There were 32 different participants in the 3 trials that took place this year. Some were jurors, others were court clerks or baliffs.
Group Members: Alan H., Alyssa B., Ashly A., Ayla V., Brianna M., Brianna O., Christian B., Claudia G., David B., Elda A., Emmanuel S., Evelyn N., Isabel G., Jackelyn O., Jennifer L., Jesse A., Jose R., Juan V., Kevin G., Leah M., Mariel G., Millie H., Monique Q., Nancy V., Nicholas M., Olivia H., Priscilla V., Shady S., Stephanie R., Veronica G., Xitlalyt S., and Yair F.
The SJLAM Teen Court Club participated in three court cases this year via Zoom. The students, who participate in those cases as jurors, put themselves in a position to not only assist the defendant, but their parents and families as well. Each case is different and unique, therefore the requirements that the defendant and parents must meet to satisfy the court's ruling, must also be unique. Whether it is counseling or community service or maybe even a simple letter of apology, the members assign restitution based on the needs of that individual family.
The impact on the defendant is sometimes quite evident at the trial itself. The impact on the families involved will be apparent over time. There is also impact for the Teen Court jurors - helping someone get on the right path is a feeling that is immeasurable.
Each case lasted over two hours beyond the school day. Coming up with the correct verdict and then appropriate restitution for the defendant took a great deal of time and effort. The students understand the emotions of frustration and anger many young people face when confronted with alleged criminal activity. Their perseverance and commitment to justice carried them through these difficult and lengthy cases.