Teen Court Of Sarasota Inc
101 South Washington Blvd
Sarasota FL 34236
Teen Court creates a second chance for young people who are at risk of having a criminal record. Teens help teens to make healthy choices through meaningful consequences, peer mentorship and civic engagement.
CEO/Executive Director Mrs. Heather Lee Todd
Board Chair Ms. Mary Dougherty
Board Chair Affiliation Executive Director
General Info
Organization DBA
Teen Court
Supported Organization Teen Court
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 1990
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes June 2018
State Registration Yes Dec 2018
Financial Summary
Note: Revenue includes the value of in-kind contributions/donations
IRS Letter of Determination
IRS Letter of DeterminationView
Impact Statement
1.  Teen Court achieved the agency's Mission to reduce juvenile crime in our community by placing 400+ at-risk youth into rehabilitative services.
2.  Teen Court achieved the agency's Mission by providing law related education to more than 3500+ area students, 200 of which chose to become active participants in the resolution of a problem: juvenile crime. Through their volunteer efforts the community was made safer with all youthful participants learning the benefits of law abiding citizenship.
3.   Teen Court, Inc. saves, on an annual basis, over $2+ million in juvenile court system costs in Sarasota County.  
Current Goals:
1.  Cultivate donors through outreach efforts and the creation of new fundraising events. 
2.  Continue to allow Teen Court to be a program that belongs to the teens that participate.
3.  Form new community partnerships with organizations that compliment our mission.
Needs Statement
1.  $2,500 for rebranding and marketing collateral, including printed material such as pens, brochures, and mailers.
2.  $20,000 to fund administrative fees for low-income at-risk youth who receive services at a reduced or scholarship rate AND $4,200 to fund Risky Behaviors classes for low-income at-risk youth.
3.  $5,000 for a client database software upgrade.
4.  $5000 to develop/purchase curriculum for sensitivity training/ cyber bullying and sexting.
5.  $7,500 to fund Individual Counseling sessions for low-income at-risk youth who receive services at a reduced or scholarship rate AND $10,500 to fund Family Counseling sessions for low-income at-risk youth who receive services at a reduced or scholarship rate.
Background Statement
In 1986 the Sarasota Chapter of the League of Women Voters approached the Junior League of Sarasota, Inc. with concerns that the community was experiencing an increase in juvenile crime.  An innovative youth jury program, operating in Grand Prairie and Odessa, Texas was meeting with great success through the use of diversion programs for juvenile offenders and by providing opportunities for civic engagement for student volunteers.  Local community leaders and judicial officers determined that the concept could have a positive impact on the youth of Sarasota County.
Teen Court of Sarasota, Inc. a 501 (c) (3) organization, was incorporated in 1988 and the first Teen Court hearings were held in December, 1988.  In 1995, the Florida Association of Teen Court, Inc. was founded.  In 1996, F.S.S. 938.19 was adopted by the Florida Legislature, providing for the collection of a fee on certain traffic and court costs as a funding source for Teen Courts.  By 2011, 52 Florida counties had an active Teen Court program based on the Sarasota model.
Over the years, new programs have been added.  Peer Circle counseling began in 1989 and provides teens with an opportunity to discuss issues of concern in a peer setting.  Camp X-RAYD- Examine Reality About Your Decisions- was established in 2002 to help juvenile offenders who have substance abuse or other critical problems.  In 2011, seeing an increase in bullying and battery offense, the staff implemented Co-Op, a counseling service that helps teens learn how to interact with others in a positive way.  This includes family group counseling, individual counseling & and family counseling. 
Every year, the Teen Court staff of three full time employees works with more than 300+ at-risk youth and trains over 200 student volunteers to serve as clerks, bailiffs, jurors and teen attorneys. By offering at-risk youth an alternative to the traditional juvenile system and keeping 88% of these youth from repeat offenses, it is estimated that Teen Court of Sarasota, Inc. saves the community and the court system an estimated $1 million annually.
Areas Served
Areas Served
FL- Sarasota
Areas Served Comments
Group 1:  Sarasota County at-risk youth who are charged with and admitted guilt to breaking the law in Sarasota County or young people that reside in Sarasota County and broke the law in another county.
Group 2:  Student volunteers in Sarasota County or neighboring counties if the student attends school in Sarasota County
Group3:  Parent referral for Sarasota County youth (youth that exhibit our of control behavior)
Group 4: School referral for Sarasota County student that is having behavior issues at school
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Human Services
Secondary Org Type Youth Development
Tertiary Org Type Youth Development
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President

Since the organization’s inception in 1988, Teen Court has been on a mission to identify needs amongst our community’s youth and evolve to serve those needs. Our core service has always been juvenile misdemeanor case diversion, a highly structured program that places importance on accountability and education above punishment. While we serve law enforcement agencies and the courts, our status as a non-profit organization allows us to develop complimentary programs and engage the community.


Remaining a non-profit brings rewards and challenges. The chief reward is the ability to respond swiftly to community needs. When our Executive Director observed an increase in cases related to cyber-bullying, she launched a new counseling program focused on anger management. Small group therapy sessions let our participants share experiences and ask questions they may be afraid to ask in any other format. When our Camp XRAY-D program needed a new obstacle course for its physical training and team building retreat, we reached out to local builders who overwhelmed us with support. I wish each of those volunteers could see a group of Camp XRAY-D participants figure out how to approach the obstacles as a team, for they would see how a few hours spent raising timbers and hammering nails were changing lives.


For those who know Teen Court, the value of our services is unquestionable. But for those unfamiliar with Teen Court, we face a two-fold public perception struggle. The first struggle is that potential donors may assume Teen Court is part of the court system, and therefore funded wholly through government assistance. The second struggle is that donors may be more likely to fund programs that help the “good” kids instead of who they may perceive as the “bad” kids. In reality, Teen Court is as important an opportunity for our young volunteers as it is for our defendants.


There have been many success stories over the years, students who received the kind of guidance or second chance through Teen Court who may have easily failed in the traditional juvenile court system. We have seen many adults, including members of the armed forces, return to thank Teen Court staff for the chance to pursue goals that may have been impossible had they been saddled with criminal records of guilt. And there have been many quiet volunteers who, like me, found their voices in the courtroom as teen attorneys.


As a high school volunteer in 1995, I became passionate about Teen Court. Then it may have been about playing a lawyer in the courtroom or becoming a better speaker. Now, as the Board President looking at the serious needs of Sarasota County youths, my passion is as strong as ever. It is always rewarding to learn about our participants’ success stories, but I am also mindful of the children we sometimes cannot reach. For those children we need to remain responsive and innovative, funding programs they can rely on and staffing those programs with dedicated professionals.


Jesse R. Balaity, President
Statement from the CEO/Executive Director
When Teen Court was implemented by the Junior League of Sarasota, Inc. in 1988 as Florida's first Teen Court there were many skeptics among the legal community as to whether young people could actually participate in a serious courtroom process that would reduce crime!  The catalyst for my commitment over the 19 years that I have been with Teen Court, as well as that of others in the community who are involved as Board members or adult volunteers, is that, as taxpayers,  the potential savings the services  provide are "priceless".  Keeping at-risk youth from entering into the traditional court system, with adult judges and attorneys volunteering their extensive legal training, it has been proven that substantial monies are saved through the services the agency offers. What I did not realize, but learned quickly, were the benefits to the students who would volunteer during the sentencing hearings which  are supervised by those adult volunteers in a courtroom that commands discipline and respectful demeanor at all times. The value of providing young people the opportunity to become actively engaged in the resolution of a problem in their community while also introducing them to esteem developing activities and law related education is "priceless". Today we have several adult attorneys who we first met when they were minor offenders and one in particular who started a Teen Court in Nassau County, NY while attending law school at Hofsta Law School.  He is now a board member of ours, and presides at our local Teen Court often.  He is a mentor and role model to our participants. Teen Court provides delinquent children the chance to have their charge dismissed which means they can go on to law school, medical school, the armed forces, or other careers that would otherwise disqualify them due to a criminal charge. Today our services have expanded to include education classes that reduce substance abuse, bullying/fighting and other risky behaviors. We are told routinely by parents and, most importantly, the youth themselves, that Teen Court's services saved their life and brought their family back together. With an estimated savings to the court system and county of more than $2+ million annually the organization takes tremendous pride in the young people who seize the opportunity to complete the services and go on to become law abiding citizens. Sarasota's Teen Court, replicated into 57 other Florida counties, cited by the U.S. Dept. of Justice as a model intervention and prevention program, is truly a feather in the cap of the community and all the people and funders like Community Foundation of Sarasota and are the reason the organization can continue operating as a non-profit organization.
Description Camp X-R.A.Y.D. is collaboration between Teen Court,  County Medical Examiner, SMH ER, All Faiths Food Bank, and SPD. Camp X-RAYD was developed to work with youth exhibiting out of control behaviors, as well as those young people involved in using illegal substances. Instruction is conducted by LEO. Team building fitness goals encourage participants to exercise in their free time. Each participant has healthy lunch with All Faiths Food Bank.  SMH provides a tour of the ER where they see how decisions can cost them their health and their life. They are also given an opportunity to volunteer in SMH internship. The participants tour the Morgue, where they are exposed to the finality of poor choices/death.  Next Mindfulness has teens discover their inner strength, sound mind and body. Last a life skills piece stresses the importance of a firm handshake, eye contact, thank you letters, balancing a checkbook and filling out applications.
Budget $14,938
Category Human Services, General/Other Family-Based Services
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served At-Risk Populations Alcohol, Drug, Substance Abusers Adolescents Only (13-19 years)
Short Term Success
Families will be provided tools to improve communication about substance abuse and other challenges facing teenagers
90% of at-risk youth will test drug-free while enrolled in the program
85% of at-risk youth will not re-offend while enrolled in the program
Long Term Success
Substance abuse among teenagers will be reduced below 33%
Substance abuse in families will be impacted
Recidivism (reoffense)/crime rate among at-risk youth will be reduced
Families will improve communication within the family unit
Program Success Monitoring
1. A recidivism study is conducted annually.
This is accomplished by checking the in-take records on file at the Dept. of Juvenile Justice (DJJ).
2. Surveys are provided to all successful participants at the end of the 3 months of programs services. The results are overwhelmingly in support of the services.
Program Success Examples
The recidivism studies indicate that the re-offense rate has been reduced from 33% to 8.8%.  .
 This program has been proven to reduce substance abuse and reduce further juvenile crime among Sarasota County youth. Camp X-RAYD was developed to work with youth exhibiting out of control behaviors in their homes and community, as well as those young people involved in using illegal substances. Camp  X-R.A.Y.D’s experiential classes strive to inspire young people to accept responsibility for their choices, to learn the facts about substance abuse, and to understand that good choices=good outcomes.
Description A family-focused group addressing the issues of cyber safety (including sexting and bullying) and emotional response.


Sexting: Sexting occurs when cell phone users, often teens and "tweens", create and exchange provocative and nude, sexual images of themselves using their cell phone's built-in digital camera.
Bullying: Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance.
Emotional Response: The relationship between love and anger, and the behaviors and strategies that follow to get personal needs met.
The Risky Behaviors Program will allow discussion of the relationship among each of the above concerns as families are currently experiencing one or all of them, or may confront them in the future.
Budget $15,000
Category Human Services, General/Other Children & Youth Services
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years) People/Families with People of Developmental Disabilities Victims
Short Term Success
At-risk youth, through teaching them new ways to communicate, learn how to resolve the challenges they face without hitting, using drugs, or thinking that the only solution is suicide. 
Long Term Success
Teens learn how deal with challenges in ways other than fighting, bullying or other anti social tendencies, keeping them, their families, and those around them,safer.
The will learn coping skills and their emotional response will be appropriate.
By using more effective communication methods, the re-offense rate among this population will be reduced. 
Program Success Monitoring Teen Court of Sarasota, Inc does a recidivism study annually.  The recidivism rate in our 2017 study was 5%. 
Program Success Examples
Anecdotally, teens and families requested an increase in meeting and counseling sessions because they value and appreciate the help they are receiving. 
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Mrs. Heather Lee Todd
CEO Term Start Dec 2015
CEO/Executive Director Email executivedirector@sarasotateencourt.org

Heather Todd was the Client Coordinator for the Teen Court of Sarasota, Inc for 16 years before she became the Executive Director in December of 2016. Mrs. Todd graduated from Riverview High School in 1994 and successfully acquired a Bachelors of Social Work Degree from the University of South Florida. For her final internship her senior year of college she was the case manager at Teen Court. When she graduated from USF in 1999 she continued to work at Teen Court, and in 2002 received her Master of Social Work from USF. Heather Todd has served the organization in multiple roles including the Peer Circle Counselor, Camp X-RAYD Counselor, Case Manager, Client Coordinator, Program Coordinator, Grant Writer, LEO In-Service Training Coordinator, Teen Court/ School Liason. Heather Todd has also developed relationships with area Law Enforcement Agencies, students, parents, local leaders and area schools.

Former CEOs/Executive Directors
John Halcomb Jan - Dec 2015
Katie Self May 1989 - June 2015
Senior Staff
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 4
Part Time Staff 1
Staff Retention Rate % 100
Professional Development Yes
Contractors 5
Volunteers 200
Management Reports to Board Yes
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation No

12th Judicial Circuit Court Administration:  Provide courtrooms for sessions;
Sarasota County:  Provides our session space.

Sarasota County Sheriff - provides security at sessions
Sarasota Memorial Hospital:  Provide volunteer tours of the ER
Sarasota County Medical Examiners Office: Provide tour of morgue 
City of Sarasota Police Department- Camp X-RAYD instructors
Planned Parenthood: Comes to Peer Circle for their educational piece
ALSO: Comes to Peer Circle for their educational piece
SPARCC: Comes to Peer Circle for their educational piece
AIDS Network: Comes to Peer Circle for their educational piece 
All Faiths Food Bank- Healthy Lunch for Camp X-RAYD
Peace River k9 Search and Rescue- Peer Circle Speaker
Selah Freedom- Peer Circle Speaker
Boys and Girls Club- Peer Circle Speaker
External Assessments and Accreditations
Risk Management Provisions
Workers Compensation and Employers' Liability
Medical Health Insurance
Commercial General Liability and D and O and Umbrella or Excess and Automobile and Professional
Government Licenses
Organization Licensed by the Government No
Fundraising Plan Yes
Communication Plan Yes
Strategic Plan Yes
Strategic Plan Years 3
Strategic Plan Adopted June 2016
Management Succession Plan No
Continuity of Operations Plan No
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
Policies and Procedures No
Management Comments by Organization
Our By-Laws have been our guiding document for the 29 years the agency has been incorporated and are regularly reviewed. The Board performed an extensive revision in 2010.
Multi-Media Comments by Organization visit sarasotateencourt.org
Board Chair
Board Chair Ms. Mary Dougherty
Company Affiliation Executive Director
Board Term Oct 2017 to Sept 2018
Board Chair Email maryslapp@gcbx.org
Board Members
Board Members
Jesse R. Balaity Balaity Property Enhancement, Owner
Mike Bennett Manatee County Supervisor of Elections
Hagen Brody Attorney
Lee Byron Michael Saunders & Company-Agent/Broker
Stefan Campagna Attorney
John Colon Wells Fargo
Mary D. Dougherty Gulf Coast Builders Exchange
Evan Duke Classic Creations in Diamonds & Gold, Owner/CEO
Kent Hayes Tandem Construction
Emma J. Joels Attorney At Law
Kelvin Lumpkin Pastor
Katy McBrayer Atchley International Realty
Thomas A. Menchinger Thomas A. Menchinger, CPA, P.A.
Steve Panagiotakis General Manager
Nora Patterson Sarasota County Commissioner
Janey Swift School Teacher-Retired
Constituency Includes Client Representation No
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 13
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 1 biracial
Board Gender
Male 8
Female 6
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 1
Board Term Limits 99
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 10
Board Meeting Attendance % 67
Board Self-Evaluation Yes
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Board Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 100
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions 100
Standing Committees
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Board Governance
Governance Comments by Organization With the increasing need for funding, fundraising and "friend-raising" have become a more important role and the board has implemented a fundraising plan for this 2017.  We also have a new fundraiser in March 2017, that we hope to have as an annual event.   A strategic plan is in place and is reviewed on a regular basis.  By-Laws were last extensively revised in 2010 and are currently being reviewed and revised as appropriate. 
Current Year Projections
Tax Year Start Month Oct
Tax Year Start Day 01
Tax Year Begins 2017
Tax Year End Month Sept
Tax Year End Day 30
Tax Year Ends 2018
Projected Revenue $443,676.00
Projected Expenses $443,676.00
Total Projected Revenue includes "in-kind" contributions/ donations No
Organization has Endowment No
Endowment Spending Policy N/A
Capital Campaign
Currently In a Capital Campaign No
Anticipate Campaign within 5 years? No
Campaign Purpose
Campaign Goal
Amount Raised To Date 0 as of 0
Audit/Financial Documents
Financial Review
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201720162015
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$100,924$117,500$0
Individual Contributions$226,618$138,036$184,653
Investment Income, Net of Losses$71$61$49
Membership Dues$0$0$0
Special Events$20,509$37,606$26,690
Revenue In-Kind$43,600$43,600$38,800
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201720162015
Program Expense$262,856$224,175$355,198
Administration Expense$25,447$66,985$37,381
Fundraising Expense$31,523$84,683$31,246
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.150.961.00
Program Expense/Total Expenses82%60%84%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue9%29%15%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201720162015
Total Assets$474,418$428,913$451,435
Current Assets$326,763$261,337$258,057
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$2,327$4,153$10,483
Total Net Assets$472,091$424,760$440,952
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201720162015
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $226,619Contributions, gifts, grants $138,036Contributions, gifts, grants $184,653
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountGovernment Grants - Local $100,924Government Grants - Local $117,500County Ordinance Assessment $122,364
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountFundraising $20,509In-Kind Contributions $43,600In-Kind Contributions $38,800
CEO/Executive Director Compensation $75,001 - $100,000
Tax Credits No
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities140.4262.9324.62
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Organization
Our Board is encountering serious concerns that stem from the fact that our primary sustaining revenues generated through the local ordinance fee collection continue to decrease. These revenues, prior to the economic downturn, were covering the primary monthly operating expenses and administrative overhead with miscellaneous grants and donations covering other services like our scholarship awards for exemplary student volunteers, refreshments for families and students at the evening session which take place over the dinner hour with some children and parents not being able to eat until 7:30 pm. Office staff of 3 full time employees responsible for managing 300 at-risk youth referrals, organizing fund raising events, writing grants, coordinating substance abuse reduction (Camp X-RAYD) and anti-bullying classes (CO-OP), recruiting and training of 200 student volunteers.
Financial Comments by Foundation Foundations and corporations are included with individual contributions as they are not separated in the 990 or audit.  Financial figures taken from annual audits. Federal tax returns reconcile with audited financial statements.
Nonprofit Teen Court Of Sarasota Inc
Address 101 South Washington Blvd
Sarasota, FL 34230
Phone 941 861-8460