otherwise eligible for diversion. Depending on their training, community support, and agreements with
traditional court systems, most teen or youth courts are recognized as valid, legal venues for the process
of hearing cases, sentencing and sentence fulfillment. Teen courts and their verdicts are not authorized
by public law.
Teen courts are staffed by youth volunteers who serve in various capacities within the program, trained
and acting in the roles of jurors, lawyers, bailiffs, clerks and judges. Teen courts usually function in
cooperation with local juvenile courts and youth detention centers, middle and high schools, and/or
community organizations such as the YMCA. Most teen courts are sentencing courts in which the
offender has already admitted guilt or pleaded no contest. Alternative Dispute Resolution is the use of
methods such as mediation and arbitration to resolve a dispute instead of litigation.