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.




New Hanover County Teen Court is held at the New Hanover County Courthouse, located at:

316 Princess Street
Wilmington, NC 28401
(Enter on Princess St., between 3rd St. and 4th St.)

 

 

Pender County Teen Court is held at the Pender County Courthouse, located at:

100 Wright Street
Burgaw, NC 28425

The 2018 dates for New Hanover County Teen Court are:

  • January 8th
  • February 5th
  • March 5th
  • April 2nd
  • April 30th
  • May 1st
  • May 29th

 

The 2018 dates for Pender County Teen Court are:

  • February 6th
  • April 3rd
  • May 15th

We start at 6 p.m. in New Hanover County – we will serve pizza/drinks/goodies at 5:00 p.m. until it is gone! We start at 5:30 p.m. in Pender County – we will serve pizza/drinks/goodies at 4:45 p.m. until it is gone!

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.

 

Those wishing to volunteer in Pender County should contact Mackenzie Wetherill at mwetherill@vantagepointenc.org. Those in New Hanover County should contact the New Hanover County Teen Court Coordinator 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 Mackenzie Wetherill at mwetherill@vantagepointenc.org. Those in New Hanover County should contact the New Hanover County Teen Court Coordinator at newhanovertc@vantagepointenc.org.

Yes, it gives us permission from your parent or guardian that you can participate in the program.

No.  We actually schedule our first Teen Court of the year before our training so that students can see a session and decide if they want to continue as a student volunteer.

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.

You will still go through security at the main entrance after we begin.