First Presenter's Institution

Portage Township Schools, Portage, IN

Second Presenter's Institution

NA

Third Presenter's Institution

NA

Fourth Presenter's Institution

NA

Fifth Presenter's Institution

NA

Location

Ballroom F

Strand #1

Safety & Violence Prevention

Relevance

Related Strand - Hands: Safety and Violence Prevention as it relates to Juvenile Justice Programs.

Brief Program Description

Teen Court is a community-based partnership that provides an alternative to traditional disciplinary action designed to increase the positive outcomes for our at-risk youth as they transition into adulthood. The ultimate goal of Teen Court is to engage at-risk students through prevention strategies that foster positive youth development in an environment that is supported by internal and external stakeholders within our community.

Summary

Teen Court is designed to educate our students about the judicial process. A defendant in Teen Court is accountable to the community and becomes accountable to his/her peers, as well as the criminal justice system. This program enhances our students’ respect for the judicial system and allows the defendant to keep a clear record by upholding their sentence and meeting the terms outlined by their peers. Each participant in Teen Court, whether a defendant, juror, teen attorney, or adult volunteer, is involved in a positive, meaningful way that provides opportunities for students to learn from their mistakes and engage in better decision making in their future.

Evidence

Teen Court is a promising practice for at-risk youth as the research supports prevention and restorative justice practices in order to increase positive outcomes for students by providing opportunities to redefine the decision making process in order to ensure a more successful transition into adulthood. The research states the following:

1) Zero-tolerance policies have led to larger numbers of youth being “pushed out” (suspended or expelled) with no evidence of positive impact on school safety (Losen, 2014).

2) There is racial/ethnic disparity in which youth receive school punishments and how severe their punishments are, even when controlling for the type of offense (Skiba et al., 2002).

3) More school misbehavior is being handed over to the police (particularly with programs that have police in schools, such as School Resource Officers), leading to more youth getting involved with official legal systems — thus contributing to a trend toward a “school-to-prison pipeline” (Petrosino, Guckenburg, & Fronius, 2012)

4) Research strongly links suspension and other school discipline to failure to graduate (Losen, 2014).

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Presenter: Mrs. Sandra Porter Phillips, Teen Court Coordinator, has supervised the program since its inception in 1989. Mrs. Phillips has a Master’s degree in Science Management and a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Indiana State University. Mrs. Porter-Phillips is the chairperson of the Tobacco Coalition whose goal is to increase community’s awareness and award mini-grants. She is also a member of the Partnership for a Drug Free Lake County, on the Prevention sub-committee. Mrs. Porter-Phillips is a member of COFFY (Community Organization for Families and Youth) a coalition of Gary-based services that meets to respond to the needs of Gary citizens. She is also on the board of the National Association of Teen Courts. Board of Director, a member of the Indiana Teen Court Association and the Lake County Substance Abuse Council –secretary/Treasurer.

Keyword Descriptors

At-Risk, Youth development, Community partnership, Juvenile prevention, Restorative justice

Presentation Year

2017

Start Date

3-7-2017 8:30 AM

End Date

3-7-2017 9:45 AM

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Mar 7th, 8:30 AM Mar 7th, 9:45 AM

Teen Court - Prevention Strategies that Foster Positive Youth Development for At-Risk Students

Ballroom F

Teen Court is a community-based partnership that provides an alternative to traditional disciplinary action designed to increase the positive outcomes for our at-risk youth as they transition into adulthood. The ultimate goal of Teen Court is to engage at-risk students through prevention strategies that foster positive youth development in an environment that is supported by internal and external stakeholders within our community.