Teen Court programs have operated in Colorado for over three decades, however various attempts to form a formal association among programs was never successful. In October of 2014 the idea was sparked once again when Anna Fritzler, Castle Rock Teen Court, saw the need for a state association in Colorado. Along with Sarah Vandiver, Parker Teen Court, the two approached the Colorado Association for Municipal Court Administration with the proposal to establish an association of Teen Court programs in Colorado. CAMCA was welcoming of the idea and from that point Anna and Sarah began reaching out to other programs in the state in an effort to establish a formal association. The final proposal was presented at the annual CAMCA conference in November 2014.
Approval was granted shortly after and the Colorado Teen Court Association was officially adopted as a sub-committee of CAMCA. The first CTCA meeting took place on April 20, 2015 in Castle Rock, Colorado.
Teen Court History
According to literature collected by the National Association of Youth Courts, one of the earliest known youth court / teen court programs still in operation is the Naperville Youth Jury in Naperville, IL. Naperville's program started in June 1972. There are anecdotal reports of a youth court program that began operating in Horseheads, N.Y., in 1968.
Awareness of teen courts grew rapidly in the 1990s. In 1994, there were only 78 youth court programs in operation, according to the National Youth Court Database. By 2006, there were more than 1,127 youth court programs in operation throughout the United States. Currently, there are approximately 1,255 programs operating nationwide.