St. Mary’s County Teen Court Volunteers Participate in American Bar Association Presentation

News Release, St. Mary’s County Public Information Office

Leonardtown, MD – The St. Mary’s County Teen Court Program was selected by Global Youth Justice, Inc., to join representatives from Baltimore City Teen Court to participate in their reenactment of a school bullying case at a plenary session of the Annual Fall Institute of the Criminal Justice Section of the American Bar Association (ABA) Friday, Nov. 8, 2019, in Washington, DC. The purpose was to provide a demonstration of the effectiveness of the Teen Court Program as a juvenile diversion in lieu of offenders being sent through the formal juvenile justice system.

Nine St. Mary’s County Teen Court student volunteers attended, accompanied by their parents, Teen Court Community Judge Charlottis Woodley, and Teen Court Coordinator Gregory Jones. They were joined by five Teen Court student volunteers from Baltimore City. St. Mary’s participants served as the prosecutor, defense counsel, offender, victim, bailiff and jury members. St. Mary’s Community Judge Woodley was asked to be the presiding judge.

“These teen volunteers were absolutely outstanding. They were confident with what they were doing despite the audience of senior legal officials and the livestreaming to hundreds of viewers. It is my honor to have these dedicated young people as part of our program and am so proud of all of them,” Jones said.

The session ran overtime due to the questions the ABA participants were asking. The teen volunteers had no reservations with answering the questions themselves, including individually introducing themselves and answering why they chose to volunteer during a reception following the reenactment.

This was an excellent experience for all involved in this event. The teen volunteers brought great credit and recognition to St. Mary’s County, the Teen Court Program, their schools, their parents, and of course themselves. Volunteers came from St. Mary’s Ryken High School, Kings Christian Academy, Leonardtown High School, Great Mills High School, and Spring Ridge Middle School.

Special thanks go to the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services, the St. Mary’s County District Court, the St. Mary’s County Public Schools, the St. Mary’s County Department of Aging & Human Services, and VVS Charters for their support in making this event a success.

The Southern Maryland Chronicle is a local, small business entrusted to provide factual, unbiased reporting to the Southern Maryland Community. While we look to local businesses for advertising, we hope to keep that cost as low as possible in order to attract even the smallest of local businesses and help them get out to the public. We must also be able to pay employees(part-time and full-time), along with equipment, and website related things. We never want to make the Chronicle a “pay-wall” style news site.

To that end, we are looking to the community to offer donations. Whether it’s a one-time donation or you set up a reoccurring monthly donation. It is all appreciated. All donations at this time will be going to furthering the Chronicle through hiring individuals that have the same goals of providing fair, and unbiased news to the community. For now, donations will be going to a business PayPal account I have set-up for the Southern Maryland Chronicle, KDC Designs. All business transactions currently occur within this PayPal account. If you have any questions regarding this you can email me at

Thank you for all of your support and I hope to continue bringing Southern Maryland the best news possible for a very long time. — David M. Higgins II

© 2019 The Southern Maryland Chronicle. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.