The Latest News

HayDen W. Kane II speaks with am740 KVOR radio station about Teen Court. CLICK HERE to listen. The show is 1:28:17 long, but HayDen and Tron Simpson can be heard discussing Teen Court between 20:10 and 31:30.

 

Our Mission Statement:

“Empowering our youth through Restorative Justice for a brighter future.”

   Restorative Justice provides an opportunity for those most affected by a crime (i.e., the victims, the community, and the offender) to be directly involved in the justice process. It is not an easy process.  The offender must accept responsibility for his/her actions and the harm those actions caused others; as well as take action to repair that harm.

Teen Court mediations, peer panels and trials offer different avenues to the Restorative Justice process.  Through these avenues, the community and the offender come together to identify and resolve the issues that brought the teen to court.  This may involve various Teen Court classes for shoplifters, troubled teens or life skills.  These classes have been developed by Teen Court to help teens develop resources to make positive life choices in the future.  Community service and Teen Court Jury Duty help the defendants feel a part of the larger community again, and gain confidence in knowing they can make a difference in someone’s life.

   Decisions made in Teen Court are upheld by the Municipal Court system. Once Teen Court sentencing requirements are fully met by the defendant, the charges filed against them are dismissed. Unless they commit a second offense, former defendants’ records can be expunged one year from their Municipal Court review date.  This enables teens to apply for jobs, college, the military and financial aid without the stigma of a criminal record.

   Through a Restorative Justice approach, teens recognize the impact of their actions and are provided with a chance to grow from the experience. Recidivism rates for our program average 7%, as opposed to 40-50% for similar cases in the regular court system. 

Debbie English discusses Restorative Justice with Rachel Stovall:

 

 

Awards for Excellence is an El Pomar program established in 1989 to recognize and reward Colorado nonprofit organizations and individuals that serve their communities with distinction and excellence. At a presentation ceremony each year, honorees receive monetary grants, commemorative awards, and are highlighted for their work and service.

Excellence Award

In December 2014, El Pomar Foundation presented Colorado Springs Teen Court with the Pikes Peak Award for Excellence and a grant in the amount of $10,000!

Lights, camera, action!  Teen Court: The Movie premiered in March.  Featuring teens who have successfully completed the Teen Court process, student and adult volunteers, local attorneys and judges and elected officials, the movie makes the case for "Restorative Justice For Teens By Teens"...

Read more: Teen Court: The Movie

Many of the teens we now handle have stolen large amounts from the stores or have stolen numerous times (the stores keep a tally of what is stolen by the same individual and when it reaches over $500, they have them arrested).  Two of our defendants were 11-year old girls arrested for shoplifting over $500 each at a local department store.  They were “assigned” this task by their mother and aunt who had already completed their shoplifting. While attending the Community Impact Panels, both girls said they had not wanted to shoplift, but that is what their family did.  One young lady said she wanted to be a nurse; the other wanted to be a teacher.  After reporting this story to the Department of Social Services, the girls were removed from this environment and now live with their grandmother.  Both are currently volunteering with Teen Court and are attending a new school.  Even though we are working with more troubled teens, we have managed to keep our re-offense rate for those attending Community Impact Panels to an encouraging 5%.

2016 Annual Luncheon Celebrates Success What does Restorative Justice look like?  On April 7, 2016 at the DoubleTree by Hilton, 450 supporters, volunteers and community members learned the answer. Hosted by Diane Derby of KKTV Channel 11, a former defendant, his mother, and a student volunteer shared their experiences with Teen Court.

Many in the audience watched wide-eyed as they listened to and identified with Ossian as he spoke about

Read more: 2016 Annual Luncheon Celebrates Success