Teen Court Mission


The St. Clair County Teen Court program represents an alternative approach to juvenile justice that holds the first-time non-violent youth offenders accountable through a sentence imposed by their peers.  The St. Clair County Teen Court emphasizes accountability and responsibility rather than traditional punitive measures, thereby focusing on balance and restorative justice which is the policy statement of the Illinois Juvenile Court Act....


Teen Court Process


A youth is stopped by a St. Clair County Law Enforcement Officer who decides to charge the youth with a non-violent misdemeanor offense.  Youth has no criminal background.  Youth is offered Teen Court alternative by recommendation of the State’s Attorney’s Office.  Teen Court Administrator contacts teen and parent and has a personal meeting with them.

 

1.     Youth accepts Teen Court.

2.     Youth pleads guilty to offense charge. (written form)

3.     Youth signs consent to participate in Teen Court.

4.     Parent/guardian signs consent.

5.     Youth is given Teen Court date on a Saturday morning at 10 a.m. at St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department at a courtroom there.

6.     Youth has hearing within 30 days of Teen Court interview.

7.     Peer Jury imposes restorative justice remedy after hearing case.

8.     Remedy is completed/ reviewed within 90 days of Teen Court hearing.

9.     If successful completion, no charge is filed.  If it is not completed, charge is sent to St. Clair County State’s Attorney for filing and possible prosecution.


Three Restorative Justice Rules


1.    How can you hold the offender accountable for his or her offense? 

 

2.    How can you help the offender repair the harm to all the victims?

 

3.    What does the offender need to become a more productive member of  the community?


Peer Jury - Juror Selection Process


Peer Juror Attributes:

 

·      Be in the ninth grade through the twelfth grade.

·      Possess an interest in helping peers.

·      Be committed to the peer jury

       – have willingness to work with police, other teens, and the community.

.      Be of good character.           

·      Live in St. Clair County.

·      Have no personal involvement with law enforcement within the past five months.

·      Initiate interest in program personally with parent or guardian approval.

·      Agree to participate as a juror if assigned by the Teen Court.

 

If interested in becoming a Teen Court juror, contact school administration.

 

If interested in becoming an adult volunteer, email Teen Court Administrator at teencourtstclaircounty@gmail.com.


Leadership/Support Team


James Gomric

St. Clair County

State’s Attorney

Richard Watson

St. Clair County

Sheriff​​​​​​​

Judge (Ret.) Annette Eckert

Lindenwood University-Belleville

Teen Court Director

 

Zabelle Norsigian Vartanian, Ed.S.

Teen Court Administrator

Tamara Vaughn-Walker, MS

Teen Court Evaluator

Garen A Vartanian, MS

Teen Court Remedy Coordinator