IBA: Volunteer Judges Needed for Teen Court

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Reach for Youth is seeking local attorneys to serve as volunteer judges at Teen Court, a program designed to reduce recidivism for first-time juvenile offenders by giving them a second chance to repair the harm they’ve caused without experiencing formal court prosecution.

Teen Court also helps teens and pre-teens, aged 11 to 17, to be accountable by providing constructive consequences for their actions while providing leadership opportunities and resolution training for young volunteers as participants in the peer-sentencing court. When teens successfully complete Teen Court, the original charges are dismissed by the court and their record stays “clean.”

The Teen Court program is held three times a week, with each court night beginning at 6 p.m. and concluding around 7:30 p.m. Attorney volunteers serving as volunteer judges preside over three cases scheduled each night. Volunteers are asked to commit to at least one court night per quarter, though greater involvement is welcomed and encouraged. Training is provided to all volunteers. Volunteer schedules are flexible and are typically distributed four to six months in advance.

An Open House will be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday, October 18, where prospective volunteers will be able to view a mock Teen Court session to learn more about the program.

Interested in volunteering? Contact Chris Ponti at, or visit the Reach for Youth website at to learn more about the program.•


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  1. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  2. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  3. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  4. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  5. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.