If you have any other questions, please contact Teen Court Staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Teen Court volunteers must be at least 13 years of age (unless otherwise approved by staff).
You can begin volunteering right away! Simply fill out and submit a Student Volunteer Application and come down to the courthouse on scheduled Peer Panel Tuesdays. You are also more than welcome to observe a few Peer Panels before you begin volunteering.
Not at all! Observers are always welcome for those interested in seeing the process before participating. Teen Court has started hosting "training panels" for new volunteers on scheduled Peer Panel Tuesdays. Every quarter, Teen Court hosts mandatory training sessions for all volunteers (both student and adult). At these training sessions, volunteers are presented with information about the Teen Court process and the program's various sentencing options. Attorney Training is also offered for any teen volunteers interested in becoming student attorneys for Trials.
The great thing about volunteering with Teen Court is that we are a 'come when you can' organization. You do not need to sign up in advance to volunteer on Peer Panel Tuesdays, however you are more than welcome to notify Teen Court staff if there are times when you are unable to make it.
Teen Court meets on scheduled Tuesday afternoons (not every Tuesday). Trials are usually held on the first Tuesday of every month from 4:00PM to 7:00PM while Peer Panels are held twice a month from 3:00PM to 5:30PM. Volunteers are primarily needed on Peer Panel nights since Teen Court usually has 20-30 cases scheduled.
All Teen Court proceedings take place at the Municipal Courthouse located at 224 E. Kiowa St. between Nevada and Weber (across the street from the City Auditorium). On Peer Panel Tuesdays, volunteers meet in Division 1 (the courtoom on the first floor). Just be sure to tell a staff member that you're a new volunteer and we'll tell you where to go from there.
Teen Court requires all volunteers to purchase a Teen Court shirt for professional and identification purposes while at the courthouse. Teen Court shirts are available in multiple sizes and cost $20 (no tax).
Gentlemen: No hats, no baggy/torn pants (blue jeans are acceptable), no shirts depicting any inappropriate images or words.
Ladies: Shorts/skirts must be fingertip length (if you think it MIGHT be too short, then it's too short!), no baggy/torn pants (blue jeans are acceptable), no low cut/revealing tops, or shirts depicting any inappropriate images or words.
There are 3 levels of training that student attorneys must complete: Basic Attorney Training, Advanced Attorney Training, and the Bar Exam. Once a volunteer completes Basic Attorney Training, they can begin participating as a 2nd Chair defense/prosecution attorney. Once a volunteer has completed Advanced Attorney Training and the Bar Exam, Teen Court staff will approve them to become a 1st Chair attorney (the 1st Chairs are the more experienced volunteers - they help train the less experienced 2nd Chairs; 1st Chair attorneys are responsible for contacting their 2nd Chair and their mentor attorney prior to the day of the trial to discuss the case; 1st Chair Defense attorneys are also responsible for contacting their defendants prior to the day of the trial to introduce themselves and discuss their case).
Absolutely! Teen Court is always in need of adult volunteers to act as case managers to oversee each Peer Panel. The role of the case manager is to be the adult presence in the room while maintaining order and professionalism. Case managers are also responsible for making sure the student volunteers are asking appropriate questions based on the concepts of Restorative Justice. If you work in retail, loss prevention, or management and wish to share your thoughts and stories on how shoplifting affects you and your company, be sure to check out the Community Impact Panel page for more information on how to volunteer as a panel member in that class.
Any adult 18 years of age or older interested in volunteering is welcome to observe a few Peer Panels before participating. A background check with a fee of $6.00 must be submitted to the Colorado Springs Police Department in order to volunteer with Teen Court (all adults are required to complete this in order to volunteer with both the juvenile defendants and the volunteers). The background check can be submitted in person or by mail. The fee must be paid by check or money order only (they are unable to accept cash or credit/debit cards). The results will then be forwarded to Teen Court. Be sure to complete the Adult Volunteer Application (which includes the background check request form) if you are interested in becoming a volunteer.
Absolutely! Teen Court keeps track of all volunteer hours. If at any point during the year you need a letter verifying how many hours you have volunteered, don't hesitate to contact the Teen Court staff.
Absolutely! Just be sure to verify your hours with Teen Court staff and we will be glad to sign off on your hours once we have confirmed them.
A two-hour Teen Court class where concerned members of the community (who work in retail, loss prevention, management, law enforcement, and the military) can discuss the impact that crimes (primarily shoplifting but also trespassing, graffiti, and property damage) have on their lives, their businesses, and their employees. Panel members have the opportunity to share their individual experiences and stories with a group of defendants in a confidential, safe environment.
The adult that oversees each peer panel. The case manager is responsible for maintaining a professional environment as well as ensuring that the teen panel members are conducting their questioning in an appropriate manner based on the concepts of Restorative Justice.
A sentencing hearing comprised of three to six teen volunteers and an adult case manager. Defendants and parents going through this process are questioned separately by the teen panel members before a sentence is given.
A deferred sentence program based on the concepts of Restorative Justice. This program is an alternative to regular court sentencing for eligible first-time misdemeanor juvenile offenders between the ages of 10 and 18. Defendants who plead guilty to their charge and agree to participate in the program will be sentenced by a panel or jury of their peers. Although Teen Court works in tandem with the Municipal Court system, it remains a locally-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that relies on community support to sustain its programs.
A sentencing hearing conducted in a formal courtroom setting before a real judge. Teams of student attorneys present both the defense and prosecution arguments with the help of their mentor attorneys (volunteer lawyers). The jury, made up of former defendants who have already been sentenced, deliberates on an appropriate sentence for the defendant(s) on trial.