I learned today that Collin County's Teen Court will open for business in Frisco this month. This program ia a countywide, peer-based justice program for area teenagers. The inaugural session was on Oct. 18, 2007, at Justice of the Peace Mike Yarbrough's Precinct 4 courtroom.
Teen Court is a judicial system with adult supervision that allows teenagers who are charged with Class-C misdemeanors to be prosecuted, defended, and sentenced by kids their own age.
In its first year of operations, more than 300 teenagers went through the program, which boasts an 88-percent success rate for defendants. When a teenager completes Teen Court successfully, their case is dismissed, fines are waived and officials remove charges from their juvenile records.
Teen Court officials estimate that the Frisco Municipal Court could refer as many as 500 cases to the program in the coming year. With community service playing a big part of probation requirements in the program, Teen Court could help generate some 9,000 hours of community service for the city.
In its first year of operations, program coordinator Justin P. Nichols noted that more than 90% of parents whose kids who went through Teen Court approved of the program, and would recommend it to other parents whose children get in minor legal trouble. This could prove to be very rewarding for Frisco!