Teen Court Program
The St. Mary's County Teen Court is designed to reduce the number of youthful offenders and educate youth in an actual court environment. Teen Court is a juvenile justice diversion program offering the first-time misdemeanor offenders, ages 11-17, and first-time traffic offenders under the age of 18, the opportunity to accept accountability for their minor crimes without having to incur a permanent criminal record or traffic court fines and points. Teen Court is a voluntary program that allows juvenile respondents to be judged by a jury of their peers.
St. Mary's County is committed to promoting public safety and enhancing the quality of life for all the citizens of St. Mary's County. This requires us to be innovative in creating programs that can assist our youth. Since the Teen Court Program began operations in January 2003, hundreds of our local youth have been given a second chance. More importantly, this program has been highly successful in giving our youth the opportunity to change their behavior and accept responsibility for their actions. In July 2013, as the result of the joint initiative between the Teen Court Program, the St. Mary’s County State’s Attorney’s Office, and the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office, the Program was expanded to include selected under 18 year old traffic violations referred from District Court by the State’s Attorney’s Office.
The Teen Court Program also provides our county teens who are interested in our judicial system an opportunity to help their fellow teens and gain first-hand knowledge of the court system. Several of our teen attorneys have proceeded to utilize the experience gained through this program in their future goals and careers Please contact the Teen Court Coordinator with any questions or to join our dedicated staff of volunteers who make this program work for the benefit of all the citizens of St. Mary's County.
- Report by the University of Maryland School of Social Work (SSW) and the Maryland Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) on the effectiveness of Teen Courts in Maryland. Get it here.
- Youth volunteers are always welcome to become a part of this important program that helps fellow teens learn to make better decisions. Click here to get your youth volunteer application.
- Special thanks go to the St. Mary's County Department of Information Technology for making this web site a reality.
- The current St. Mary's County Teen Court Calendar is available here.
- The St. Mary's County Teen Court Adult & Youth Volunteer Applications are now available.
Inclement Weather Policy
If after school activities of the St. Mary's County Public Schools are cancelled due to inclement weather or other dangerous situations on a scheduled Teen Court day, there will be NO Court Session that night.