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Purpose & Overview
The mission of the Miami-Dade Economic Advocacy Trust Youth Development Division is to change the lives of young people by advocating and creating opportunities for youth to develop into responsible citizens.
As Miami-Dade County’s only peer-sanctioning program, Miami-Dade County Teen Court is an alternative sanctioning program for first-time misdemeanor youthful offenders who agree to allow their peers, instead of the juvenile justice system, determine their sentencing. Through their participation, the program helps decrease juvenile delinquency by interrupting the beginning stages of criminal behavior.
The program is beneficial to Miami-Dade County and the City of Miami Gardens. The program:
- Reduces recidivism
- Offers relief to the local juvenile justice system
- Develops a cadre of responsible and knowledgeable citizens
- Encourages collaborative partnerships between youth and the local police departments
- You must be under the age of 18 at the time of the commission of the offense
- Must NOT have a prior record of a criminal (misdemeanor or felony) offense
- First-time juvenile misdemeanor offenders
- The State Attorney’s Office or another approving agency must first refer the youth for consideration
- The juvenile must admit his/her guilt
- The juvenile and parent/guardian must sign a “Waiver of Speedy Trial” form
- How to Get Involved
Become a youth volunteer; teens can participate as a defense or prosecuting attorney, juror, clerk, and/or a bailiff. It is a beneficial hands-on experience showing the reality of what happens in a courtroom. This volunteer program is magnificent for teens who are interested in careers associated with the judicial system.
Guide our youth by becoming a volunteer and impact their future and our community in a positive manner. Adults can volunteer as court monitors. If proper requirements are met, an adult with a legal background may volunteer as a judge. This rewarding volunteer experience will make a difference in the life of a youth and set an example for them to follow.