Some Teens Get A Special Court

One more alternative to California’s traditional justice system: Santa Monica High School has become the latest Los Angeles County school to adopt a “teen court” approach that lets fellow students judge their peers. The Santa Monica Daily Press reports that the program, launched in 1992, offers teenagers a voluntary alternative to delinquency court and the crime can be removed from their record.
The first court featured a visit from the police chief and several judges, but the teenagers handled the actual case themselves, according to a story by David Mark Simpson. The story follows a case of middle school computer hacking and how it gets handled. Citing a program official, the newspaper says the program has grown to include 23 schools.
The defendants, who are from other schools, opted to be tried by a jury of their peers rather than go to delinquency court. The incentive to be tried by a group of adolescents: The crime is expunged from their record.
See the story here.