Questions for the Teen Court Evaluation



  1. What is the process for assessing eligibility for the Teen Court by Probation?Is there an interview with the youth?


The case is initially reviewed on paper to initially assess eligibility, which includes the following: between the ages of 11-17, first time offender, WIC 236, WIC 654, misdemeanors or infraction.If the case is eligible, the youth/parents are contacted to determine if they are willing to take the option of Teen Court.If they are, they become a Teen Court participant, if they decline, they are processed traditionally.


  1. What is the process for releasing a youth from Probation?Is there an interview or contact with a Probation officer?


Youth have a 6 month period to complete sentence (community service, counseling, etc.) not transferred back into traditional JJS if completed successfully. Could be charged with violation of Probation in addition to the original charge.


The probation officer maintains limited contact with the youth throughout their time on probation.Once all conditions are satisfied, the probation officer contacts the youth to let him/her know that their probation has been successfully completed.


  1. Is there a statute of limitations on being sentenced to Teen Court? For example, Offender A is arrested for a crime in January and the judge really wants him to go to Teen Court, but the January and February Teen Court defendants have already been chosen. Can Offender A's case be held over until March (or later) or does he have to go to court within a shorter time frame and therefore has to go to traditional juvenile court?


The only restriction is that only 2 cases can be heard per month. Given a limited number of cases for waiting time is not great.


  1. What type of information is readily available in Probationís information system?For instance, are the following items available:
    1. Gender
    2. Race/Ethnicity
    3. Age
    4. Living SituationóWho do they live with?
    5. School Status and Grade
    6. Gang Membership
    7. Presence of Substance Abuse
    8. Presence of Mental Health
    9. Current Charge
    10. No. of Prior Offenses


Gender, race, age, living situation (depending on what the family discloses), grades, gang membership (if relevant), current charge (given at time of hearing) are available in most cases. Substance abuse problems are disclosed unless itís relevant to the case, but a case involving SA problems is highly unlikely to go to Teen Court.


  1. Generally, what% of cases are selected from the total group of eligible cases for Teen Court?


Assume that 50% of the cases deemed eligible for the court are placed in the Teen Court.50%, therefore, must be processed traditionally.


  1. What happens to the cases that are not selected for Teen Court?


They are processed traditionally by the court/probation.This involves a variety of options that you do not have to account for.Just use the general category of processed traditionally.