Circuit courts in Michigan could start teen court programs under a bill introduced in the Michigan House.
Holland has the longest running teen court in Michigan, which began in 1991.
Kim Meyer is youth services specialist there and says the keys to a successful program are training the teen jurors and keeping them safe.
For instance if someone at one of Holland’s high schools is slated to go before the teen court then jurors from the other high school will try the case.
Under the bill, someone between the ages of 13 and 17 who is charged with a misdemeanor and owned up to the crime, would be eligible to go before a panel of volunteer teen jurors.
Punishment ranges from community service to saying you’re sorry.
The legislation is sponsored by State Representative Andrea Lafontaine.