Central SD Teen Court
Teen Court is a diversion program offered mainly to first time offenders ages 10-18, who are currently enrolled in an accredited school curriculum. Members of the Teen Court (e.g. attorneys, jury, bailiff and clerks) are student volunteers and returning defendants. They work to create a legal and binding sentence for the defendant based on the following principles of Restorative Justice:
- What harm has been done?
- Who has been harmed?
- What can be done to repair the harm?
Teen Court is a "sentencing" court and therefore does not establish guilt or innocence. The young offender must plead guilty in order to be referred to Teen Court by the State's Attorney. Upon successful completion of the sentence a letter is sent to the State's Attorney recommending dismissal of the case.
Approximately, 1,000 cases have been heard since the program started in 2002.