McAllen teen court program underway

McAllen teen court program underway
1 month 2 hours 23 minutes ago Wednesday, June 12 2024 Jun 12, 2024 June 12, 2024 9:30 PM June 12, 2024 in News - Local

A young group of law students are receiving a crash course in criminal law in McAllen.

The group of 25 teenagers are participating in McAllen’s Teen court program, where volunteer teens serve as jurors, bailiffs, and even attorneys representing their peers with a record

“This gives us an opportunity to practice what we will be seeing in law,” teen court participant Itzel Ramos said. 

The students will become jurors and attorneys for real cases, but not without some practice first

Attorney Benito Alonzo volunteered to help teach the basics of criminal law at the first session held on Wednesday.

There's one more class next month before court is in session. The young courtroom will only hear Class C misdemeanor cases involving teens.

“It shows that a lot of people, or everyone, can make mistakes — and one mistake doesn't define your future,” Alonzo said.

The sentences for teen defendants will be tutoring or community service hours. The jury of their teenage peers will decide how long their sentence is.

The young offenders who choose to participate in the program will have their fines waved, and their record cleared. 

More information on McAllen's Teen Court Program, including how to apply to volunteer, is available online.

Watch the video above for the full story. 

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