Parents, Educators/Teachers & Students in Action

Teen Court Project for Justice

PESA supports the Teen Court Program of the Los Angeles Superior Court, in many ways. PESA is the non-profit entity that provides funding to enhance the Teen Court Program. PESA supports the Teen Court Program in addition to funding by administering Teen Court Clubs on the high school campuses. These clubs are instrumental in training the students on how to be successful participants in the program and also provides them with many opportunities. These opportunities include arranging presentations on law related topics for the students involved in the program, coordinating as well as provide funding for training programs including, the SHADES training programs at the Museum of Tolerance, and the annual seminar at the California Association of Youth Courts as well as going to events hosted by local bar associations.
The Teen Court program is a juvenile diversionary for youthful offenders who commit low level offenses. Over 33 high schools in Los Angeles County participate in the Teen Court Program, and over 80 Superior Court judges volunteer their time to the program. The juvenile who has been diverted to the program is placed on trial with participating high school students asking the juvenile as well as his parents critical questions. From this information the participating high school students, the jurors, determine the culpability of the juvenile and recommend a restorative justice sentence for the juvenile. The judicial officer then imposes a sentence. If the juvenile complies with the terms of the sentence then he is deemed to have successfully completed the program and his case is never filed in juvenile court. PESA assists in helping the juvenile successfully completed the program by assessing the reasons why the juvenile got in trouble in the first place and helping place the juvenile in programs to address these issues so that he becomes a respectable member of society. To learn more about the Teen Court program from actual student participants, watch this video