The City of El Paso’s Municipal Court is excited to announce that its Teen Court Program has received a $18,807 grant from the Texas Bar Foundation.
“We are incredibly happy to share this news because it offers us a wonderful opportunity to continue fostering our youth and providing a strong mentorship program for our teenagers,” said El Paso Municipal Court Director Lily Worrell. “The funding will make a tremendous impact on the program allowing case managers to hire a part-time intern, funding for a mock trial, and additional supplies for the program. But more importantly, this grant supports a program that amplifies our commitment to nurturing the next generation of legal minds and reinforcing the pillars of a vibrant, engaged community.”
The funds will be used to advance and expand the Teen Court Program, including the purchase of educational and promotional items, and fund a part-time graduate-paid intern to assist in community events and outreach.
“I couldn’t be prouder of this program and all that it has accomplished over the last 5 years,” said Municipal Court Judge Michelle Morales. “This grant will allow us to expand the program and spread the word all over the community about the Teen Court Program and instill in our youth the idea of how important it is to serve your community in the best way you can.”
The Teen Court Program is a real justice program run by teenagers for teenagers and serves as a peer court for misdemeanor and traffic offenses. Teen volunteers perform the roles of a juror, court clerk bailiff, attorney, or prosecutor. Teen Court provides juveniles who have been charged with a misdemeanor offense, an alternative means by which to have their case heard. Upon successful completion of the court-ordered punishment, the juvenile defendant will have their case dismissed. Teen Court also provides alternative sentences if the juvenile is found guilty.