Community Needs : Family Support Services, Juvenile justice/violence prevention, Mental Health
Teen Court holds young, first-time offenders accountable for their actions by having them appear before a jury of their peers instead of being involved in the juvenile justice system. Forty percent of the teens who appear in Teen Court have unaddressed mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts or self-harm practices such as cutting. This grant will pay for a full-time licensed counselor to work one-on-one with youth in the Teen Court program who struggle with mental health issues. Left untreated, these mental health problems may lead to a continuing cycle of crime and eventual incarceration. Early intervention can interrupt this cycle by treating underlying issues of first-time offenders at a critical time in their lives and giving them the support they need to make better choices for the future.