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Updated: 04/25/2014 10:37:06PM

Group wants to bring Teen Court to North Port

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NORTH PORT — If community leaders have it their way, they would convert City Hall into a temporary courtroom and welcome a judge to preside over a Teen Court hearing in North Port for the first time ever.

For the past 25 years, Teen Court has offered a countywide program for at-risk youths ages 8 to 18. Hearings are at the Sarasota and South Venice courthouses, where teen volunteers act as attorneys to try cases of real juvenile offenders. Teen Court sentencing hearings are used as an alternative to going through the juvenile justice system for offenders who admitted guilt to charges including attempted burglary, fighting, open house parties, sexting, resisting arrest, possession of alcohol or marijuana, grand theft and disrupting a school function.

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