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Miami-Dade County Teen Court

Teen Court volunteers can help make a big difference in the lives of young people.

Youth volunteers

  • Must be in middle or high school
  • Get a jump start on legal and criminal justice careers
  • Improve leadership skills
  • Experience positive peer pressure interaction
  • Can volunteer for four, eight or 12 months
  • Can be bailiffs, court clerks, jurors, defense attorneys or prosecuting attorneys

Adult volunteers

  • Must be 18 years of age or older
  • Have the opportunity to serve in the community
  • Serve as mentors to Miami-Dade's youth
  • Help cultivate a new generation of legal professionals while having a positive impact on young people who make poor choices
  • Are asked to volunteer at least four times per year
  • Can be court monitors, mentors, attorneys, judges, and more

Teens who serve as jury, defense and attorney will make a recommendation based on the type of offense that has been committed. After listening to arguments from both sides and jury deliberations, a judge will decide which sanction he or she will serve.

Possible sanctions include

  • Serve on a jury
  • Attend educational workshops
  • Participate in jail tours
  • Community service hours
  • Compose and present essays

Eligibility

  • Petit theft
  • Possession of marijuana
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Grand theft auto
  • Parent/school referrals
  • Trespassing
  • Third-degree felony
  • Truancy
  • Program Benefits

    • Reduces recidivism to less than 3 percent
    • Offers relief to the local justice system
    • Develops responsible and knowledgeable civically-engaged citizens
    • Provides ongoing learning and growth opportunities which impact all residents
    • Encourages collaboration partnerships between youth and the local police department
  • Psychological Services and Workshops

    Psychological Services
    Teen Court offers psychological services that promote youth success. These resources allow young people to:

    • Learn more about themselves
    • Receive evidence-based assessment and treatment to equip them with necessary life skills
    • Share experiences with others
    • Connect with subject matter experts
    • Gain knowledge that will prove invaluable in the future

    The Family Empowerment Session
    Strengthens families impacted by youth delinquency. These sessions cover effective problem-solving methods and family character education.

    Individual Youth Counseling
    Helps defendants overcome issues related to peer pressure, substance abuse, conflict management and other common adolescent adjustments.

    The Parent Involvement Workshop
    Assists parents or guardians with sharpening their parental skills enabling them to break the cycle of negative behavior by their children. The workshop addresses issues related to parental stress, improving parenting skills and parent-child relationships.

    Workshops
    Parents or participants are encouraged to attend a workshop to expose them to educational experiences through weekly and monthly workshops and counseling sessions. The following workshops are provided.

    • Anger Management  
      Sessions include assessment and evaluation of the youth's anger and personal control. Participants needing this intervention must take a minimum of five sessions of counseling in order to receive credit for completion.

    • Ethics
      This course focuses on the importance of ethical behavior at school, home, and in the workplace. This course is mandatory for all Teen Court participants.

    • Jail Tours and Boot Camps   
      These mandatory tours facilitated by Miami-Dade County Corrections and Rehabilitation Department give Teen Court participants an opportunity to see real life behind bars.

    • Law-Related Education Training
      Teen Court volunteers interested in serving the court as youth attorneys receive training and are exposed to legal concepts and procedures utilized by Miami-Dade County Teen Court.

    • Money and Banking
      Provides participants with the basics of money management.

    • Retail Theft Prevention
      This workshop is designed specifically for youthful offenders charged with retail/petit theft. Participants discuss the impact that theft has had on business and consumers.

    • Substance Abuse Preventative Workshop
      Group sessions covering aspects of substance abuse including the effect on the individual, the families, and the long-term cost to society.

  • Teen Court Locations

    • Mondays at 6 p.m.
      Richard Gerstein Justice Building
      1351 NW 12th Street, Court Room 1-5
      Miami, FL 33125
    • Tuesdays at 6 p.m.
      South Dade Government Center
      10710 SW 211th Street, Court Room 2-2
      Cutler Bay, FL 33189
    • Wednesdays at 6 p.m.
      North Dade Justice Center
      15555 Biscayne Blvd., Court Room 207
      Miami, FL 33160
    • First Thursday of Every Month at 5 p.m.
      Miami Gardens City Hall
      18605 NW 27th Avenue, Commission Chamber
      Miami Gardens, FL 33056
    • Second, Third and Fourth Thursday at 6 p.m.
      Hialeah City Hall
      501 Palm Avenue, Commission Chamber
      Hialeah, FL 3310
  • Student Court

    The Student Court program is designed to

    • Help empower youth
    • Provide an avenue to reduce time spent out of school due to low-level infractions
    • Address safety issues
    • Create a positive learning environment
    • Help students become well-educated, civically-engaged citizens
    • Promote positive peer pressure
    • Foster character building
    • Encourage critical thinking, problem solving-decision making and other positive leadership skills among students

    Other benefits include

    • Improved school safety
    • Discipline options for administration
    • Reduces student continuous involvement in school-rule violations

    Schools where student court is available

    • Alonzo and Tracy Mourning High School
    • Brownsville Middle School (Pilot)
    • Dr. Michael Krop Senior High School
    • Hialeah-Miami Lakes Senior High School
    • Hialeah Senior High School
    • Law Enforcement Officer's Memorial High School
    • Miami Arts Studios 6-12
    • Miami Beach Senior High School
    • Miami Carol City Senior High School
    • Miami Central Senior High School
    • Miami Killian Senior High School
    • Miami Norland Senior High School
    • Miami Northwestern Senior High School
    • Miami Southridge Senior High School
    • Miami Springs Middle School (Pilot)
    • South Dade Senior High School

Phone Number(s)

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