Defendants Defendants

Colorado Springs Teen Court is a unique and highly successful approach to juvenile crime. The Teen Court program provides a Restorative Justice alternative to regular court sentencing for first-time misdemeanor juvenile offenders between the ages of 10 and 18. Although Teen Court works in tandem with the Municipal Court system, it remains a locally-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that relies on community support to sustain its programs.

Defendants who are eligible must accept Teen Court as a six-month deferred sentence through Municipal Court. The defendant is given three months to complete his/her Teen Court sentence which the juvenile receives on his/her sentencing hearing date. Teen Court has three sentencing options: Peer Panel, Trial, and Mediation. Each defendant will be sentenced to attend one Teen Court jury duty where the defendant will participate in a Teen Court Trial and hear the case of another teen defendant. Following the concepts of Restorative Justice, defendants on the jury will deliberate on a sentence for the defendant(s) on trial.

Teen Court handles misdemeanor offenses, as described in the Colorado Springs City Codes. These offenses include but are not limited to:

  • Assault
  • Possession - Marijuana
  • Criminal Mischief
  • Property Damage/Vandalism
  • False Information
  • Public Indecency
  • Fighting
  • Resisting Police
  • Harassment
  • Shoplifting
  • Loitering
  • Theft
  • Possession - Alcohol
  • Throwing Missiles
  • Trespassing
  • Possession of Incendiary Device

Cases are referred to Teen Court from the Municipal Court at the defendant’s arraignment. A city attorney or judge determines if the defendant meets the Teen Court criteria. Defendants must plead guilty to their charges and agree to voluntarily participate in Teen Court. A parent or guardian must agree to maintain full involvement throughout the proceedings.

Based on the severity and type of crime along with the age of the offender, the case is forwarded to a Peer Panel, a Trial by Peer Jury, or a Restorative Mediation.

Colorado Springs Teen Court is a unique and highly successful approach to juvenile crime. The Teen Court program provides a restorative justice alternative to regular court sentencing for first-time misdemeanor juvenile offenders between the ages of 10 and 18. Although Teen Court works in tandem with the Municipal Court system, it remains a locally-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that relies on community support to sustain its programs.

Defendants who are eligible must accept Teen Court as a six-month deferred sentence through Municipal Court. The defendant is given three months to complete their Teen Court sentence which they receive on their sentencing hearing date. Teen Court has three sentencing options: Peer Panel, Trial, and Mediation. Each defendant will be sentenced to attend one Teen Court jury duty where the defendant will participate in a Teen Court Trial and hear the case of another teen defendant. Following the concepts of Restorative Justice, defendants on the jury will deliberate on a sentence for the defendant(s) on trial.

Teen Court handles misdemeanor offenses, as described in the Colorado Springs City Codes. These offenses include but are not limited to:

  • Assault
  • Possession - Marijuana
  • Criminal Mischief
  • Property Damage/Vandalism
  • False Information
  • Public Indecency
  • Fighting
  • Resisting Police
  • Harassment
  • Shoplifting
  • Loitering
  • Theft
  • Possession - Alcohol
  • Throwing Missiles
  • Trespassing
  • Possession of Incendiary Device

Cases are referred to Teen Court from the Municipal Court at the defendant’s arraignment. A city attorney or judge determines if the defendant meets the Teen Court criteria. Defendants must plead guilty to their charges and agree to voluntarily participate in Teen Court. A parent or guardian must agree to maintain full involvement throughout the proceedings.

Based on the severity and type of crime along with the age of the offender, the case is forwarded to a Peer Panel, a Trial by Peer Jury, or a Restorative Mediation.

Peer Panel

Younger defendants and those who have committed lesser offenses are reviewed by a peer panel comprised of trained teen volunteers. Panel members conduct separate interviews of defendants and at least one parent or guardian in order to determine appropriate sentencing options. The defendant and the parent(s) are given the opportunity to discuss any family problems, financial concerns, behavioral issues or other mitigating circumstances that might affect the panel’s decision on a sentence. Peer Panels are held on Tuesdays at 3:30 p.m.

 

 

 Check out the video, generously made by Leadership Pikes Peak's Leading Edge Class of 2015.

                                                                                 Intro

 

Trial

Cases involving older defendants or those who have committed more serious crimes are processed in formal court proceedings presided over by a District, County, or Municipal Court judge/magistrate. Experienced and trained teen volunteers serve as bailiffs, and prosecuting and defense attorneys (under the supervision of adult lawyers who act as their mentor attorneys). Defendants must take the stand in their own defense in front of the court. Sentences are then deliberated by a jury comprised of former defendants. Trials are held at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesdays.

 

 

Restorative Mediation

These proceedings provide an opportunity for those most affected by a crime (i.e. the victims, the community, and the offender) to be directly involved in the restorative justice process. Defendants, their victims, a trained Teen Court restorative mediator and, if needed, members of the community (such as firefighters, student resource officers, teachers, etc.) meet face-to-face to discuss the impact of the defendant’s offense and develop a plan for repairing the harm that was done. Both the victim and defendant must agree to participate in the process, and the defendant must be willing to abide by the decisions made during the mediation. Mediations are held at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays.