Oswego County Public Information Office, 46 East Bridge St., Oswego, NY 13126

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March 25, 2005

Youth Court Announces Spring Training Class

Oswego County Youth Court will hold a training session for high school students from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. April 18 through 22 at the McCrobie Building on Lake Street, Oswego.

The diversion program is aimed at reducing juvenile delinquency in Oswego County. Youth court members are high school students from throughout Oswego County who have been trained to serve as judges, defense attorneys, prosecuting attorneys, and court clerks.

Youth charged with a violation or misdemeanor are referred by local law enforcement officers to the Youth Court division. Student members conduct hearings and decide on the outcome and punishment for each case.

To demonstrate its support for the program, the Oswego County Bar Association recently donated $350 to Oswego County Youth Court. The funds will be used for program materials and supplies.

“The Bar Association is pleased to help support this worthy program,” said Thomas Benedetto, second vice president of the bar association and a member of the Youth Court advisory board. “Youth Court provides a wonderful opportunity for student-members to learn about our juvenile and criminal justice systems, and whether they might wish to explore a career in law. The students work very hard to become trained and put in many hours of their own time to participate. Their dedication and enthusiasm is inspiring, and the Bar Association applauds their hard work.”

Benedetto said the youth court student members perform a valuable community service while learning important skills. “Equally as important, and perhaps without realizing it,” he said, “the students gain experience in advocacy, negotiations, and public speaking. These are very valuable skills which will undoubtedly serve them well in all of their endeavors.”

High school students who are interested in becoming Youth Court members should contact the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau for an application, weekdays, phone 349-3451 or 1-800-596-3200, ext. 3451.

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