Buffalo / Pepin County Teen Court is seeking high school students who are interested in serving as peer judges and panel members for our restorative justice system for first time offenders in Buffalo and Pepin Counties.
All interviews, trainings and hearings in Spring 2021 will be virtual.
It’s a great opportunity to build your resume, learn about and help others and have fun with a group of high school students from six different school districts.
Most panelists join Teen Court as freshman or sophomores and continue until graduation, but all high school students are welcome to apply.
Complete the application and return via email or Google Form no later than March 1, 2021.
Buffalo/Pepin County Teen Court panelists conducted mock trials with middle school students from Mondovi, CFC, Alma and Pepin Schools in December 2016. Learn more about the results and impacts in the 2016 Mock Trials Evaluative Report. View the handouts parents received about talking to their children about underage drinking with the Underage Drinking Parent Handout for Mock Trials.
Buffalo/Pepin County Teen Court hosted the 2015 Wisconsin Teen Court Association State Conference! For photos, resources, and more information regarding the conference, click HERE.
Learn more about Buffalo / Pepin County Teen Court:
What is Teen Court?
Teen Court offers eligible youth an alternative to appearing in Juvenile Court. They have an opportunity to receive a meaningful consequence from a jury of their peers.
Why a Teen Court?
Teen Court offers eligible youth an opportunity to take responsibility for their actions. It provides positive peer pressure with community based consequences.
Who is eligible?
The Buffalo/Pepin County Teen Court will serve youth ages 10-16 years who commit first time violations of offenses such as:
- Disorderly Conduct
- No Valid Driver’s License
- Damage to Property/Vandalism
- Shoplifting/Retail Theft
- DNR/Park Offenses, Littering, Curfew, or ATV violations
- Possession of Alcohol, Tobacco or Marijuana
- Unlawful Use of a Telephone
Referrals for Teen Court will come from the Court, Law Enforcement, Schools or Human Services.
How Does Teen Court Operate?
- The offender appears before a panel of three to five teen judge panelists.
- Panelists will be from a local school district, excluding the offender’s school.
- Panelists have received specialized training in court procedures.
- A parent or legal guardian is required to attend the session with the offender.
- Offender must admit the violation offense.
- Panelists discuss the offense with the offender to determine why the offense occurred and determine the most effective consequences.
- Panelists may question parents.
- Panelists decide the consequences which may include essays, community service, apology letter or other innovative sanctions.
- A coordinator monitors the offender’s performance of the sentencing guidelines.
- Offender pays a small fee towards the cost of Teen Court.
- All procedures are confidential.
- If offender successfully completes the work, the case is closed without the offender receiving a conviction record.
- If offender is unsuccessful in completing sentence the offender will be returned to the referring agency.
Who benefits from Teen Court?
- Youth are given an opportunity for a real second chance to prove that mistakes can be turned into positive choices. When juvenile offenders successfully complete their Teen Court sentence, they will have their case dismissed.
- The juvenile becomes responsible for his/her actions.
- Community service-learning projects will be more meaningful to the youth and their respective communities.
- The community is able to see teens being held accountable for their actions.
- Teen judge panelists gain a sense of responsibility and they encourage peers to stop behaviors that reflect all teens. They also have the opportunity to participate in the juvenile justice system and examine possible career opportunities.
- Adult volunteers are given the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of our youth.
Buffalo / Pepin Teen Court Public Service Announcement – Click on the Photo Below
Direct Referral Information for Buffalo & Pepin County School Districts and Law Enforcement Agencies:
For additional information about Buffalo/Pepin County Teen Court please contact Teen Court Coordinators:
Teen Court Co-Coordinator
4-H Youth Development Educator
Buffalo County UW-Extension
Buffalo County Courthouse
407 S. 2nd St
PO Box 276
Teen Court Co-Coordinator
4-H Youth Development Agent
Pepin County UW-Extension
Pepin County Government Center
740 7th Avenue W
Pox Box 39
Durand, WI 54736