Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $250,000)
The OJJDP FY 09 Earmarks Programs further the Department's mission by providing grants, cooperative agreements, and other assistance authorized by the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974, as amended, to organizations identified in the Explanatory Statement Regarding H.R. 1105 (Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009), 155 Cong. Rec. H1653 (daily ed. Feb. 23, 2009) (statement by Rep. Obey, Chairman of the Committee on Appropriations of the House).
The Baton Rouge Bar Foundation will coordinate the Teen Court. Teen defendants are referred to Teen Court by the East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney's office through an Informal Adjustment Agreement (IAA). Juveniles selected by the District Attorney's Office to participate in Teen Court are first time offenders between the ages of 10 and 17. The Teen Court recognizes that the deviant behavior of an individual has been produced by a number of societal influences and offers a multicultural approach to provide juveniles with socially valued competencies, to develop life skills and to reduce recidivism.
Teen Court of Greater Baton Rouge uses the Adult Judge Model, with the judge being the only adult participating in the hearing. Trained teen volunteers age 13 to 18 from local public, private and parochial and home schools, serve as attorneys, jurors and bailiffs in the courtroom. The teen court jury has a number of options for the defendant's sentence, such as performing community service, making restitution, attending educational classes or workshops which address the offender's problem behavior and writing essays or letters of apology to the victim. Mandatory requirements include participating in at least two future Baton Rouge Bar Foundation Teen Court juries and one group volunteer activity, and completing six to eight group sessions and two parent/child workshops.
The goals of the program include: (1) Provide leadership opportunities and increase knowledge of the legal system for area teens, teen volunteers and defendants; (2) To intervene in early anti-social, delinquent and criminal behavior, and to reduce the incidence and prevent the escalation of such behavior; and (3) To develop and integrate new programs to address root causes of juvenile delinquency in the Baton Rouge community. NCA/NCF