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White Plains to Honor Youth Court Graduates

From the City of White Plains:

The White Plains Youth Bureau in cooperation with the White Plains Cares Coalition will be hosting a graduation and mock trial honoring thirteen youth for their completion of an 8-week training.

The ceremony will take place on Thursday January 23, 2014 at 5:30pm in the lobby of the White Plains Department of Public Safety located at 77 South Lexington Avenue. The honorees will be showcasing their talents and expertise as Youth Court Professionals during the graduation ceremony at a mock trial event to take place prior to the graduation.

Each graduating member has served on an actual juvenile diversion court case in various roles as part of their training experience. The training to become a youth court member involves 6-8 weeks of instructional and hands-on preparation. The training is administered by program staff, City and County Court Justices, local law enforcement and legal professionals.

 “The experience provided by this Youth Court will have a positive and long-term impact on the teens who participate because it will give them an opportunity to see firsthand all aspects of our legal system. Participation requires commitment and dedication. It makes me especially proud to see these young people graduate, for they are great examples of those characteristics, and this (More) Youth Court is a great example of the kind of positive opportunities we try to provide for youth here in White Plains,” said Mayor Roach.

 Within the Court’s two years of existence, 100 percent of all the youth that were trained to handle youth court cases passed their final youth court bar exam, graduated from the program and have remained in service through 2014.
The program has also partnered with over 20 city and county-based agencies and professionals including City Court Judge Jo Ann Friia, City Court Judge Barbara Leak, County Family Court Justice Kathie E. Davidson, the White Plains Police Department, the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office, the Westchester County Attorney’s Office, the Westchester County Department of Probation, Pace Law School, and Berkeley College.

 The goal of the Youth Court is to promote positive peer leadership and youth development amongst teens 13-18 years old. The Court’s youth members recommend community service projects for juvenile delinquency cases referred to the program by the Westchester County Department of Probation. 

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