Court Structure  

Shasta County Youth/Peer Court uses adult judges from the area who volunteer their time, professional adult attorneys who mentor our youth attorneys, and a jury of the youth offender’s peers.

The Youth/Peer Court does not determine guilt, since one of the requirements to appear in front of our court is a confession of guilt. This is why our offenders are not called defendants but respondents.  The jury’s job, therefore, is to assign a disposition that will help both the community and the respondent. The types of offenses that appear in our court are theft, vandalism, battery, assault, drug and alcohol use, cyber crimes, and school based offences.

Respondents are referred to the Youth /Peer Court through the Shasta County Probation’s Juvenile Assessment Center and by the School Resources Officers or Administrative Officials of the various high school and junior high campuses in our area.

Our range of sentencing options includes:  apologies, essays, counseling, juvenile hall work days, community service, jury service and restitution and educational classes including: (Anger Management, Victim Awareness, the Coroner’s Tour, the Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs class, the CARE program, and the Youth Educational Shoplifting program).

Youth who reoffend while in the program or who do not complete their dispositions in an appropriate amount of time are referred back to the Juvenile Assessment Center to be processed through the juvenile justice system for their original crime.

 

Attorney Trials and Master Juries

We have two types of court trials:  attorney trials and master juries.  During an attorney trial the respondent is appointed a pair of youth defense attorneys and a pair of prosecution attorneys is also appointed to the case.  Both sets of attorneys are given copies of the police report, copies of any pertinent evidence, access to witnesses, and the advice of an adult attorney who will guide them through the court process.  The defense attorneys are also given access to the respondent who they meet with in order to discuss the case.  Each set of attorneys is responsible for opening statements, closing arguments, and the questioning of the respondent and any witnesses.  They are allowed to make objections and enter into evidence any relevant materials.  In the end though, the attorneys hand the case over to the jury to decide.

During Master Jury trials the jurors are the stars.  The jurors read the police reports, ask both prepared and spontaneous questions of the respondent and make the final decisions about sentencing.

All court trials are open to the public.  We ask only that attendees keep the names and details of what they hear in court confidential. 

 We also encourage you to call or email our office if you have teens at home who would like to volunteer.

Shasta County Youth/Peer Court Dress Code

Appropriate clothing, conduct, and respect are expected at all times by the Youth/Peer Court for respondents, jury members, student attorneys, and Peer Court staff.   Student attorneys should especially dress appropriately for their role, and look as professional as possible.

 Acceptable Clothing:

 

Unacceptable Clothing: (you will not be allowed on jury duty if wearing the following items)

                     Males                                                                               Females

Shorts                                                                             Shorts

Blue Jeans (ripped or excessively faded)                 Blue jeans (ripped or excessively faded)

Tank tops                                                                       Tank tops, spaghetti straps, strapless shirts       

Undershirts                                                                    Midriffs showing or Revealing shirts

Tee Shirts with offensive/controversial logos          Tee Shirts with offensive/controversial logos

Baggy pants                                                                    Baggy pants

Camouflage clothing                                                      Camouflage clothing

Exposed undergarments                                               Exposed undergarments

Spikes                                                                               Excessive jewelry

Trench coats                                                                   Trench coats

Any gang-related clothing                                             Any gang-related clothing

Bandanas                                                                         Bandanas

Sunglasses                                                                       Sunglasses

Ball caps                                                                           Ball caps

Combat boots                                                                  Mini skirts or extremely short dresses