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B'ville: Youth Court seeks volunteers

If learning about the law piques your interest, then Youth Court is for you.

Students in eighth through 12th grades interested in defending, prosecuting or serving as judge in cases against young people (from 7 to 15 years old) in trouble with the law are encouraged to sign up for Youth Court training held from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday May 1. The course will train participants in the workings of both the juvenile and criminal justice systems, helping participants to determine appropriate sentences and other responsibilities.

Youth Court has operated in the greater Baldwinsville community since 1993. It is a program that holds young offenders accountable for their actions and serves as an alternative to Family Court. With the permission of a parent or a guardian, a young person in trouble can elect to go before Youth Court, where they will be defended, prosecuted and sentenced by their peers. Youth Court is held at the town of Van Buren Justice Court on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month.

The May 1 course will be held at the Public Safety Building, 511 South State St. in Syracuse. Pizza and beverages will be provided for lunch and training will be completed at actual Youth Court sessions in the months that follow.

"This is an opportunity to serve your community and make a difference," said Ed Van Der Water, Van Buren Town Justice and chairman of the Northwest Regional Youth Court Steering Committee.

Service in Youth Court has qualified for participation in government credit in the past. For more information, call Judge Van Der Water at 635-3523.

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