Images shown are stock images and names have been changed to protect the identity of the individual.
Roger was arrested at age 17.
A senior in high school, he chose to participate in Teen Court in order to clear the arrest charge from his record.
Refusing to take responsibility for his actions, he blamed everyone for his crime but himself. Roger’s demeanor in front of a jury of his own peers was nonchalant, as he failed to recognize the harm he had caused his community and family. At his Teen Court hearing, Roger’s peers sentenced him to:
8 hours of community service
a shoplifting workshop
2 jury duty nights
a verbal apology to his family
a written apology to the store
Over the next several weeks, Roger completed his sentencing and emerged a changed person. The hours he spent doing community service, along with the education of the shoplifting workshop, taught him the impact that shoplifting takes on a community. He understood how his choices hurt his family, and sincerely apologized to them and to the store. Spending two nights as a Teen Court juror, Roger evaluated and helped decide sentencing for similar teen offenders like him. That is when he decided to become a Teen Court volunteer.
Without the Teen Court experience, Roger would have likely continued down a criminal path, disregarding authority, breaking the law, and ultimately leading to his expulsion or even incarceration. Today, however, we are happy to report that Roger is on track to graduate high school this Spring, and that he continues to volunteer regularly as a juror for Teen Court – becoming one of our strongest advocates to his own peers!
Roger describes his experience:
“The Teen Court program is cool. Participating as a juror helped me understand why I should be more concerned about choices and career goals. I would like to volunteer because I want to give my peers the same opportunities I had in the Teen Court program.”