The inception of the "Teen Court" idea for the City of Holland began in the Spring of 1988. The discovery of the Arlington, Texas Teen Court program led to the original Teen Court program in Odessa, Texas, after which our program was modeled.
A Task Force was created in 1989 to study existing programs nationwide, review local ordinances and seek guidance for possible adaptation of Teen Court for the City of Holland. After many months of deliberation and cooperation from the Task Force, a written proposal was developed to explain logistics of the program.
In early 1991, Holland City Council passed a resolution to authorize the appointment of a Teen Court Advisory Board, which included some original task force members, student representatives, and other key community members. A "mock trial" was held in early 1991 to kick off the official start of Teen Court.
Holland Teen Court has been running since this exciting start. With a primarily volunteer staff, HTC represents a model of true "community commitment" to working with and for our youth.
The birth and continuation has been fruitful due to the collaborative efforts of Holland Police Department, Ottawa County Sheriff's Department, City of Holland, Juvenile Court, local Judges and court personnel, area schools, teachers and students, and community members. Everyone involved with HTC looks with excitement to the future of continued strengthening and development.