Teen Court members are sworn in after graduating training. Submitted photo

The inaugural hearing of the Maricopa Teen Court is slated to begin Aug. 24 inside the Maricopa/Stanfield Justice Courtroom.

It’s the first of many for the program, as Maricopa pilots the only teen court in the county. In early August, representatives from Pinal County’s juvenile probation department trained area teenagers who would soon take court positions as peer prosecutors, defense attorneys and victim advocates.

The teen court is billed as a diversion program for young alleged offenders.

Aug. 10, Pinal County Bureau Chief of Juvenile Justice Court and Appeals Tom McDermott swore in eight graduates from the training. Nya Villaverde, Sandra Nith, Steel Lewis, Carlos Aguilar, Dallas Hansen, Dylan Hill and Tayvon King are the first teens in the county to staff such a program.

Pinal County Juvenile Probation Supervisor Teresa Fuller said hearings will take place the fourth Thursday of every month from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.

“Volunteers who would like to serve on the teen court jury can attend any teen court hearing to volunteer,” Fuller said.

Jury volunteers must come dressed in court appropriate attire.

For more information contact fuller at tefuller@courts.az.gov or call (520) 866-7061.