Posted by Marianna Zeidler on Aug 13, 2020

Annalise Morelli, coordinates a life-changing teen court program that in partnership with Police Departments in different Lake County communities, offer an alternative to the traditional justice system for first time youth offenders ages 10 – 18. Based on principles of balanced and restorative justice, Teen Court sentences are determined by a volunteer jury of teen peers.  Successful completion prevents the youth from having a court record for the offense.  There are currently 6 courts across the County: 2 in Round Lake Beach, 1 each in Waukegan, North Chicago, Gurnee and Round Lake.  Teen Court sessions are held one evening per month in each community Teen Court.  The program targets juvenile offenders of misdemeanor crimes such a theft, curfew, trespassing and possession of drugs or alcohol. The offender’s sentence consists of community service hours and a TRACK class (Taking Responsibilities and Accepting Choices through Knowledge), and may include letters of apology, essays, or other tasks.  Nicasa’s Teen Court where high school students volunteer as jurors, is the largest in the state of Illinois and has been in operation since 1995. Nicasa is a not-for-profit behavioral health services organization that has been building brighter futures for vulnerable and at-risk children, adults, and families in Lake County and northern Illinois, since 1966.  Nicasa’s network of dedicated and caring professionals has been pioneering award-winning efforts in prevention, early intervention, treatment, and recovery. Nicasa's mission is transforming one life at a time through our behavioral and social health services. This mission drives our vision strengthen the communities we serve by being the premier behavioral and social health services provider.