July 7, 2022

Art & Lifestyle:

Teen Court Volunteers Shine at Bar Assoc. Case Reenactment

Teen Court

A reenactment of a school bullying case at the annual Fall Institute of the Criminal Justice Section of the American Bar Association in early November offered an “excellent experience” for teen volunteers in the St. Mary’s County Teen Court program.

The purpose of the exercise at the November 8, 2019, ABA event held in Washington, DC, was to provide a demonstration of the effectiveness of the Teen Court program as a juvenile diversion in lieu of offenders being sent through the formal juvenile justice system.

The St. Mary’s County Teen Court was selected by Global Youth Justice Inc. to join representatives from Baltimore City Teen Court to participate in the reenactment.

Nine St. Mary’s County Teen Court student volunteers attended, accompanied by their parents, Teen Court Community Judge Charlottis Woodley, and Teen Court Coordinator Gregory Jones. They were joined by five Teen Court student volunteers from Baltimore City.

St. Mary’s participants served as the prosecutor, defense counsel, offender, victim, bailiff, and jury members. St. Mary’s Community Judge Woodley was asked to be the presiding judge.

“These teen volunteers were absolutely outstanding. They were confident with what they were doing despite the audience of senior legal officials and the livestreaming to hundreds of viewers. It is my honor to have these dedicated young people as part of our program and am so proud of all of them,” Mr. Jones said.

The session ran overtime due to the questions the ABA participants were asking. The teen volunteers had no reservations with answering the questions themselves, including individually introducing themselves and answering why they chose to volunteer during a reception following the reenactment.

This was an excellent experience for all involved in this event, organizers said. The teen volunteers brought great credit and recognition to St. Mary’s County, the Teen Court program, their schools, their parents, and themselves. Volunteers came from St. Mary’s Ryken High School, King’s Christian Academy, Leonardtown High School, Great Mills High School, and Spring Ridge Middle School.

Special thanks go to the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services, St. Mary’s County District Court, St. Mary’s County Public Schools, St. Mary’s County Department of Aging and Human Services, and VVS Charters for their support in making this event a success.

 

To learn more about Lexington Park, visit the St. Mary’s County Community Development Corporation’s Leader member page.

St. Mary’s County Community Development Corporation

46940 South Shangri-La Drive, Suite 7

Lexington Park, MD 20653

301-863-7700

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