Lone Tree, CO

Lone Tree youths invited to participate in teen court

Natasha Lovato

Natasha Lovato / NewsBreak Denver

(Lone Tree, Colo.) Lone Tree high school students are invited to participate in the justice system at the Lone Tree Teen Court.

Lone Tree Teen Court is run by the peers of youth facing conviction of misdemeanors, truancy issues, or other youth-related offenses. The program uses positive peer influence and restorative justice principles to help respondents address the harm caused by committing a crime.

Lone Tree Youth Commission Member and Highlands Ranch High School Junior Nirali Narayan said developing the teen court was an idea of the Youth Commission, and she’s excited to see the work come to fruition.

“Teen Court Programs are an amazing opportunity for both the young offender, as well as the peer jurors to get an insight into the justice system,” Nirali said “They may provide a viable alternative for the offender such as community service to correct their wrongs. This would avert from the ‘scared straight’ talk due to its ineffective impact on juveniles.” 

Nirali looks forward to making a difference for her peers with the Teen Court which will differ from the traditional court setting. She hopes the Teen Court will be able to bring in prior-incarcerated people who will help to inform and educate students about facing criminal charges. 

“Especially for youth, this will help them not get stuck in a cycle of facing a critical penalty for a singular mistake but can obtain the opportunity to redeem and rehabilitate themselves,” Nirali said.

The application is available here for DougCo teens interested in serving on the Lone Tree Teen Court. Teens selected as panelists must also attend the General Legal Training covering the aspects of the Teen Court process, restorative justice, and program expectations.

The next General Legal Training is scheduled for an all-day meeting on April 1 at the Lone Tree Civic Center, 8527 Lone Tree Pkwy. 

Additional information is available here. 

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Lovato covers local news for Douglas County, Colo. Contact via email: natasha.lovato@newsbreak.com

Douglas County, CO

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