The Richmond Register

Education

February 18, 2013

Teen Justice

Students learn about judicial system while participating in real cases

RICHMOND — When adults talk about peer pressure and teens, it’s often in connection with drug use, bullying, criminal acts or some type of bad behavior.

However, a local court program uses peer pressure in a positive way to not only teach teens about the judicial system but also to prevent youthful offenders from moving on to more serious crimes.

Last week, 20 high school students were sworn in as new members of the Madison County Teen Court after they completed five training sessions. During the training, the students learned how to act as prosecutors, defense attorneys, bailiffs, clerks and jurors in determining the sentence for actual juvenile offenders.

Typically, first-time youthful offenders, who have already admitted their guilt in a specific misdemeanor or violation, are referred to teen court. The offender’s case is presented by teens acting as attorneys, and a jury, also made up of teens, decides on an appropriate punishment.

The culmination of the teen court students’ training was a mock trial followed by a swearing-in ceremony conducted in the third-floor courtroom at the Madison Hall of Justice.

Brianna Walters was one of the new teen court training graduates.

“I’ve been in mock trial for a couple of years, and it’s prepared me for this but this is so much different,” Brianna said. “It gives you a hand to help kids that you know need it, and just kind of gives you an insight to how (a trial) would really be.”



How teen court works

Court-designated workers refer certain juvenile cases to teen court, according to coordinator Neely Caudill. The offender has already admitted his or her guilt, she added.

The role of the teen court is to determine the appropriate punishment and what is the “best outcome” for the case, Caudill said.

The juvenile gets to tell the court about the incident and any extenuating circumstances. Teen court members act as both the defense and prosecuting attorneys, and teens also serve as bailiffs and court clerks.

The remaining Teen Court members make up the jury, Caudill said.

Madison District Judge Brandy O. Brown presides over Teen Court, Caudill said. The other two district court judges, Earl Ray Neal and Charles Hardin, also preside over the court if Brown is not available.

“The judges are always there to help,” Caudill said.

Assistant County Attorney Jud Patterson also helped with the training, Caudill said.

The cases typically involve first-time offenders and can range from shoplifting to marijuana and drug possession. The Teen Court also can address traffic violations, truancy, trespassing and property damage offenses.

The jury has several options for “constructive sentencing” in teen court cases, according to the training manual. The sentences can involve community service, financial restitution, teen court jury duty, letters of apology and educational seminars. The jury also can recommend counseling.

If offenders successfully complete their sentences, their records are cleared, according to Caudill.

Caudill emphasized that confidentiality is of utmost importance and is stressed at every training session. Teen court members may not talk about the cases amongst themselves (unless it’s part of  prosecuting or defense team preparation), at school or even with their families.

“This is not something to take lightly, it’s people’s lives,” Caudill said.

This is the first year Caudill, who is the Madison District Court legal assistant, has led the teen court program. Assistant coordinators are Linda Grubb and Kathy Tudor.

Caudill was a participant in the Clark County Teen Court for four years. During her time with the program, she often saw teens who were sentenced by their peers come back later to join the teen court staff.

“It’s great for college applications and future law students,” she said. “It’s such a good thing for students.”

Sarah Hogsed can be reached at shogsed@richmondregister.com or 624-6694.

Chief Photographer Kaitlin Keane contributed to this report.

1
Text Only
Education
  • Kitcarson1.jpg Elementary schools built in ‘60s getting upgrades

    Renovation of three Madison County elementary schools built in Richmond during the 1960s will start this summer.
    The county school board voted Thursday to continue with the second phase of state paperwork required for the projects.
    With a target completion date of August 2015, renovations and alterations at Daniel Boone, Kit Carson and White Hall elementary schools are estimated to cost almost $12 million.

    April 20, 2014 9 Photos

  • May 30 last school day for students

    After 16 snows days and two weather delays this winter, the Madison County School Board decided Thursday to end the school year on Friday, May 30.

    April 19, 2014

  • 4-19 TechExtra1.jpg Students showcase projects in Technology Extravaganza

    Madison County School students showed off just how tech savvy they can be during the district’s sixth annual Technology Extravaganza on Thursday at Madison Central High School. After the showcase, more than 350 students were honored for their work.

    April 19, 2014 7 Photos

  • 4-19 SchoolBoardJesseWard.jpg Ward honored for service; tech center named after him

    Retired Madison County educator Jesse Ward was recognized Thursday for his many years of service. To honor him, Superintendent Elmer Thomas announced the board’s decision to rename the district’s technology training center on North Second Street in Richmond the Jesse P. Ward Technology and Training Center.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-16 CMMShealthfair5.jpg Health fairs cover contemporary teenage topics

    Berea Community High School health students coordinated their first all-day health fair in November that was catered to elementary students.

    But their spring fair Monday handled more mature issues that targeted the middle and high school crowd, said health teacher Cathy Jones.

    April 16, 2014 13 Photos

  • Regents approve smoke-free campus policy

    The Eastern Kentucky University Board of Regents on Monday approved a tobacco-free campus policy and set 2014-15 rates for tuition, housing and meal plans.

    Effective June 1, the use of tobacco on all property that is owned, leased, occupied or controlled by the university will be prohibited.

    April 14, 2014

  • 4-10 EKUDanceTheatre1.jpg EKU Dance Theatre tonight

    Performances are 8 p.m. tonight, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday in O’Donnell Hall of the Whitlock Building.
    Tickets are available at the Whitlock Building ticket window or by calling 622-2171 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. today.
    Tickets are $5 for students, $10 general admission and free for children under the age of 12. Tickets also may be purchased at the door.
    This semester’s concert offers a variety of dance forms including modern/contemporary, hip hop, Middle Eastern, musical theater and Latin jazz.

    April 10, 2014 7 Photos

  • 4-11 ChildAbusePrevPinwheels.jpg Pinwheels for prevention

    Madison Central High School CIA, or Central in Action club, placed 473 silver and blue pinwheels in the flower beds in front of the school, each representing a substantiated child abuse case reported in Madison County in 2013 to show support for Child Abuse Prevention Month.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-10 TibetanMonks1.jpg Tibetan monks provide week of cultural experiences

    Berea College has had a special relationship with the Tibetan government-in-exile dating back to the 1990s. That is when the late John Stephenson, then Berea’s president, befriended the Dalai Lama, the Buddhist spiritual leader of the Tibetan people, according to Jeff Richey, chair of Asian Studies at the college.

    April 10, 2014 13 Photos

  • 4-10 RedCedar4.jpg Open for learning

    While some may not have known all of the words or the exact notes to sing, parents and children in the Red Cedar Learning Cooperative enjoyed an afternoon jam session together Tuesday, complete with guitars, a ukulele, drums and a harmonica.

    April 9, 2014 13 Photos

AP Video
SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Cubs Superfans Celebrate Wrigley's 100th Raw: Cattle Truck Overturns in Texas Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming Raw: Erupting Volcanoes in Guatemala and Peru Alibaba IPO Could Be Largest Ever for Tech Firm FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should Richmond rezone the southwest corner of Main Street and Tates Creek Avenue to B-1 (Neighborhood Business) with restrictions to allow construction of a financial services office?

Yes
No
     View Results