What is Teen Court?
Teen Court is a real justice program. It gives juveniles who have committed a misdemeanor crime a chance to appear before a jury of their peers. Cases heard in Teen Court involve crimes such as theft, shoplifting, criminal mischief, trespassing, third degree assault, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, and minor in possession of alcohol.
For the young person charged with a crime, Teen Court offers teenage offenders a second chance to learn from their mistakes without the high cost and stigma of a criminal record. It’s a positive “hands on” experience meant to divert offenders away from a pattern of criminal behavior. The Sarpy County Teen Court is monitored by the Teen Court Coordinator, Leonard Matthias. Read more about us in this Omaha World-Herald article.
All juveniles who participate in Teen Court are screened by Diversion Officers. Participation in Teen Court is on a voluntary basis for minors who admit responsibility for the offense and choose to go before their peers to receive the consequences of their actions. The juveniles who successfully complete Teen Court do not have a conviction on their record.