The criminal justice system is sometimes seen as a negative experience especially for youth. That’s why the city’s municipal court lets teens in the borderland have a chance to learn what it’s really about.
“You actually get to learn how to be part of every single part of the court. So you’re not only practicing to be either a defense attorney or prosecutor, you practice everything,” Samantha De La Rosa, Senior at Coronado High School told KTSM.
Judge Morales with the city’s municipal court said the program helps students who want to get into law but also ends up being a lesson of integrity, “They need to understand and do understand that they have the future of someone else in their hands. Especially our defense lawyers. It’s up to them to present their client in the best light.”
There are currently about 60 kids in the program, all from different high schools. The program aims to create a positive experience with the criminal justice system.
“We want them to take that experience on their lives and teach it to other people so there’s not this suspicion about, ‘It can never be fair for me,” Morales shared.
Teen Court at the municipal level has been around for about one year. It’s partially funded by the City, and the rest through fundraisers like gofundme.
Any teen interested can apply this summer for the upcoming program that’s expected to start training in August.
You can learn more about the program and/or apply here.