‘Bare bones budget’ could leave Taylor Co. teen court without funding


ABILENE, Texas (KRBC/KTAB) — After the Taylor County Commissioners Court presented a “bare bones budget” at Thursday’s meeting, teen court could miss out on some funding.

But what exactly is teen court?

You’re young, under 17, and you get a ticket. After paying $20 and going through an interview process, Judge Sparky Dean said early on they’re getting taught how the system really works in their Teen court.  

“You are you own attorney. You present your case to the jury, good, bad or indifferent,” he said.  

“You just go up there, explain what happened, and then you kind of fight for your case,” Amanda Strickland said.  

Opting for teen court when she got her traffic ticket when she was 16, Strickland says she dodged a $180 citation.  

“It gets it off your record and all you have to do is community service, which is good for college anyways,” she said.   

After pleading her case, the jury of her peers leaves to decide how many community service hours she’ll get. Then it’s her turn to be on the jury, and someone else from the jury goes to the stand.

But teen court could be losing some funding after the Taylor County Commissioners Court met Thursday morning to set a proposed tax rate, drafting what they are calling a “bare bones budget.”  

“If mom and dad is paying a ticket because a child did wrong, whatever that means, what did the child learn from that?” Dean said.   

Teen court will have a chance to argue their case at a public hearing coming up soon before Taylor County Commissioners make their final judgment. 

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