Apology Letters/Essays


Defendants required to complete apology letters must provide a copy of the original letter to Teen Court as proof of completion.

  • If the apology letter is to a store/business, it will be forwarded to the appropriate address after Teen Court receives a copy.
  • If the apology letter is to a victim, it will also be forwarded to the appropriate person(s) after Teen Court receives a copy (depending on the case).
  • If the apology letter is to a parent or family member, the original document will be given to the parent/family, and Teen Court will keep a copy of the letter.
  • If an apology letter is deemed unacceptable by the Teen Court staff due to lack of effort and/or plagiarism, the defendant’s parent will be contacted and the defendant will be required to rewrite a new apology letter with additionally imposed requirements.



Defendants sentenced to complete an essay will be given a specific topic and page length. The topic of the essay is meant to benefit the defendant.  The goal of writing the essay is not so much the length of it, but rather the opportunity for the defendant to reflect on what he/she has done and learn from it.  Essays must be completed according to the requirements given at the defendant’s sentencing hearing (Peer Panel, Trial, or Mediation). 

  • Essays may be handwritten or typed.  They must be legible and must include the defendant’s full name
  • If typed: must have 12-point font with 1-inch margins (similar to school assignments). If hand written: must be normal size writing, full lines, and complete pages.  Each page must be written or typed the full length of the page (one full page plus one word/sentence on the second page does NOT count as two full pages). 
  • Essays must be in the defendant’s original words and not copied from any person or online source.  Each essay is checked for plagiarism through an online program that scans the internet.  If it is discovered that an essay or a portion of an essay has been plagiarized, staff will contact the defendant’s parent and further sentencing will be imposed.