On May 30, 2017, Ms. Carol Fritsch, Collier County Teen Court Coordinator spoke to the members of the Rotary Club of Marco Island Sunrise about Teen Court. To her great surprise and delight, at the end of the presentation, the Sunrise Club President, Neil Snyder, presented Ms. Fritsch with a $1,000 donation. The donation will go toward scholarships as well as awards for the Teen Court participants.
Teen Court is a diversion program. Qualified first time juvenile offenders, who have admitted guilt, with crimes ranging from misdemeanor up to third degree felony can have their cases “heard” in Teen Court. High school students who are mature and responsible and have agreed to respect confidentiality can volunteer to serve in the roles of attorneys, bailiffs, clerks, and jurors.
Teen Court is based on the philosophy that a juvenile offender is less likely to continue to be an offender when a jury of their peers decides the punishment.
The juvenile offender has his/her case heard in front of a jury of his/her peers (composed of high school volunteers) and accepts whatever sanctions the jury imposes. If the juvenile offender successfully completes the given sanctions then the case is “nolle prossed” which means the case was not filed on and the case is dismissed.
Teen Court benefits both the juvenile offender and the high school volunteers.
The juvenile offender: is given a second chance; can save his conviction record; learns to assume responsibility for their actions; and interrupts developing patterns of criminal behavior.
The high school volunteer: can earn community service hours for schools and scholarships; will learn skills in public speaking and problem solving; build self confidence; and gain “handson” knowledge of the juvenile and criminal justice system.
Rotary is an organization of business and professional persons united worldwide who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards on all vocations and help build goodwill and peace in the world. The Rotary Club of Marco Island Sunrise follows a hectic pace of local services including the Seafood Festival, Meals of Hope, bell ringing for Salvation Army and fundraising efforts for local schools.
The Rotary Club of Marco Island Sunrise meets at Stonewall’s American Bistro on Tuesday mornings at 7 AM. For more information about the Club and its activities please contact Bill Morris at 239-642-6020 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Rotary Club of Marco Island Sunrise website at www.marcosunriserotary.org.