Sat, Feb

Volunteers critical for juvenile justice system

Camp Verde News

In what’s usually a jury orientation room at the Yavapai County Superior Courthouse in Camp Verde, the latest crop of volunteers was recognized for their commitment to the juvenile justice system.

Scott Mabery, right, the director of Juvenile Court Services for Yavapai County, talks April 5 about changes in juvenile justice over the last 30 years and the challenges facing offenders as they move through the system. Approximately 20 Verde Valley adults graduated that evening from a 10-week Juvenile Court Institute meant to demystify the court proceedings and to attract mentors for delinquent children and teens.The few dozen volunteers were recognized April 5 for completing a 10-week course to learn the ins and outs of how youthful offenders are dealt with in Yavapai County.

“The [10-week course] is meant to help demystify the system,” said Gay Lockling, deputy director of Yavapai County Juvenile Court Services. “They stuck with it.”

The volunteers will serve as mentors of a sort to help children facing punishment, Lockling said, doing their best to help the kids find options other than drugs or alcohol and get back into school.

The course exposed the volunteers to nearly every facet of the juvenile justice system, both in the courts and in the detention facility for juveniles in Prescott.

For the full story, see the Wednesday, April 18, edition of The Camp Verde Journal or the Cottonwood Journal Extra.