Office: (904) 255-1030
Fax: (904) 255-1028
Duval County Teen & Truancy Court
501 W. Adams St. / Suite 2321
Jacksonville, FL 32202
Teen Court is based on the philosophy that a youthful law violator is less likely to continue to offend when a peer jury decides the punishment. Teen Court attempts to interrupt developing patterns of criminal behavior by promoting feelings of self esteem and healthy attitudes toward authority. The program places a high priority on educating teens about citizenship and accepting responsibility for their actions. In some cases juvenile participants are given stern consequences for those actions.
In January of 2009, the Duval County Teen Court program was transferred from the State Attorney's Office, 4th Circuit to the Office of the Court Administrator, 4th Judicial Circuit. Teen Court accepts arrest and Civil Citation cases from the State Attorneys Office. Truancy Teen Court accepts referrals from the Duval County School District.
Duval County Teen Court Program
Teen Court is a diversion program designated for first-time, misdemeanor offenders between the ages of 10 – 17. It gives these juveniles a second chance yet holds them accountable for their actions. The program directs cases away from the juvenile courts and provides a forum for defendants (who have admitted guilt) to explain their involvement in a criminal offense. Specially trained teenagers fulfill the roles of prosecuting attorney, defense attorney, bailiff and jurors. The only adult in this process is the magistrate that presides over courtroom procedures. Magistrates are practicing adult attorneys or judges who supervise the sentence. The defendant along with their parent/guardian signs a contract agreeing to carry out the imposed sentence. If the defendant successfully completes all of the imposed sanctions, adjudication will be withheld, and as a result, there will be no conviction listed on the juvenile's record.
Teen Court is held on Monday evenings (please refer to our calendar for court session dates.) Volunteers should arrive by 4:00 pm. Please call (904) 255-1030 if you have any questions.
Teen Court takes place at the Duval County Court House
501 W. Adams St., Jacksonville, FL, 2nd Floor, suite 2321
Duval County Truancy Court Program
The Truancy Teen Court Program is specifically designed to target middle school aged students who are losing interest or motivation to attend school. It allows teen peers to utilize positive peer pressure to encourage the student to continue regular attendance in school. It is a rewards based program and incentives may be given for reaching predetermined milestones in regards to school attendance and/or performance. The program will receive cases from the school board's truancy social workers/truant officers. After a student has missed 5 or more days in a calendar month or 10 or more days in any 90 day period an Attendance Intervention Team (AIT) meeting may be conducted. A referral may be made after an AIT meeting has been initiated and the truant remains non-compliant with the contract requirements.
The Truancy Teen Court Program's court proceedings are directed by an adult magistrate. This magistrate may be an attorney or a community leader. Defendants are sentenced by a Jury of their peers. All participants are required to tell the truth and each takes an oath of confidentiality. Specially trained teenagers fulfill the roles of Jurors. The Jury discusses the important points raised and unanimously determines an appropriate sentence. The Defendant and his/her parent or guardian signs a contract agreeing to carry out the imposed sanctions. The truant must complete all assigned responsibilities. When these requirements have been met, the referring agency will be notified to close the case with nothing to follow. If the truant fails to complete each and every sanction/condition in the time frame given, he/she may be expelled from the program and/or referred to the court system.