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Brunswick County Teen Court Training

Brunswick County Teen Court Training

Photo: Gina Essey, Assistant District Attorney, Addresses Student Volunteers

September 15, 2011 - Brunswick County, NC - "Justice for Youth by Youth" is the theme of this year's Teen Court Training. "Our volunteers are the most important component of the Teen Court Program," according to Glenda Ansley, Teen Court Director. This year the student volunteers will focus on Service Learning. As the students are giving back to their community by volunteering in Teen Court they will receive hands-on training in the justice system. All area youth between the ages of 13 and 18 are invited to attend the trainings on Tuesday, September 20th and Thursday, September 22nd. The trainings will be held at the Brunswick County Courthouse from 6:00 pm until 8:00 pm. The sessions, sponsored by Communities In Schools and the District Attorney's Office, are open to all students who are curious about the justice system and related fields and who would like to become actively involved in their communities. Volunteers will be trained to conduct real court sessions for 1st time juvenile offenders who have committed misdemeanor crimes. The volunteers will learn the responsibilities of the jurors, clerk of court, bailiffs, prosecutors and defense attorneys. Mrs. Ansley says, "Our Teen Court sessions mirror regular court sessions in every way possible. Students get a very realistic, 'hands on' experience by volunteering for Teen Court."

Jurors are trained in the concept of Restorative Justice which focuses on juveniles accepting responsibility for his/her actions and repairing the harm caused by delinquent and problem behavior. The jurors look at aggravating and mitigating factors and will unanimously decide on a constructive sentence for the offender that will keep the offender from returning to the juvenile justice system.

In addition to jury training, the students will learn the duties of the other courtroom positions. Trainers include community volunteers and representatives from the Brunswick County Bar Association, District Attorney's Office, Clerk of Court's office and the Sheriff's Department. Each representative will give an overview of their specific duties in the courtroom and will provide mentoring for roles throughout the year.

Benefits for the student volunteers include participating in the justice process; learning how to work together with students throughout the county; performing service to their community; making a stand for crime prevention in our county; and an opportunity for scholarships sponsored by the Southport-Oak Island Kiwanis, Brunswick County Bar Association and Communities In Schools.

Teen Court is a partnership program between Communities In Schools and the District Attorney's Office. The Brunswick County Juvenile Crime Prevention Council provides funding for the program. If you would like to volunteer or have questions concerning the program, please contact Glenda Ansley at the District Attorney's Office at 253-4087. Additional information can be found at www.cisbrunswick.org.



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