Carolyn Clay Hall Highlights Continued Good Work of IBF 2012 Impact Fund Grant Recipient
Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP partner Carolyn Clay Hall recently discussed Teen Court, a program offered by Reach for Youth, a local nonprofit with more than 40 years of experience helping kids find a better way, in the Indiana Lawyer. Her column entitled “IndyBar: 2012 IBF Grantee Continues Good Work” highlights the excellent work that Teen Court has done in the past several years since the program was named the Indianapolis Bar Foundation’s 2012 Impact Fund Grant recipient.
In Teen Court, students are trained by local attorneys to prosecute and defend cases for their peers. An attorney volunteers to serve as judge, and other students serve on the jury which determines guilt and punishment. With the help of this grant, Teen Court has expanded to reach more than 600 youth and their families annually.
Hall demonstrates the program’s effectiveness at preventing crime, reducing recidivism, and providing students with leadership opportunities through the story of a former shoplifter named Roger whose case was brought before Teen Court, instead of the typical juvenile criminal system. The court convicted him, but instead of the typical punishments handed down by traditional courts, they required eight hours of community service, a shoplifting workshop, a written apology to the store from which he shoplifted, a verbal, in-court apology to his family, and two nights serving jury duty on the same Teen Court that convicted him. Not only did Roger successfully complete his sentence, he has since become a frequent volunteer for Teen Court.