Teen Court is a diversion program to Family Court for first time juvenile offenders’ with misdemeanor charges. It is a voluntary alternative to the Family Court for first-time juvenile offenders’ ages 10-17 years old. It is a way for the offenders to learn from their mistake and maintain a clean criminal record. Youth who decide to have their case heard in Teen Court have admitted guilt to their crime and attended a court hearing to receive sentencing by a jury of their peers. Sentencing always includes community service and jury duty. The court is made up of a judge, attorneys, a clerk, a bailiff and a jury. Attorneys, clerks, bailiffs and sometimes even the judge positions are done by teens.
A participant who completes the Teen Court program gains much more than just a clean juvenile record, they gain knowledge of the judicial system, leadership skills and more. High school students have the opportunity to earn high school credit by volunteering with Teen Court through service learning credits or internships through their high schools. Plus after every court, we provide pizza and soda!
Teen Court has four locations around the island, Hilo, Pahoa, Waimea and Kona. Hilo is held every Wednesday. Pahoa is the first and third Thursday. Waimea and Kona are on alternating Mondays. All courts are held from 5:00pm to around 7:00pm.
Teen Court is always looking for both teen and adult volunteers to keep this program running. If you are a teen, age 10 and up and want something fun to do, boost that college resume, meet new people or want to eat pizza, give us a call. If you are an adult who wants to give back to the community and help our next generation, give us a call. If you are a nonprofit organization and would like to be a community service site, give us a call. For more information on Teen Court or volunteer applications, please contact Amanda Quinn at 808-969-7838.