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Tuesday, February 19 , 2019, 8:27 pm | Fair 44º


Celebrating National Youth Court Month

In celebration of National Youth Court and Recovery Month, the Kiwanis Club of Santa Barbara will host a luncheon from noon-1:30 p.m. Wednesday at Mesa Café, 1972 Cliff Dr., Santa Barbara.

The event is intended to recognize the effort of Superior Court judges, volunteers, law enforcement and attorneys who preside on the Teen Court bench. Kiwanis will recognize the adult volunteers present at the luncheon.

Teen Court, a program of the Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, provides an innovative approach to juvenile justice. It aims to afford early intervention for first-time offenders by diverting teen clients out of the traditional juvenile system.

Superior Court Judge Thomas Adams introduced Teen Court to Santa Barbara in 1992, saying: “Teen Court puts an end to the ‘revolving door’ and empowers our young people to take responsibility for their actions and the actions of their peers.”

Teen Court is recognized as one of the leading Restorative Justice Youth Courts in the United States. It is one of the few teen courts that addresses the social issue of underage substance use.

Eighty-five percent of teens who graduate from Teen Court do not re-offend.

Teen Court changes lives by empowering youth through the experience of justice. With 24 years of service in this community, the Santa Barbara Teen Court is one of the oldest active youth-led diversion court programs in California.

It is the mission of Kiwanis to change the world, one child and one community at a time. This luncheon is among the ways Kiwanis shows support for the collaborative efforts of the community to reduce underage substance use and promote positive youth leadership.

Eduardo Cué is president of the Kiwanis Club of Santa Barbara.

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