Click here for the link to our interactive Teen Court Website
Located at the Duval County Courthouse,2nd Floor, Room 2321
Office: (904) 255-1030
Fax: (904) 255-1028
Teen Court is based on the philosophy that a youthful law violator is less likely to continue to offend when a peer jury decides the punishment. Teen Court attempts to interrupt developing patterns of criminal behavior by promoting feelings of self esteem and healthy attitudes toward authority. The program places a high priority on educating teens about citizenship and accepting responsibility for their actions. In some cases juvenile participants are given stern consequences for those actions.
In January of 2009, the Duval County Teen Court program was transferred from the State Attorney's Office, 4th Circuit to the Office of the Court Administrator, 4th Judicial Circuit. Teen Court accepts arrest and Civil Citation cases from the State Attorneys Office. Truancy Teen Court accepts referrals from the Duval County School District.
Duval County Teen Court Program
Teen Court is a diversion program designated for first-time, misdemeanor offenders between the ages of 10 – 17. It gives these juveniles a second chance yet holds them accountable for their actions. The program directs cases away from the juvenile courts and provides a forum for defendants (who have admitted guilt) to explain their involvement in a criminal offense. Specially trained teenagers fulfill the roles of prosecuting attorney, defense attorney, bailiff and jurors. The only adult in this process is the magistrate that presides over courtroom procedures. Magistrates are practicing adult attorneys or judges who supervise the sentence. The defendant along with their parent/guardian signs a contract agreeing to carry out the imposed sentence. If the defendant successfully completes all of the imposed sanctions, adjudication will be withheld, and as a result, there will be no conviction listed on the juvenile's record.
The following are required Teen Court sanctions:
Community Work Service (8 - 35 hours)
Jury Duty / Peer Circle (3- 6 times)
The following Teen Court sanctions are optional:
Open Court apology to Parent/Guardian
Tour of the Jail
To the victim
To his/her parent(s)/guardian(s)
Essay (2 - 6 pages)
Book Report (2 - 6 pages)
On one of the following topics:
Job Interview Skills
What You Should Know About Teen Parenthood
Developing Workplace Skills
How To Develop Your Decision-Making Skills
Your Attitude and You
Learn About Bullying
No Association with Co-Defendant/Victim until completion of the Teen Court Program.
Attendance at Focus on Females class (females)
Attendance at Consequences of Crime class (males)
Mental Health Counseling
Substance Abuse Counseling
Anger Management Counseling
Teen Court cases are conducted on Mondays at 6 p.m. at the Duval County Courthouse.
Click on this link to view our Teen Court video.
Duval County Truancy Court Program
The Truancy Teen Court Program is specifically designed to target middle school aged students who are losing interest or motivation to attend school. It allows teen peers to utilize positive peer pressure to encourage the student to continue regular attendance in school. It is a rewards based program and incentives may be given for reaching predetermined milestones in regards to school attendance and/or performance. The program will receive cases from the school board's truancy social workers/truant officers. After a student has missed 5 or more days in a calendar month or 10 or more days in any 90 day period an Attendance Intervention Team (AIT) meeting may be conducted. A referral may be made after an AIT meeting has been initiated and the truant remains non-compliant with the contract requirements.
Selected Duval County middle schools have been chosen to receive services from the Truancy Teen Court Program. The selected schools are as follows:
- Arlington Middle
- Fletcher Middle
- Fort Caroline Middle
- Ribault Middle
- Highlands Middle
- Jeff Davis Middle
- Landmark Middle
- Mayport Middle
- Northwestern Middle
- Oceanway Middle
- Paxon Middle
- Southside Middle
The Truancy Teen Court Program's court proceedings are directed by an adult magistrate. This magistrate may be an attorney or a community leader. Defendants are sentenced by a Jury of their peers. All participants are required to tell the truth and each takes an oath of confidentiality. Specially trained teenagers fulfill the roles of Jurors. The Jury discusses the important points raised and unanimously determines an appropriate sentence. The Defendant and his/her parent or guardian signs a contract agreeing to carry out the imposed sanctions. The truant must complete all assigned responsibilities. When these requirements have been met, the referring agency will be notified to close the case with nothing to follow. If the truant fails to complete each and every sanction/condition in the time frame given, he/she may be expelled from the program and/or referred to the court system.
Truancy Teen Court cases are conducted on Mondays at 5 p.m. at the Duval County Courthouse.
Click on this link to view our Truancy Teen Court video using Quicktime & Flash.
Click on this link to view our Truancy Teen Court video using Windows Media.
Lawrence Hills, Program Manager - Teen & Truancy Court - (904) 255-1030
Joi Rakes, Volunteer Coordinator - Teen & Truancy Court - (904) 255-1033
Curtis Crawford, Case Manager - Teen Court - (904) 255-1034
Krystal Roig, Case Manager - Teen Court - (904) 255-1035
Rebekah Caruso, Case Manager - Truancy Court - (904) 255-255-1036