2005 Leadership Development Award winner
The Junior League of New Orleans
The Junior League of New Orleans won the 2005 Leadership Development Award for Teen Court, a program through which members aid a local initiative to reform juvenile offenders.
This program is designed to train League members to assist the local teen court in preventing first-time juvenile offenders from committing more serious crimes by holding them accountable for their behavior.
Through this program, League volunteers are trained to serve as judges, coordinators and advisors to assist with courtroom procedures and provide life skills training. After pleading guilty in Juvenile Court, youths are referred to the local Teen Court, launched by the New Orleans League in the late 1990s, where they are sentenced by a jury of peers to perform community service, attend educational sessions, serve Teen Court jury duty terms, write apology letters or other assignments. The program stresses taking responsibility for one’s actions.
This award helped fund the program’s expansion, along with the development of additional services. Teen Court is now its own nonprofit organization, and is partnered with the New Orleans Police Foundation.