Teen Court

 

When middle and high school students get in trouble with the law and/or school for low-level crimes, there are a few options that can help them return to the right path while avoiding excessively harsh punishments.  One such option is Teen Court, a diversion program available to qualifying first-time juvenile offenders.

Vantage Pointe staff oversee and administer Teen Court in New Hanover and Pender counties. Youth who get in trouble at school can be referred directly from law enforcement and School Resource Officers at the time of the incident. Other youth may be diverted from Juvenile and District Court rather than going through formal adult prosecution.

The program is designed to help youth who have made a mistake take responsibility for their actions (they must admit guilt to participate in the program), and uses “positive peer pressure” to reinforce mature behavior. Student volunteers and previous youth offenders serve in all courtroom positions, including prosecuting and defense attorneys, clerks, jurors and bailiffs; an adult judge presides.  Student defendants must agree to be held accountable for their actions by accepting and completing the sentence given by the peer jury.

Youth volunteers learn how the judicial system works, and provide a valuable community service which may meet Beta Club, National Honor Society, or other school-related service requirements.

Participating in Teen Court empowers youth to be decision makers, public speakers, and critical thinkers, and teaches them that even as youth, they have the ability to hold themselves and others to high standards of behavior in their schools and communities.

 


Email all completed forms for New Hanover County to the New Hanover Coordinator at newhanovertc@vantagepointenc.org or fax to (910) 362-8008.


Email all completed forms to the Pender Teen Court Coordinator at pendertc@vantagepointenc.org or fax to (910) 362-8008.




The 2018-2019 hearing dates for New Hanover County Teen Court are:

***Training will be held on 10/25 and on 11/29 from 5:30-7:30 at the New Hanover County Courthouse.

November 1
November 15
December 13
January 10
January 24
February 7
February 21
March 7
March 21
April 4
May 2
May 16
May 30

Teen Court Volunteers should arrive by 5:30 pm. Hearings start promptly at 6 pm in the New Hanover County Courthouse, 316 Princess St.

(Enter on Princess St., between 3rd and 4th St.)

The 2018-2019 hearing dates for Pender County Teen Court are:

***Training will be held on 11/13 and on 1/8 from 5:00-7:00 pm.

December 11
January 31

February 26
March 26
April 25
May 21

Teen Court volunteers should arrive at the Pender County Administrative Building. Hearings are held in the Commissioner’s Room. Hearings start promptly at 5:30 pm.

Pender County Administrative Building, 805 S. Walker St., Burgaw, NC 28425.

 

Teen Court – Youth Volunteers

If you’re a middle or high school student in New Hanover or Pender and are interested in a career in law or simply want to learn more about the judicial system, you may want to volunteer your time serving as a bailiff, jury member, court attorney, or in another position on the teen court. Members of this court are involved in real-world decisions affecting their peers. In addition to the experience, volunteering for teen court is a great addition to any college application or resume. You can find the volunteer form on the Teen Court page.

You will need to complete a new volunteer form for each new school year, to ensure all information is up to date.

Those wishing to volunteer in Pender County should contact the Pender County Teen Court Coordinator, Kiara Kelly, at pendertc@vantagepointenc.org. Those in New Hanover County should contact the New Hanover County Teen Court Coordinator, Rick Abrams, at newhanovertc@vantagepointenc.org.

Teen Court – Adult Volunteers

Adults who volunteer with our teen court program serve as judges, attorney mentors, and other supervisors to the student volunteers. While court experience is helpful, it’s not required to volunteer.

Those wishing to volunteer in Pender County should contact the Pender County Teen Court Coordinator, Kiara Kelly, at pendertc@vantagepointenc.org. Those in New Hanover County should contact the New Hanover County Teen Court Coordinator, Rick Abrams, at newhanovertc@vantagepointenc.org.

When you sign in, please make sure that we have your email address as that is our primary method of communication.

No. While we do encourage attending a training session, we are always looking for interested volunteers. We do offer two trainings over the course of the year, one on September 20, 2018 and one on November 29, 2018.

New Hanover – 4:30 p.m.   Pender – 4:00 p.m.  Please do NOT contact the courthouse.

Yes. We expect our student volunteers to dress like they belong in a courthouse. We ask that you do not wear jeans, t-shirts and sneakers.  NO SHORTS ARE PERMITTED in the courthouse. If you have any concerns, contact your Teen Court Coordinator.

Many student organizations have a service log that can be signed/stamped at the conclusion of Teen Court. We also maintain sign-in sheets.

It is our official record of your attendance and we will not be able to confirm your hours without having you officially sign in.  IF YOU ARRIVE AFTER Teen Court sessions begin, you will be able to sign in before you leave.

No. We welcome volunteers at any point during the school year.  We have had athletes, band students, etc. that attend when their schedules are a little lighter.