Thursday’s Children and the Law News Roundup

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Teen Court Gives Wayward Youth a Jury of their Peers, Spirit of Jefferson

Imagine making a poor decision that could change the course of your life. Now imagine having a second chance to correct your mistake and learning how to be a productive citizen.

The Jefferson County Teen Court program in partnership with the United Way of the Eastern Panhandle is a community-based intervention/prevention program designed to provide an alternative response for the juvenile justice system for first-time, nonviolent juvenile offenders by having a community young people determine the appropriate sanctions for the offender.

The program is a legally binding alternative system of justice that will hold youthful offenders accountable in an effort to promote long-term behavioral change that leads to enhanced public safety. The program is designed for youth in the 7th through 12th grades and between ages 11 and 18. Juvenile offenders are referred to teen court by the Jefferson County juvenile prosecuting attorney’s office. Both the juvenile offender and his parent must agree to the terms of Jefferson County Teen Court.

Judge:  Teen to Stand Trial as Juvenile in Murder Case, The Advocate

A Juvenile Court judge ruled Monday that a 15-year-old Baton Rouge boy charged with murder in a deadly home invasion last year should stand trial as a juvenile, denying a request by prosecutors that he be tried as an adult.

After two days of testimony, Judge Pamela Taylor Johnson found Darien Bailey has “borderline” intelligence and the mind of about a 10-year-old, though he was 14 when he was arrested in the Nov. 6 fatal shooting of Derrick Marioneaux.

Bailey has better chances of being rehabilitated through Office of Juvenile Justice services than if he were to become a “victim” among the older adult prison population, Johnson determined.

10 Places that can Change your Child’s Life, CNN

She’s looking over the boat’s edge to spot a dolphin and record its markings. He’s digging for medieval tools in the fields around an abandoned friary. Or they’re simply hearing their native language spoken a bit differently in a different country, where the food doesn’t quite taste the same.

Travel can introduce kids to the world’s real-life wonders, changing their perspective on topics they may have only read about in books.

It can literally change their lives.

“There is a kid’s way of seeing the world,” says Keith Bellows, editor-in-chief of National Geographic Traveler magazine and author of National Geographic’s “100 Places That Can Change Your Child’s Life.” “As an adult, get out of the way, and stop marching them through an experience. When you get them to slow down and experience a place from their perspective, it’s magic. Not just the place itself, but the experience.”

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