HOUSTON – The City of Houston Municipal Courts Department (MCD) will be celebrating and recognizing the 2020 High School Seniors for their participation in the MCD Teen Court Program by hosting a car parade beginning at the intersection of Washington Avenue and Riesner Street on Friday, May 22, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. Thirty-seven (37) participating seniors will receive their Teen Court graduation cord, a yard sign donated by Mattress Mack, and gift from Judge Marshall as a token of her appreciation for their years of service.
“I have had the pleasure to see these teenagers grow into young adults, appreciate the complexities of the court justice system and most importantly learn how to problem solve, learn the legal trial process, and make good decisions. Over the past 4 years, they have volunteered their time and many hours of study to the program”, said Judge J. Elaine Marshall, Director and Presiding Judge of MCD. “I am so proud of the accomplishments they have made even through the COVID-19 epidemic. I cheer them on as they move forward on their journeys to Harvard, Boston University, Stanford, Virginia Tech, University of Michigan, University of Texas, and many other colleges across the country”.
Teen Court started operating on September 25, 2013 with its first Teen Court hearings. The Teen Court Program is specially designed for teenagers to promote interest in those considering a career in law and/or criminal justice. MCD, with the help of outside attorneys and city prosecutors, trained the teen student volunteers to be Prosecutors, Defense Attorneys, and Jurors. Municipal Court Judges preside over the cases under the direction of Presiding Judge J. Elaine Marshall. Juvenile defendants plead guilty or no contest and choose to have their cases adjudicated via their peers in Teen Court. At the conclusion of the case, teen jurors are responsible for hearing the case and deciding the punishment. Teen defendants are sentenced to community service and to serve subsequent jury terms as a form of punishment to learn more about the court system.
For additional announcements and information please call the City of Houston Helpline at 3-1-1, or 713.837.0311 if outside of the City of Houston, or visit the Municipal Courts website at www.houstontx.gov/courts.