03/24/2020- One long-standing Marinette County justice system program designed to give teens a second chance is still running strong. Teen Court is a panel of volunteer students from throughout Marinette County who determine appropriate alternative sentences for first time juvenile offenders convicted of a variety of misdemeanors. Kaylynn Van Ermen is Marinette County’s Medical Examiner and also oversees the Teen Court. She says although the panel members are just in 9th through 12th grade, they take to heart the responsibility of getting to know each defendant to determine what the most appropriate and effective sanction for their offense might be.
Upon completion of those sanctions, the offense is then expunged from the teen’s records. Van Ermen says one most common sanctions is community service, but there is a wide range of options for the panel to choose from.
In 2018 Marinette County Teen Court heard 8 cases. That number jumped to 17 last year and Van Ermen reports that they’ve had 6 cases already in 2020.