Celebrating Teen Court on Wednesday

To the editor:

In the fall of 1998, Brown County Probation started a juvenile diversion program called “Teen Court” where trained adolescents sat in a courtroom and questioned their peers charged with a petty level crime. After some deliberation in a jury room, the Teen Court Jurors pronounce a sentence with conditions for the teen offender to follow. Fast forward 20 years and over 1,000 cases later, Brown County continues to operate the longest running Teen Court program in Minnesota.

We plan to celebrate this achievement on Aug. 15, in the Brown County Courthouse, 3rd Floor Courtroom from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Court of Appeals Judges Teri J. Stoneburner (retired) and John R. Rodenberg along with our District Court Judge, Robert A. Docherty will be in attendance along with county commissioners, law enforcement, New Ulm, Mayor, current and former Teen Court Jurors, media and other invited guests.

We will be recognizing individuals and agencies who have assisted Brown County in making this program successful which include our County Attorney, United Way of Brown County, Families First Collaborative, Court Administration, County Commissioners and our District Court Judge. We will also be conducting a “mock teen court hearing” to show the general public how this process works using current and former jurors.

This event is open to the public. This really is a time to celebrate how restorative justice programs like this work and make a difference in our communities.

Les P. Schultz

Brown County

Probation Director