The Kiwanis Club of Santa Barbara will host a luncheon on Sept. 18 celebrating National Youth Court Month at the Mesa Café in Santa Barbara.
This special event is intended to recognize the effort of Superior Court judges, volunteers, law enforcement and attorneys who preside on the Teen Court bench.
The Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Teen Court is an innovative approach to juvenile justice, an early intervention program for first-time offenders that diverts teen clients out of the traditional juvenile system. Defendants avoid a criminal record while still being held accountable for their actions.
All functions of Teen Court are carried out by teens, and sentences include jury duty, community service, counseling and educational classes. Eighty-five percent of teens who graduate from Teen Court do not reoffend.
Superior Court Judge Thomas Adams introduced Teen Court to Santa Barbara in 1992.
“Teen Court puts an end to the ‘revolving door’ and empowers our young people to take responsibility for their actions and the actions for their peers,” he said.
Although we recognize the adults that will be present at this luncheon, the program changes lives by empowering youth through the experience of justice.
It is the mission of Kiwanis to change the world, one child and one community at a time. This luncheon is one of many ways Kiwanis shows support for the collaborative effort of the community to reduce youth violence and promote positive youth leadership.
— Eduardo Cué represents the Kiwanis Club of Santa Barbara.