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Teen Court offers juvenile judgment

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Teenagers considering a career in law or who are curious about how the judicial system works have the opportunity to learn firsthand all that goes into a criminal case through the Lewisville/Flower Mound Teen Court program.

Teen Court seeks to prevent unlawful behavior while educating youth offenders and volunteers about the judicial system, according to Laurie Yonkers, Teen Court Coordinator.

“The program offers youth offenders the opportunity to perform community service hours and jury terms in lieu of paying a fine for their offense,” said Yonkers. 

“The offender is brought before a jury of their peers, who determine the amount of community service hours to be performed as well as how many jury terms they will have to serve. The court is comprised of all teens, except for the judge, along with a few adult volunteers.”

Yonkers said that the Lewisville/Flower Mound Teen Court was established in 1994 and there are approximately 800 Teen Courts in the United States today. 

“We provide a $1,000 scholarship each year to one graduating senior that plans to attend college in the future. Funds for the scholarship are generated from donations only. Usually there are several individuals who qualify for the scholarship, and it is somewhat of a challenge to choose one student from the outstanding volunteers,” said Yonkers.

Teen Court will hold a volunteer training session in Lewisville on Saturday, September 25th, in the Municipal Annex, 1197 W. Main Street. Training begins at 9:00 a.m. and ends around 2:30 p.m.  Lunch will be provided along with door prizes for attendance and participation. 

High school and home schooled students 13 to 17 years old are eligible to volunteer as attorneys, bailiffs, judges, jurors, or check-in clerks.  To register for Teen Court Training, contact Yonkers at 972-219-3671 or email lyonkers@cityoflewisville.com by September 17.

Yonkers added that anyone is welcome to come and observe Teen Court, which is held twice a month on Tuesday nights at 6:00 p.m. either at the Flower Mound or Lewisville Municipal Court. 

For more information about Teen Court, visit www.flower-mound.com and click on “Municipal Courts,” then “Teen Court.”

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