Photo: Joe Gratz (Flickr)
A central Indiana non-profit has received funding to implement a unique teen court program. “Reach for Youth” recently received over $400,000 from a Lilly endowment, the Indianapolis Foundation and Clowes Fund to support an in-school teen court program.
Teen court has been used in Indiana for over 20 years. It allows students who admit a crime or offense to go before a jury of their peers instead of going through the traditional juvenile justice system. “Reach for Youth” CEO Michelle Stoody-Campbell says the in-school program is the first of its kind in the country.
“We have actually had about a 294 percent increase in the number of young people and families we serve each year,” she says.
Stoody-Campbell says the new program will allow schools to deal with the students and keep them in the classroom. Decatur Middle School partnered with “Reach for Youth” in the model program. Stoody-Campbell says the program will soon be implementing in several central Indiana schools.