Interviews for incoming teen court panelists conducted


Teen Court seniors Zachary Kauten, Morgan Moline and John Schmidtknecht interviewed new panelists from Pepin, Gilmanton, Mondovi and Cochrane-Fountain City schools.

Buffalo/Pepin County Teen Court offers eligible youth an alternative to appearing in juvenile court. Youth offenders have an opportunity to receive a meaningful consequence from a jury of their peers while gaining an opportunity to take responsibility for their actions. Buffalo/Pepin County Teen Court serves to modify behavior of first-time offenders by combining positive peer pressure to promote youth development and restorative justice.

To be eligible to serve as a panel member, Teen Court Panelists must be enrolled in a Buffalo or Pepin County high school. Panel members engage in the juvenile justice system in ways that promote restorative justice by questioning youth offenders and his/her parent or guardian, hold juvenile offenders accountable for their actions by issuing authentic and innovative sanctions and serve as advocates for Buffalo/Pepin County Teen Court.

Students who are interested in becoming a Teen Court panelist must submit an application and complete an interview process. On March 29, 2021 Buffalo/Pepin County Teen Court  graduating senior panelists conducted virtual group interviews with new panelist applicants. This opportunity provided the students a leadership experience, and also starts the mentoring process for incoming panelists. Experienced panel members address fears of incoming panelists and provide examples from first hand experiences. New panelists will receive training and join the other peer judges in April or May 2021.

Senior teen court panelists Max Benish, Brie Smolek and Hailey Johnson interviewed applicants from Durand and Gilmanton.

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