Quincy University and the Adams County State’s Attorney Office are partnering together to bring Teen Court to Adams County. The inaugural hearing will take place on November 28, in the John ‘Pete’ Brown Mock Trial Room, located in Friars Hall (18th & College).

The Adams County Teen Court is an alternative approach to juvenile justice, that holds first-time, non-violent youth offenders, who plead guilty, accountable through a sentence imposed by their peers. Qualifying youth offenders will be offered the Teen Court alternative by the recommendation of the State’s Attorney’s Office.

“Teen Court provides the State’s Attorney’s Office with the chance to offer a valuable diversion program to juveniles for appropriate offenses,” said Adams County Assistant State’s Attorney, Jamie Friye. “It is also a great way for local attorneys and judges to give back to the community by volunteering their time and talents to the program.   We look forward to developing this partnership with Quincy University and to providing the student volunteers with an inside look at our court system.”

The Adams County Teen Court operates under the peer jury model. The jury of peers is comprised from a pool of qualified Adams County high school student applicants. The jury was selected by Jamie Friye, ASA, Judy Abbott, J.D., assistant professor of criminal justice and Clairice Hetzler, MSW, Teen Court administrator. Teen Court training was conducted at QU on Wednesday, November 7. Judy Abbott led the training seminar which highlighted restorative justice practices and Teen Court policies and procedures.

“Teen Court is a unique opportunity for Adams County to engage in a well proven restorative justice program,” said Judy Abbott. “Young offenders are diverted from the Juvenile Justice system, and the volunteer jury participants and litigators are able to donate their time to a program that offers them great experience in the law.”

Youth will be given a Teen Court date within 30 days of the Teen Court interview. The Peer Jury will impose a restorative justice remedy after hearing the case. The remedy must be completed within 90 days of the hearing. If the youth offender successfully completes the remedy assigned, no charge is filed. Failure to complete the remedy within the assigned time may lead to possible prosecution. Teen Court will be held in the John ‘Pete’ Brown Mock Trial Room at QU the first and third Wednesday’s of each month.

For more information, contact Clarice Hetzler, MSW, LCSW at 217-257-8262.

Founded in 1860 by Franciscan friars, Quincy University (www.quincy.edu) is a Catholic, co-educational, residential university offering undergraduate, graduate, and adult education programs that integrate liberal arts, active learning, practical experience, and Franciscan values. Quincy University’s intercollegiate sports are members of the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Valley Conference for men and women. For more information, please contact the Quincy University Office of Community Relations by calling (217) 228-5275.