Friday, May 4, 2012

Gaston County Teen Court takes home first place

Each year, Teen Court programs from across the state meet for an annual Teen Court Summit, to test students' knowledge of the courtroom.

This year, 12 teams traveled to Wilmington on March 16 to compete as attorneys, clerks, bailiffs and defendants.

At the competition, the Gaston County Teen Court team finished in first place.

Teen Court is an alternative justice system for first-time youthful offenders, ages 10 to 15. Youth offenders are granted a second chance when they admit guilt and agree to be tried and sentenced by teens in the teen court program.

By successfully completing the teen court hearing and sentence requirements, the offender avoids a permanent criminal conviction for the crime committed.

Photo: Steven Morris (front), James Wilkes (second row, left), Steven Allen, Sam Amarasinghe, Alex Szucs, Jared Lowe, Dakota Whisnant and chaperone Brandon Hamrick (back). Photo courtesy of Wendy Whisnant.