Teen Court is a collaborative effort between Nicasa and local police departments. Teen Court offers youth an alternative to the juvenile justice system and the possibility of expunging the arrest from their record. Nicasa is the largest administrator of youth courts in Illinois and currently operates Teen Courts in the Round Lake Area/Grayslake, Lake Forest/Lake Bluff, Antioch/Lake Villa/Lindenhurst, Waukegan, Gurnee/Warren Township, Wauconda Township, and Zion/Benton.
Teen Court is first time offenders ages 11-17 (or 18 if they are still in school). The offenders have committed non-violent offenses including, but are not limited to, curfew violations, trespassing, theft, vandalism, bullying, cyber bullying, underage drinking and drug use. To be eligible for Teen Court, they must be a first-time or second-time offender that has never been through Teen Court, and referred by the arresting police department. Teen Court gives youth the opportunity for a fresh start and a clear record. It equips them with the problem-solving and decision-making skills needed to stay on the right track, helps them understand the consequences and impact their behavior on both themselves and others, and empowers them to take responsibility for their actions.
Lake County State’s Attorney Mike Nerheim serves at Warren Township as a Teen Court judge while aiding in the prevention of entry into the criminal justice system of minors.