By August 12, 2017 Read More →

Wausau Town Council working with Teen Court to reprimand juvenile offenders ………

Council members said they want the young people to decide their actions weren’t well thought out.


by Kathy Foster


Rather than have three 13-14-year-olds brought up on charges for vandalizing town property,  the Wausau Town Council voted Thursday night to use the Teen Court option to try and get the young men’s attention.


Washington County Teen Court Director Donna Prather and Washington County Deputy Harrison met with council members to discuss options for dealing with the situation.


Teen Court is a juvenile diversion program for first-time offenders where young people can elect to participate rather than go through the customary process of Juvenile Court.  Juveniles ages 8 to 17, who admit their guilt, are eligible for the program.  Parent participation is mandatory.


Prather and Harrison said they feel that through Teen Court the offender has a better understanding of the consequences of breaking the law.  The program allows the juvenile to participate in a “hands on” education process to learn more about justice.  At the same time, it allows youthful offenders to recognize and assume the consequences of their actions via judgment in a courtroom by their peers.


Council members said they did not want to have the three young men singled out, but did want church attendance as part of the requirements they are required to meet as they make restitution to the Town of Wausau.




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