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eighthjdcourt

Info about the Eighth Judicial District Court.

Category Archives: truancy prevention

The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) School-Justice Partnership Summit will be held on Sept.15 from 8 a. m. to 3 p.m. at Family Court Campus/Child Haven, 701 North Pecos, Las Vegas, Red Rock Training Room – 701 Building K2. The focus of the Summit will be developing effective methods to reduce school truancy and juvenile delinquency rates in Clark County.  Effective programming for schools, school/police diversion programs, positive school climate, restorative practices, early warning systems, trauma informed classrooms and judicially led school justice partnerships will be the priorities of the day.

Truancy and school dropout are viewed as a gateway to crime and a lifetime of challenges. The Clark County  School District is the fifth largest school district in the U.S., serving more than 300,000 students at 358 schools. The district reports alarmingly high dropout and teen pregnancy rates. “Everyday we see teens in court who started out skipping school and progressively go down the path to serious crime,” said Juvenile Court Judge William Voy. “This summit is a way to discuss best-practices that work to address the growing crisis of pathways to criminal activity with our community youth.”

Those who have been working this issue in the trenches will share their knowledge including: Judge Steven Teske, Clayton County, Georgia will present proven strategies used in Georgia to reduce truancy rates and the impact on referrals to the juvenile justice system including: Kevin Bethel, Retired Deputy Police Commissioner, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, currently of Center for Children’s Law and Policy; Theresa Bohannan, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and Kori Hamilton, Educational Specialist, National School Climate Center.

A panel discussion of Las Vegas leaders will discuss the efforts of community agencies to reduce truancy rates and juvenile court referrals with community leaders including: District Court Judge William Voy; Assemblyman Tyrone Thompson; Dr. Tammy Malich, Asst. Superintendent CCSD; Clark County Commissioner Marilyn Kirkpatrick and Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani.

The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges is the nation’s oldest judicial membership organization and focused on improving the effectiveness of our nation’s juvenile and family courts. A leader in continuing education opportunities, research, and policy development in the field of juvenile and family justice, the 2,000-member organization is unique in providing practice-based resources to jurisdictions and communities nationwide.

 

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Huge sparkling diamonds and words of praise were given to Truancy Diversion Program (TDP) volunteers who visit schools and motivate kids to get in the classroom, on track to graduate and on the path to success in life.  The diamonds weren’t real, they were awards, but they conveyed the immense appreciation for the volunteers; many of whom got up and expressed tremendous pride for the program that is changing young lives for the better.

The volunteers, who are judges, attorneys, mental health professionals and law enforcement officers, spend approximately three hours each week to hold truancy court at schools, where they meet individually with students and their parents. They get to the heart of why the students are struggling and clear a path to help them get to school and make the grade. The volunteers know they are making a difference through motivation; they know they are getting through to the kids on the importance of their education.

Volunteers review the students’ attendance, school work, and progress to ensure that students have the resources they need to be successful. The TDP judges promote and support academic achievement using a team effort and an individual student success plan. Since 2007, the TDP has expanded from six to 80 schools including elementary, middle schools and high schools. The goal of the Eighth Judicial District Court Family Division is to continue to expand until all Clark County schools have a TDP program.

The TDP was established by Judge Gerald Hardcastle in 2002. Since 2007, the program has been overseen by District Court Judge Jennifer Elliott in collaboration with the Clark County School District. Those without a high school diploma face higher prospects of unemployment and the associated negative consequences. This collaborative effort between the CCSD has been structured to prevent and reduce youth crime, re-engage students in learning, and ultimately, reduce potential costs to our welfare and justice systems. It is a non-punitive, incentive-based approach to at-risk school students with truancy problems. A team (judge, family advocate, school personnel) works with the students and their families.

Licensed attorneys, mental health professionals or law enforcement officers interested in volunteering as a TDP judge can call 702-455-1755.

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