The mission of the Colorado Teen Court Association (CTCA) is to unite Teen Court professionals and volunteers for the purpose of education, advocacy, and support. Our goal is to foster growth and stability within Teen Court programs throughout Colorado. CTCA members will benefit from the Association's communication network, trainings, and an annual conferenced all designed to promote the success and advancement of Teen Court programs through the state.
There are currently 13 Teen Court programs in the state of Colorado. Prior to CTCA, each program operated independently, with little communication among programs. Many Teen Courts are staffed by only one individual who is tasked with running all aspects of the program, often with limited resources and time. CTCA seeks to connect and unite Colorado's Teen Court staff and volunteers in an effort to build high quality programs that collaborate and support each other.
CTCA is one of twenty other state youth court associations throughout the United States.
What is teen Court?
Teen Court is a diversion program for first-time juvenile offenders who commit misdemeanor offenses or violations. Unlike the traditional justice system Teen Court operates under the principle of Restorative Justice, which gives those impacted by crime the chance to be directly involved in the justice process. By harnessing the power of positive peer pressure, each juvenile offender is held accountable by his or her peers and given the opportunity to repair any harm caused to the community.
Each juvenile offender in Teen Court receives an individualized sentence from trained teen volunteers that may include a variety of sanctions. Although sanctions typically vary from program to program, most include a combination of the following: jury duty, community service, random drug testing, mentorship, letters of apology, essays, and educational classes.
- Maintain a communication network among Colorado's existing Teen Court programs for the purpose of problem-solving, information sharing, collaboration, and support.
- Providing trainings for Teen Court staff at an annual conference, which will include workshops related to management techniques, education on pressing issues, guest speakers, skill sharing, and time for networking among programs.
- Host an annual Teen Summit which will allow Teen Court volunteers from across Colorado to convene for training, collaborations, mentorship with judges and lawyers, and participation in a mock trial competition.
- Gather and publish data from each program relating to recidivism rates and statistics concerning first-time juvenile offenders.
- Promote the sustainability and development of new and existing programs in Colorado.
- Reduce juvenile crime by supporting high quality and effective Teen Court programs throughout the state.