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Teen Court moves forward with $5,000 from Morgan County

October 23, 2008|By TRISH RUDDER

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - The Morgan County Commission has endorsed the Teen Court concept after approving a coordinator position and giving the program $5,000 to get it started.

Sean Bryner, Morgan County probation officer, said he and Danielle Robertson asked the commission to approve the coordinator position.

"This is what Commissioner (Glen R.) Stotler said the county might be able to help us with if we needed it in order to get started, and we need it to get started now because now is the time to get the Teen Court in place," Bryner said Wednesday.

He said the part-time coordinator will work up to 12 hours per week, from Jan. 1 through June 30, when the program is set to begin.

Susan Caperton, project director of the Morgan County Partnership, has offered office space for the coordinator at the Oasis Center, which is on the grounds of Berkeley Springs High School.

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"It just makes sense to be right here on the high school grounds," Caperton said. "It complements what we offer."

"The commissioners have been very enthusiastic and supportive of the Teen Court program," Bryner said.

Bryner and Robertson told the commission in late August they are working with the Morgan County Partnership to establish the program, which is for first-time offenders who break the law.

The volunteer program is for seventh- to 12th-graders who are delinquent offenders of nonviolent crimes. It is a legally binding alternative system of justice, Bryner has said.

The program is funded by an additional $5 fee added to traffic, misdemeanor and felony court costs. Parking violations are exempt, Bryner said.

About $215 has been collected so far, Bryner said.

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