- Category: Defendants
- Last Updated: Friday, 20 November 2015 11:50
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Younger defendants and those who have committed lesser offenses are reviewed by a peer panel comprised of trained teen volunteers. Panel members conduct separate interviews of defendants and at least one parent or guardian in order to determine appropriate sentencing options. The defendant and the parent(s) are given the opportunity to discuss any family problems, financial concerns, behavioral issues or other mitigating circumstances that might affect the panel’s decision on a sentence. Peer Panels are held on Tuesdays at 3:30 p.m.
Check out the video, generously made by Leadership Pikes Peak's Leading Edge Class of 2015.
Cases involving older defendants or those who have committed more serious crimes are processed in formal court proceedings presided over by a District, County, or Municipal Court judge/magistrate. Experienced and trained teen volunteers serve as bailiffs, and prosecuting and defense attorneys (under the supervision of adult lawyers who act as their mentor attorneys). Defendants must take the stand in their own defense in front of the court. Sentences are then deliberated by a jury comprised of former defendants. Trials are held at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesdays.
These proceedings provide an opportunity for those most affected by a crime (i.e. the victims, the community, and the offender) to be directly involved in the restorative justice process. Defendants, their victims, a trained Teen Court restorative mediator and, if needed, members of the community (such as firefighters, student resource officers, teachers, etc.) meet face-to-face to discuss the impact of the defendant’s offense and develop a plan for repairing the harm that was done. Both the victim and defendant must agree to participate in the process, and the defendant must be willing to abide by the decisions made during the mediation. Mediations are held at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays.