Since 1992, the City of Irving Teen Court program has allowed young offenders an opportunity to give back to the Irving community by making restitution for their municipal court offenses.
Through service opportunities, educational classes, and jury service, eligible teens become accountable for their choices by taking responsibility and completing the program. Successful completion results in a dismissal of the violation, keeping it from being reported as a conviction on their criminal and/or driving histories.
In addition to the Teen Court program being a legally binding alternative to payment, it allows teen offenders to have a better understanding of the criminal justice system. Currently trending at an approximate 87 percent completion rate, more than 13,000 cases have been dismissed as a result of successful completion of the program’s requirements.
While learning invaluable information about the justice system, teens can make long-lasting connections with the community service agencies where they complete their hours. Approximately two-thirds of the agencies are City of Irving departments, such as Parks and Recreation, as well as schools and nonprofit agencies that benefit the Irving community. More than 8,100 hours of service were contributed to the City of Irving in 2016 through the program.
Additionally, teens and adults may serve as volunteers for Teen Court to gain insight on Irving’s justice system. Applications are being accepted for the next training session on May 13. Trainings usually are held at the beginning of the academic year and provide information necessary to serve as a volunteer in the various staff positions available.
For more information on the program, including registration, visit the Teen Court page on the city’s website or call the Teen Court office at (972) 721-3601.