Commissioner Edmonson Inaugurates Teen Court Hearings
Photo by Armando Rodriguez/Miami-Dade County
Commissioner Audrey M. Edmonson, joined by Commissioner Jean Monestime, welcomes participants to the first hearing of the Miami-Dade County Teen Court held at the historical Black Police Precinct and Courthouse Museum, 480 N.W. 11 St., Miami. The event marked the first time since the 1960s that an actual hearing has been heard at the historic precinct which was established in 1950 during the era of segregation in response to a variety of issues impacting Overtown and Liberty City. Teen Court is sponsored by the Miami-Dade Economic Advocacy Trust (MDEAT) as a means for first-offenders to be judged by a jury of their peers. Bailiffs, attorneys, clerk of the court and presiding Judge Tanya Brinkley all serve in a volunteer capacity.
"I was pleased to inaugurate Miami-Dade County Teen Court’s first hearing sponsored by the Miami-Dade Economic and Advocacy Trust but even more pleased to welcome its participants to the Black Police Precinct and Courthouse Museum because it is part of our heritage," Commissioner Audrey M. Edmonson told the young teens. "This building was designed and operated as a separate station house and municipal court for African-Americans. Today it serves as a reminder that life was tough and dangerous for those young teens growing up in a segregated society. They were no different than you, confronting difficult challenges; unlike you, they did not have the Teen Court program as a way to resolve conflict and take advantage of a second chance. So today I ask you to think and reflect, to make this first-time offense your last."
For more information on MDEAT Teen Court visit: www.miamidade.gov/economicadvocacytrust.