Soulstice Inc.

Academic Improvement

  • There is an academic improvement component for both student volunteers and student defendants.
  • Problem-based learning wherein students apply critical content area skills to a case-study over time has been improved effective in increasing cognitive ability.

Family Improvement

  • Teen Court pro-actively engages parents and families, particularly in cases of absenteeism, truancy and behavior problems.
  • Cases are referred to Teen Court in lieu of the standard operating procedure of referring cases to family court.

Students are trained as attorneys, bailiffs, court clerks and jurors. A volunteer attorney sits on the bench. The judge is allowed to ask questions, they can add a sanction, but cannot take away from the decision of the student jury. 

Behavior Modification

  • Discipline problems that would, without Teen Court, be referred to the school principal and possibly law enforcement are reduced.
  • Student volunteers, supervised by a Teen Court supervisor and volunteer practicing attorneys adjudicate referred cases in a replica court room within the school.
  • Student jurors issue binding sanctions.
  • A court representative monitors the completion of the sanctions. Once the sanction is completed, the student defendant avoids the addition of a permanent disciplinary action in their official student records.

Teen Court is a comprehensive academic and behavioral modification program that addresses several of the most pressing issues in urban public schools: attendance, dropout prevention, parent involvement, and academic remediation. This is a school based program that is used as an alternative to suspensions.

The program has three core pieces which address behavior modification, academic improvement, and family involvement

Teen Court