Should a Clinton teenager be incarcerated until his 21st birthday for manslaughter in the death of three friends in a car crash , or does Maine law require that Timothy Silva be on probation at home? Maine laws concerning juveniles who commit crimes emphasize rehabilitation over punishment and advise judges to impose the least restrictive sentences possible. But the Legislature also granted judges great latitude in making sentencing decisions about juveniles. Over the past decade, fewer juveniles in Maine and the United States have been incarcerated.
Teen Court helps to rehabilitate troubled youth
Teen court - Wikipedia
Lee Leftwich is the Teen Court Administrator. He in the 11 years since he brought the program to Beckley, he helped dozens of future lawyers begin their careers. Teen Court serves as an alternative form of juvenile justice where a juvenile charged with committing a misdemeanor or small offense is judged by a jury of there peers. Defendants and their parents have the option to have their case go through teen court. If they choose to do so, they will receive punishment, but the charge will not remain on their personal record. Leftwich said the goal of the group is to give these kids a chance at redemption and rehabilitation.
Peer/Youth Courts Overview
However, the cases they handle are real. Eight years ago, about 80 youth court programs existed across the country. Today, that number has increased to more than U. Teen courts do have power. The sentences are limited to written apologies or hours of community service, but the indictment, the defense, the prosecution and the verdict are handled entirely by the students.
One such option is Teen Court, a diversion program available to qualifying first-time juvenile offenders. Youth who get in trouble can be referred directly from law enforcement and School Resource Officers at the time of the incident. Other youth may be diverted from Juvenile and District Court rather than going through formal adult prosecution. The program is designed to help youth and teens who have made a mistake take responsibility for their actions. They must admit guilt to participate in the program, but then with the aid of pro-social peer interactions they may take personal responsibility for any damage their actions caused, for themselves, their families and others.