Athens Peer Court is a diversionary program that offers arrested youth a chance to have their disposition decided by trained teenagers who serve as lawyers, judges, jurors and bailiff. Faculty at the Fanning Institute created Athens Peer Court to offer such training and to continue to fulfill its goal of helping students become leaders in their communities.
The program, offered to local high school students, consists of 16 hours of training in which students gain an understanding of restorative justice and confidentiality. Students learn and have an opportunity to practice how to interview a client, how to give an opening statement, and how to serve on a jury to determine a fair and appropriate disposition.
Athens Peer Court was created in partnership with the Street Law program at the University of Georgia’s School of Law, the Department of Juvenile Justice and with Judge Shearer at the Athens Clarke County juvenile court.
Contact public service assistant Emily Boness, J.D. to learn more about implementing a peer court leadership program in your community.
Visit the Athens Peer Court website to learn more about the program and how to be involved.