Youth Mock Trials

The Safe & Sound Hillsborough Youth Mock Trials Program is designed to promote education and awareness of gun violence and exposure to the judicial process to middle and high school youth.

Fun & Educational





Safe & Sound Hillsborough
Youth Mock Trials

The Safe & Sound Hillsborough’s Youth & Gun Violence Committee lead by Dr. Kathleen Heide, USF Criminology Professor, coordinates youth mock trials designed to promote education and awareness of gun violence and give middle and high school youth exposure to the judicial process. 

Students take on a realistic court case involving gun violence and play in the roles of the defendant, attorneys, judge, court clerk, bailiff, jury, and witnesses. Utilizing a trauma-informed approach, a scenario unfolds about the consequences of being involved in a gun crime, both directly and indirectly.

Youth are given the opportunity to take a tour of the courthouse, including the holding cells to give them the full experience of a trial.

Youth participate in an anonymous survey regarding gun violence, the so-called “no-snitch culture,” and their opinions regarding safety in their schools and communities.

Trauma Informed Care Measures

Due to the sensitive nature of the case being discussed, Safe & Sound Hillsborough has partnered with the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay to have two to three counselors on hand, with identifying wrist bands. At the beginning of the event, it is explained to all participants that should he/shee feel the need to excuse themselves, or desire to talk to someone that the representatives are there to assist them in a private room away from the mock trial. This is to ensure program continuity as well as sty true to the Public Health/Trauma Informed Approach.

Interested in your class or youth group participating in a mock trial? Contact us at 813.327.8217 or

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