Teen Court trains youth attorneys at University of Miami School of Law
Miami-Dade Economic Advocacy Trust (MDEAT) will be hosting its Miami-Dade County Teen Court (MDCTC) Annual Youth Legal Education Summit on August 8-9, 2017, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the University of Miami School of Law. The two-day annual youth summit is designed to train high school students, ages 14-18, as youth attorneys, specifically for serving as prosecuting and defense attorneys for Teen Court. Local practicing attorneys will conduct the youth attorney training and provide mentoring. Guest speakers will discuss topics aimed toward youth development, such as the importance of having self-respect and respecting others, learning how to take responsibility, practicing informed decision-making and evaluating situations.
Nearly 150 teen volunteers are scheduled to attend. These include previous and current Teen Court volunteers, Teen Court defendants, and teens of the Explorers Program from local police departments. All youth participants in the summit will earn community service hours for attending and a certificate of completion. The summit is co-sponsored by Miami-Dade County Police Department.
“Teen Court has impacted every neighborhood in Miami-Dade County,” says John Dixon, MDEAT Executive Director. “It is imperative that the community knows that Teen Court is the program that not only provides juveniles with a second chance, but also provides opportunities for our volunteers and defendants. This summit allows for all Teen Court volunteers and defendants to come together with working professionals and to enhance their development as they become young adults,” he concluded.
MDCTC, managed and operated by MDEAT, is one of 1300 Teen Court programs nationwide and is the largest in Florida. Teen Court has sanctioned nearly 8000 local youth since its inception nearly 20 years ago, and has maintained a low recidivism rate of less than three percent. Teen Court depends on youth volunteers and adult judge volunteers to operate, as well as the local police and Juvenile Services Department (JSD) for referrals. The summit is part of Teen Court’s overall mission to reduce the juvenile crime rate and to provide youth with a second chance.
About MDEAT: Miami-Dade Economic Advocacy Trust (MDEAT) is a Miami-Dade County agency dedicated to increasing awareness regarding socio-economic issues and developing opportunities that help create economic parity between local Black communities and the community-at-large in Miami-Dade County. MDEAT increases community awareness through its socioeconomic programs and initiatives in the areas of economic development, homeownership and youth development. For more information about MDEAT or the Annual Report and Scorecard, visit www.miamidade.gov/economicadvocacytrust.