Winslow, AZ – In an effort to help local youth, the Winslow Justice and Magistrate Courts have developed the “Teen Court” program to help divert juveniles away from destructive activities and behavior.
“Teen Court is a court diversion program specifically designed for misdemeanor youthful offenders who have no prior court record,” Precinct II Justice of the Peace BJ Little said. “The purpose of Teen Court is to direct cases away from the Superior Court and provide a forum for the defendants, who admit guilt, to explain their involvement in the offense.”
After taking responsibility for their role in each case, defendants are sentenced by their peers. These juries are made up of trained student volunteers and previously sentenced defendants who listen to attorney presentations and arguments both for and against the defendant’s involvement in the case.
“Teen Court Volunteers will have the opportunity to gain some wonderful benefits from participating in the Teen Court Program,” Judge Little added. “This includes gaining understanding and knowledge of the judicial system, developing leadership and public speaking skills, providing positive peer support for referred youth, and gaining an opportunity to serve and impact the Community of Winslow.”
Participation by all parties is voluntary, and all participants are required to tell the truth and take an Oath of Confidentiality.
“The Winslow Justice and Magistrate Courts are extremely thankful and excited about the Teen Court Program,” Judge Little said. “We would like to thank Michael Shumway, Adam West and Lauren Ramirez from the Navajo County Attorney’s Office, Officer Afton Foster from the Winslow Police Department, the Navajo County Probation Office, and the Winslow Unified School District for the recommendation of Honorable and Dedicated students for their help and support in starting the Teen Court program here in Precinct Two.”
The first Teen Court case will be heard on January 22nd.
For more information:
Contact - Adam Wolfe
Navajo County Communications Manager
Phone: (928) 524-4165