Teen Court is a diversionary program which allows juveniles to receive consequences for their criminal actions but not go through the formal juvenile court system.
Referrals are received from Elkhart County Juvenile Probation.
Upon receiving the referral, an intake will be scheduled to explain the Teen Court program and find out additional information about the juvenile such as how they are doing in school and if there are any further concerns at home or school.
In order to be eligible to participate in the program, the juvenile must admit to committing the offense. The “judge” will also explain the consequences of not completing the sentence which could be the Juvenile Prosecuting Attorney filing formal charges.
All of the participants in the hearing are teenage volunteers, except for the judge who is a local attorney acting as judge. The jury is made up of teenage volunteers and past defendants. As part of the sentence, each defendant must serve as a juror at least one time. The sentence may include such things as: community service, no unexcused absences from school, making an apology, attending anger management classes, writing a report, or getting a tutor for school.
After the jury has given the sentence, the “judge” will make sure that the defendant understands what they will need to do and will let them know that they will have 90-120 days to complete their sentence.
The fee for this program is $100.00 - Acceptable forms of payment include Mastercard, Visa, Cash or Money Order.