Chapter Activities

These lively and stimulating ideas for use in and out of class reinforce active learning. The activities apply to individual or group projects.

Activity 1:

Mock Teen Court

In this activity, students will participate in a mock teen court. Randomly draw student names to serve as judge, offender, bailiff, attorneys, and jurors. During this simulation, students will act out the second chance program to develop a diversion or remediation plan for the offender. If the random assignment is done in advance, before the class period, students not selected for the mock teen court could be assigned to create scenarios for those participating in the mock teen court to act out.

After the mock teen court verdict has been reached, gather feedback from the mock teen court participants and audience:

  • Predict what may happen to the youth after the completion of the suggested sentence.
  • Compare and contrast how this case may have been handled in traditional juvenile court or adult court.
  • Explain how the decision was reached and what sentencing goals were important in the decision-making process.
  • Give an example of when teen court might not be appropriate for a youthful offender.

Activity 2:

History of Juveniles’ Rights in Corrections

In this writing activity, students will create a detailed outline of the historical court cases providing protections and rights to juveniles in the correctional system. This writing assignment is similar to an annotated bibliography. Each court case is named, followed by a three- to five-sentence description of the case and the rights afforded to juveniles as a result of the ruling. To increase the complexity of the assignment, instructors may wish to add an additional step to the summary by requiring a three- to five-sentence analysis of how the ruling shaped the current juvenile justice system and how juveniles would be treated today if the ruling was not intact.