Community Court

What Can I Expect as a Teen Court Juror During Court Proceedings?

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As a Teen Court Juror, you are given the opportunity to question the accused offender and his/her parents. Creative questioning is encouraged. Below are some examples of questions which you may want to ask. Some will only apply to certain offenses and they are only intended to be suggestions.

 
Questions for the accused offender:

  • Why did you do it?
  • Have you ever done this type of thing before?
  • Will you ever do it again?  If not, why not?
  • Did you act alone?  If not, whose idea was it?
  • Looking back, what would you have done differently?
  • Do you attend school regularly?  How are your grades?  What if any problems do you have in school?
  • What have you learned from this experience?
  • What punishment did you receive at home?
  • Did you think it was enough, fair, reasonable?
  • What punishment do you think you should receive today?    

Questions for parents:

  • Did you know your son/daughter had this problem?
  • Did you punish him/her?  If so, what was the punishment?
  • Does your son/daughter have problems at school? How are his/her grades?
  • Do you know his/her friends? If so, are there any he/she will be restricted from?
  • Do you have problems with your son/daughter at home?
  • How does you son/daughter respond to your instructions?
  • Are there other children in the home?  If so, have you had any problem with them?

For offenses related to theft/burglary:

  • Did you intend to steal something when you went into the store?
  • Did you have money to pay for the merchandise?
  • Was the merchandise returned to the store undamaged?
  • If property was stolen from a person was it returned or was restitution paid?
  • Have you stolen before?  If yes, how many times and what did you steal?
  • How do you think you would feel if someone stole something from you?
  • How do you feel about people that steal?

For offenses related to drug/alcohol use:

  • Why did you use drugs/alcohol?
  • How often do you use drugs/alcohol?
  • Do your friends use drugs/alcohol?
  • Do you intend to stop using drugs/alcohol?
  • Do you buy drugs from your friends?
  • How do you get money to buy drugs/alcohol?
  • Have you ever taken money or sold items from your house to buy drugs/alcohol?
  • Have you ever tried to stop using drugs/alcohol?  

For offenses related to assault/battery:

  • Who instigated the incident?
  • Who threw the first punch?
  • Is this the first time you have ever been in a fight?  If not, tell us about the other time(s).
  • How long has the problem between you and the other person been going on?
  • How could you have resolved the conflict without fighting?
  • How will you handle contact with this person in the future?
  • Do you have a problem controlling your temper?

For offenses related to vandalism/malicious mischief:

  • Did you know the victim/owners of the property?
  • Did you do this as a result of conflict with the owner of the property?
  • Had you planned to do this or was it a spur of the moment idea?
  • Was restitution paid?

Deliberation

During deliberations, you will have the responsibility of determining a fair and appropriate sentence for the offender.  Remember, creativity is encouraged. Below are some examples of the sentencing criteria which may be imposed. All conditions of court supervision will be monitored by and are at the discretion of the Teen Court Coordinator.

Sentence Criteria: 

  • 6 months court supervision.
  • Attend Teen Choices class (2 hours).
  • Serve as a Teen Court Juror.
  • Write an essay.
  • Letter of Apology(s).
  • Court fee.
  • Companion cases can not associate with one another.Community Service (20-120 hours).
  • Depending on the case, Vital Intervention Directional Alternatives (VIDA), ACTION, or some type of counseling can be ordered.