Minors who end up having a run-in with the law often find themselves spiraling into a pattern of bad decisions. There is an effort in the state of Tennessee to use restorative justice to hold kids accountable but get them back on track.
There are 17 youth courts across the state. The only one in East Tennessee is in Blount County and it’s impacting young lives.
A bad decision can lead a child to a juvenile courtroom where harsh sentences can be handed down. However, for some youth, there is a chance at redemption in Blount County.
“They are getting ready to take the wrong road and by putting them in front of a jury of their peers, perhaps they are going to make the right choices in the future and in fact we found they do make the right choices,“ says Lynn Peterson, president of the Blount County Youth Court.
She says the students who run the court are making a big difference in the lives of their peers.
See the whole interview by WATE’s Tearsa Smith by clicking here.
Lynn Peterson, president of Blount County Youth Court is a Lewis Thomason shareholder and a Supreme Court Rule 31 Mediator. She practices primarily in the personal injury, workers’ compensation, insurance defense, malpractice, employment law, and general litigation areas of law. Ms. Peterson has been a speaker at workers’ compensation and employment law seminars sponsored by lawyers as well as by employers. She has also participated in in-house training for large employers.