St. Clair County Looks to Train Jurors for Teen Court

teencourt102In southwestern Illinois, the juvenile court system is looking to make good on the concept of “a jury of one’s peers” with a new teen court model. Any teen without a serious offense (or no non-violent offenses in the last six months) is eligible to sign up to become a teen juror, with a training to be held in mid-October.

Any youth offender who admits their guilt and participates in the new teen court will be given a sentence by a literal jury of his or her peers, and once the sentence is completed, the charge will be wiped from their record. Everyone from the state’s attorney to the sheriff and superintendent of schools in the area have signed off on this innovative idea, believing it will make offenders more accountable as well as giving them a second chance without a permanent delinquent label.

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