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Queen Anne’s County Teen Court

Photo Credit: Christopher Blunck (blunck2) via Flickr

The Queen Anne County (QAC) Teen Court Program was created in 2003 by former U.S. Representative Frank M. Kratovil, Jr., then QAC State’s Attorney, and currently the QAC District Court Judge. Our existing State’s Attorney Lance Richardson fully supports Teen Court by assigning an Assistant State’s Attorney, Leigh Darrell to assist with Teen Court. The goal of the program is to educate young people about the system of justice while providing young, first-time offenders who commit minor offenses a second chance and an opportunity to learn from their mistakes without the burden of a juvenile record.

QAC Teen Court is run by teens for teens. Students serve as prosecutors, defense attorneys, clerk, bailiff, and jurors. They learn the duties of courtroom personnel, legal procedures, rules of evidence, and face the difficult task of determining appropriate sanctions for individuals who have admitted involvement in delinquent acts. However, the powerful work it does could not take place without its dedicated adult volunteers.

Our real Circuit Court Judge Thomas Ross and District Court Judge Frank Kratovil, Jr. and our Juvenile Master Jean Meta volunteer their time and preside over all of the cases. Our Assistant State’s Attorney, Leigh Darrell volunteers her time too. She advises the teen volunteers who play the roles of the Defense and Prosecuting Attorneys, Clerk, Bailiff and Jury members on courtroom procedures and law. Ms. Darrell attends every Teen Court planning session and all courtroom proceedings. The Teen Court Coordinator, Kathy Wright volunteers her time to coordinate the youth volunteers, follows-up on respondents, and manages all the functions of Teen Court.