Teen Court’s plans to remodel a room into a courtroom will become a reality thanks to a $14,500 donation from the Arvest Foundation.
The gift was announced Tuesday at a board meeting. Angela Spradlin and Jayne Mattice were on hand to donate the funds on behalf of the Arvest Foundation.
The funds will allow Teen Court to run full legal proceedings for juvenile offenders from its own building instead of having to wait for the county courthouse to be available. Cases will happen weekly.
“I was completely speechless. I was in awe of the fact that the Arvest Foundation would even consider donating the full amount,” Teen Court executive director Marcia Frazier said. “Since March, we’ve been unable to get into the county courthouse due to COVID-19. We started running cases in July in our classroom, but it didn’t have the same impact as having to take the stand in front of a judge and some peers. This will look more professional and make a better impact.”
Frazier said the new courtroom will allow Teen Court to return to its pre-pandemic number of cases of around 125 per year. That number will fall to about 75 in 2020.
“Teen Court provides an invaluable service to our community, and its positive impact is something we are proud that the Arvest Foundation chose to support,” David Madigan, President and CEO of Arvest Bank Southwest Oklahoma, said. “Teen Court’s mission to help prevent delinquency by teaching our children what that road may lead toward is important to building a better future for our community.”