The Promise of Teen Court | WYPR

The Promise of Teen Court

Jan 27, 2016

Credit Michael Coghlan/Flickr via Creative Commons

Theft, breaking and entering, trespassing. These are common crimes that bring youth into contact with the juvenile justice system, contact that can lead to a criminal record, detention, and a high risk of recidivism. Today, a look at an alternative: teen court, which brings young people before a jury of their peers. Can teen court interrupt the school to prison pipeline? We speak to Leslie Wright, Director of City Programs for the Citizenship Law Related Education Program, which oversees teen courts in Maryland. Plus, Gavin Patashnick, chief of the juvenile division for the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office, and Mark Friedenthal, public defender in the city’s Juvenile Court Division, tell us how teen court provides meaningful justice while conserving resources.