Monday, July 25, 2011

Guilford County Attorneys -- Consider Becoming a Judge for Guilford County Teen Court

About Teen Court
The benefits of a child participating and completing the Teen Court program is that they gain understanding of consequences for their negative actions, learn about self and community responsibility and accountability, and how their actions effect not just them, but those around them. Youth are required to admit guilt for their offense, and appear in front a jury of their peers for sanctions, which they have 90 days to complete.  Many of our Teen Court clients return to become volunteers for the program. Being referred to participate in the program provides the youth one opportunity to have that charge dismissed and not acquire a juvenile criminal record.

We obtain referrals for Teen Court from School Resource Officers, Juvenile Court Counselors, Police and Sheriff Dept. personnel, School Principals, etc. for first-time offenders of Class I, II, and III misdemeanor offenses. Once required sanctions are completed, the charge is dismissed.

The Need
The Teen Court guidelines developed by our Advisory Committee in 1998 state that judges for Guilford County Teen Court must either be Judges or practicing attorneys in Guilford County. The need for more volunteer judges has increased in the past few years due to many more referrals being received (300+ youth) and more judges are needed to assist us in staying on top of our caseload.  Teen Court is held every Tuesday.  The 1st Tues. of each month is in High Point; every Tuesday thereafter is held in Greensboro in the evenings. Court is held at the Guilford County Courthouses in both Greensboro and High Point, and usually begins by 6:15 p.m.  Our success rate averages between 90- 92%. 

Last school year, we received more High Point referrals than previous years, and continue to do so on a consistent basis.  Since court in High Point is only held once a month, the need to run two court rooms is necessary to prevent a backlog of cases. 

To date, there has not been a training session for new judges scheduled, but can be provided for any new attorneys who are interested and willing to volunteer. The average time commitment is usually no more than one court night (1 ½ to 2 hrs.) every 2 months or so, unless specified for more or less, depending on other outside time commitments. 

Interested?  Call (336) 275-3699, Ext. 207 or e-mail dhill at