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eighthjdcourt

Info about the Eighth Judicial District Court.

Tag Archives: Kids

It’s hard to get and keep the attention of a class of fourth graders. Judge Tierra Jones and Judge Eric Johnson kept the attention of two fourth grade classes from Grant M. Bowler Elementary School in Logandale, NV and taught them some valuable lessons on the justice system when they put on a mock trial in District Court. The mini legal eagles got into their roles as judges, jurors, attorneys, witnesses and marshals in a trial to determine if legendary wizard Harry Potter was guilty of the misuse of magic. After hearing the testimony with built in hints on how courts work, the fourth grader found Potter not-guilty. The students peered into the holding cell which gave them a stark view of what happens to those who get caught in the justice system.

Two more classes from Grant M. Bowler will visit the court on Friday, Nov. 16 from 9:30 a.m. to noon.  Judge Kerry Earley in courtroom 12D  and Judge Adrianna Escobar will host the mock trials.

The mock trials are a cooperative effort between the Nevada Eighth Judicial District Court, nonprofit agency Project REAL and the school. In preparation for the student mock trials, Project REAL provides teachers lessons to convey the roles and processes of a criminal trial. The students get an immersive, real-world learning experience, with the benefit of Project Real classroom lessons to set the stage for better understanding. The students embark on their journey through the justice system with the legal terms and other information provided in the classroom sessions.

District Court Judge Doug Herndon envisioned the mock trial program. He wrote the script involving Harry Potter to provide a fun and interesting method for young students to learn about the justice system. The activities promote the importance of education, highlight potential legal careers and demonstrate the outcome of bad choices.

Project REAL, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, was founded in 2005 by Sam Lionel and Irwin Molasky to meet the challenge of teaching K-12th grade Nevada students the importance of the law. They have taught over 160,000 Nevada students about the importance of the law with the goal of preparing them to be informed, law-abiding and participating citizens through their programs Your Day in Court, Play By the Rules, REAL Drama, and Independence & You. For more information from Project REAL, please contact Program Director Mike Kamer at mkamer@projectrealnv.org, call 702.703.6529, or visit http://projectrealnv.org.

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Seventeen new CASA volunteers have opened their hearts to children who have endured abuse and neglect. The volunteers took an oath to speak on behalf of  kids. The volunteers, including a tax specialist, teacher, chiropractor, hairdresser and former foster parent will serve as a voice for the young children whose parents are working through addiction and other issues. Three CASA volunteers were also recognized for their volunteer work to help children.

There is a big need for CASA volunteers in Clark County to speak up for the approximately 3,200 children in the community, who are receiving services under supervision of Family Court. Those who want to help abused and neglected children are invited to one of the upcoming CASA orientations, which are held the third Wednesday of each month at 6 p.m. at the Government Center, 500 S. Grand Central Pkwy. More information is available about the program at 702-455-4306, visit www.casalasvegas.org or Facebook at www.facebook.com/#!/CASALasVegas. The next CASA orientation will be held on May 16 at 6 p.m. at the Government Center, 500 S. Grand Central  Pkwy.

There are around 350 CASA volunteers serving as a voice for children under the supervision of the Family Court CASA Program. However, many more volunteers are needed to advocate for the remainder of the children in care. Last year, nearly one thousand children had a CASA volunteer to help them navigate through the system, deal with school challenges and handle home life.

The CASA program recruits, screens, trains and supports volunteers to represent the best interests of hundreds of foster children annually. The advocates represent the children in school, family team meetings, and in court. Volunteering for the program involves a two-year commitment and a willingness to spend quality time with the children to advocate for them.

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Judge Jennifer Elliot has been presiding over the dependency mothers’ drug court since 2008. It is a program that has helped to get many mothers away from the clutches of addiction and into the arms of their children. This week, three more moms graduated from the program.  That’s a handful of kids who won’t have to be in foster care; who won’t have to wonder where mom is; and who will have someone who loves them and deeply cares for them.

In front of others going through the program, Judge Elliot asked each of the graduates how they felt upon graduation. She said, “Nobody knows what the journey is going to look like when they start out, and I want others to hear how to be successful at it.” The moms graduating lit up when given the opportunity to share how they felt. One mom said, “I’m very, very happy where I am and how far I’ve come.  It’s amazing being able to be with my son, sober; to watch him grow and remember that.” Judge Elliot told each of the graduates that she was very proud of them. She also offered a word of advice to a father with one of the graduating moms, who has his own struggles. She said, “Setback doesn’t mean failure, it just means you just have to keep on keeping on.”

Judge Elliot is turning over the administration of the dependency mothers’ drug court to Judge Frank Sullivan who handles abuse and neglect cases. She told those in court that Judge Sullivan would ensure that the program would continue to be successful. Judge Sullivan responded, “No one can replace Judge Elliot.” Program participants gave Judge Elliot a giant farewell card. The judge who launched the specialty court aimed at helping moms with addiction won’t be managing the day-to-day of the program, but the legacy of what she accomplished since 2008 will carry on for generations.

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