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Teen Court is coming to San Tan Valley

San Tan Valley will soon be having a Teen Court program. An information session officially kicked off the program on January 13th at Poston Butte High School. Nearly 25 teens and their parents joined Juvenile Court Services staff to find out more about the program and its benefits.

Teen Court is a diversion style program designed to provide juvenile offenders with an alternative to the formal juvenile justice system when possible and is the only venue in the Juvenile Court system where a youth's case is deliberated by a true jury of their peers.

The goal of the Pinal County Teen Court Program is to inspire youth to work towards a crime free future by empowering positive thinking, instilling self-confidence, fostering positive social supports and family engagement while restoring victims and communities. Juvenile Court Services currently has the program in the City of Maricopa.

Holding youth accountable in this direct way provides them with a unique opportunity to accept responsibility for their offense and actively make amends to the victim, their family and the community. At the same time, the student volunteers who participate as judges, jurors, attorneys, victim advocates, clerks and bailiffs gain an educational experience and a sense of pride in assisting youth, the community and all that are impacted by juvenile crime.

Pinal County Juvenile Court Director Denise Smith was joined by the Judge Shaun Babeu of the Pioneer Justice Court, Pinal County Attorney Kent Volkmer and Florence Unified School District Assistant Superintendent Adam Leckie in presenting to the group on how Teen Court participation can lead to leadership development and opportunities.

For more information on this program contact Karen Shogren at 520-866-4417. For other volunteer opportunities with Pinal County Juvenile Court, contact Donna McBride at 520-866-4405.
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