen Court including Adult Judge, Youth Judge, Youth Tribunal and Peer Jury. BCTC uses the Peer Jury model, where adults serve as the judge, and youth volunteers serve as bailiffs, jurors, clerks. The youth jurors hear the facts, question the respondent, and deliberate in order to determine appropriate sanctions, which most often include Teen Court jury duty, community service, essays, anger management or other therapeutic sessions and letters of apology to the victim or family members affected.
Considered an alternative to the traditional juvenile justice system and school disciplinary code, Teen Court is offered to young offenders who have been charged with misdemeanor crimes (e.g., shoplifting, loitering, disorderly conduct, second-degree assault), and whose case has been referred to us by Baltimore City Police or School Police. BCTC utilizes the diversion, along with leadership development and education, to teach youth about the law and increase respect for the justice system. BCTC emphasizes self accountability, community restitution, and positive peer influence for youth respondents and volunteers.
THE HISTORY OF TEEN COURTS
Youth court programs, also known as Teen Courts, have become an integral component of the juvenile justice system in communities across the United States. Though the basic premise of teen court has existed for some time, actual teen court programs have seen rapid expansion since the late 1990’s. There are approximately 1,300 youth courts functioning within the United States, and 10 that are currently operating in the state of Maryland.
WHO ARE TEEN COURT RESPONDENTS?
Check out our Midday on WYPR!
Hear Leslie Wright, Mark Friedenthal (Public Defender/Teen Court Volunteer), and Gavin Pataschnick (State's Attorney/Teen Court Advisory Committee Member) discuss the Baltimore City Teen Court!