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SERVICES list

Teen Court Sessions
Teen Court sessions take place in South County and Sarasota, every other week, on Mondays and Wednesdays, respectively. The Teen Court process is much like regular court, except instead of determining and innocent or guilty verdict, juvenile respondents have already accepted responsibility and are given a verdict of meaningful consequences. All participating members of a Teen Court session are youth from our community. Students serve as prosecuting and defending attorneys, clerks, bailiffs, and jurors. An adult volunteer judge, usually a local judge or attorney, presides over each courtroom. After the defendant is questioned by both attorneys, the jury deliberates and returns with a constructive sentence. Sentencing may include up to 50 community service hours, up to 6 jury duties, Peer Circle sessions, drug testing, and letters of apology, essay or reports.

Justice for Youth by Youth - Year Round, Twice a week, every other week

Program Description: Teen Court sessions take place in South County and Sarasota, every other week, on Mondays and Wednesdays, respectively. The Teen Court process is much like a regular court, except instead of determining innocent or guilty verdict, juvenile respondents have already accepted responsibility and are given a verdict of meaningful consequences. All participating members of a Teen Court session are youth from our community. Students serve as prosecuting and defending attorneys, clerks, bailiffs, and jurors. An adult volunteer judge, usually a local judge or attorney, presides over each courtroom. After the defendant is questioned by both attorneys, the jury deliberates and returns with a constructive sentence. Sentencing may include up to 50 community service hours, up to 6 jury duties, Peer Circle sessions, drug testing, letters of apology, essays or reports. Referral to the program required by Parent, Law Enforcement, or Sarasota County School. Volunteers are welcome to train as Jury Monitors, Clerks or Bailiff’s for Community Service hours at no charge.

Success Looks Like: Low Recidivism Rates and Positive Redirection. Peer on peer accountability.

Camp X-RAYD - Examine Reality About Your Decisions - A ten hour day, one Saturday a month

Program Description: Camp X-RAYD is a collaboration between Teen Court and the Sarasota Police Department, Sarasota County Sheriff's Office, North Port Police Department, Sarasota County School Board Police, Venice Fire Department (VFD), and Sarasota Memorial Hospital (SMH). As we know substance abusers are a difficult population to rehabilitate so historically our recidivism rate for our substance abuse clients has been three times that of our other offenders. Camp X-RAYD was established to educate and empower those youth that are experimenting with illegal substances.

Participants experience a day where they Examine the Reality of their decisions. Team building exercises and physical fitness are an important piece of this experience. Instruction is conducted by law enforcement at the Knights Trail SWAT course. The students then take a tour of the jail and meet with incarcerated adults and juveniles. They also eat lunch at the jail and have conversations about losing privileges because of decisions Students then have a tour of the morgue by a SMH staff where they discuss the finality of a poor choice. The final tour of the day is of the Venice Fire Department. Fireman share about the seriousness of good decision when operating a vehicle and also share what they see on their calls with overdoses. The students then travel back to the Fleet conference room where they have a segment on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion with a retired law enforcement officer. The day wraps up with a client self-evaluation segment, and alumni share. A successful alumni, shares her experience of turning her life around and the importance of paying it forward.

            

    Substance Abuse Education Class
    A four-session virtual group following Camp Day. Session one addresses the most frequently used drugs and the progress of addiction. Session two topics include behavioral signs of chemical dependency and the difference between abuse and addiction. Session three wraps families into the discussion. They look at relationships, anger, and structure. Discussions covered include grief, fear, loss, and the need to invite change into your life to improve family dynamics and function. Session four looks at peer pressure, self-esteem, and teachings/tools for wellness.

    Mental Health Counseling - Individual Basis

    Program Description: For teens who are struggling with issues like depression, anxiety, emotional trauma, etc. we offer private counseling sessions with a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC). These sessions are offered free of charge, in both North and South County. We contract with a diverse group of counselors that agree to a discounted rate and no wait for mental health counseling.

    Success Looks Like: Positive redirection, satisfied parents, youth shows improvement in school, at home, and overall mental and behavioral health.

    Life Skills - Encouraging Teens

    Working with hesitant teens who are seeking and struggling with framing who they are and helping to define a direction for their future. Through fierce conversations, practical goals, and creating a space for trust and accountability, they are lifted to a new level of clarity, confidence, determination, and focus. Setting them on a path with a clear vision of their future, driven to take action and move forward with purpose. Covering the topics of values, perspective, failure, and personal growth. The framework includes having the teen write a personal mission statement and develop the skills needed to write personal goals and objectives to obtain the goal, thereby moving into the future they desire.

    Law-Related Education
    Student volunteers who participate in Teen Court sessions receive law-related education in several ways. As active jury members, student volunteers learn the court process through experience.  As teen attorneys, student volunteers receive a teen attorney training facilitated by local attorneys. Adult volunteer judges often provide mentoring to the teen attorneys following the conclusion of a teen court session. The opportunity for youth in our community to practice public speaking while giving opening and closing statements, analytical thinking while preparing witness questioning, as well as knowledge of proper courtroom procedure, is invaluable to their lives and often shapes their future trajectory regarding secondary schooling and career. There are countless former teen attorneys who are practicing law all over the country.

    Individual Counseling/ Family Counseling
    For teens who are struggling with issues like depression, anxiety, emotional trauma, etc. we offer private counseling sessions with a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC). These sessions can be offered free of charge, in both North and South County.

    Drug Test- Parent or school can request drug test. 

    Healthy Digital Practices
    A four-session virtual group that explores healthy digital practices for students and teaches social media responsibility. Participants will be able to identify what is Sexting & Cyber-Bullying. They will identify what is emotional response and how to best respond to these situations. By the end of the course, they will be able to tell the difference between healthy relationships vs unhealthy relationships. Participants will successfully identify cyber safety strategies.


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