YLHS Peer Court

One of the many logos that promotes teens' involvement in courtrooms.

volunteersoftheyouth.org

One of the many logos that promotes teens' involvement in courtrooms.

Aroosa Malik, Photojorunalist

Wait, what’s Peer Court? Is it a club? How can I join?

 

Peer Court is one of the many clubs that have newly emerged at the center of YLHS. This club gives students an opportunity to see the hearing and sentencing of a juvenile that has committed a misdemeanor. As a youth juror, students will be exposed to the roles of the judicial process, such as the defendant, judge, and attorney. Not only does this club educate students about jury duty, but it also gives students an insight on careers related to the judicial system.

 

Corina Deiters (11), the club’s President, was inspired to create Peer Court because she seeks a future in the courtroom. She believes that “this club will help educate the youth about civic duty.” Other officers include Clara Duong (11) as CO-VP 1, Aroosa Malik (11) as CO-VP 2, Cynthia Cerna (12) as Secretary, and Kendra Williams (11) as Publicists/Treasurer.  Clara Duong (11) “wants students to participate in these case hearings [because] it will educate them about criminal judicial laws and also discourage any similar misconducts.” The officers of Peer Court expect to “reduce juvenile crime by keeping first-time offenders from committing future crimes and deterring non-offenders from criminal conduct” (countycourts.com).

 

Because it is the club’s first year, Peer Court has a harder time recruiting, as many students are already deeply involved in other activities. However, Peer Court has an incentive for joining: every case you attend, you earn community service hours. This is quite the encouragement, as it can help students meet the 40-hour requirement for graduation.

 

All in all, youth courts in California have been growing at a phenomenal rate over the last 15 years. In 1991, with only two youth courts in California, there are now over 80 in California and over 1,400 nationwide (courts.ca.gov.) It’s no wonder YLHS has followed suit. Therefore, students should seize this opportunity to grow as a citizen, as well as to contribute to society.

 

The first case will be held in the Library during November! Please follow YLHS Peer Court on Twitter and Instagram for further updates.