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Courtroom to Schoolroom Programs

Courtroom to Schoolroom Report CardMay 2000

Classroom Speaker Program

Upon request, judicial officers go into schools to accurately educate youth about the judicial system and to give them positive impressions of the justice system and the judiciary. Four classroom presentations designed to achieve these goals and meet the needs of students were developed:

  1. The Courts as the Third Branch of Government and the Importance of Jury Service
  2. Common Issues for Youthful Drivers, Traffic Laws and Penalties
  3. Juvenile Law and You
  4. Family Law and You.

A pamphlet which details these presentations is available for teachers and administrators. A booklet entitled, The Courts as the Third Branch of Government is available for teachers who might wish to prepare their students for that presentation. Judicial officers are also available to participate in Career Days as requested, where similar subjects and materials are discussed. Anyone wishing to schedule a speaker can do so by contacting (209)468-2848.

Courthouse Tour Program

With a desire to increase the number of field trips to the courthouse, the court provides a more formal program called Courthouse Tours. Each tour includes a presentation to the students by a Judge and courtroom staff. Attorneys in the District Attorney's Office and from the defense bar may be available for some tours to provide information to the students. Students learn the roles of the judge, attorneys, clerk, bailiff, and court reporter. In addition to providing students basic information about the justice system, it is hoped that students will be exposed to career opportunities many of them had not considered before.

The County of Office Education has indicated that their science camp buses are available for transportation on days when those buses are not in use. Anyone wishing to schedule a tour can do so by contacting (209)468-2848.

Youth Leadership Academy

This five week summer program is for high school students. The program provides the students with career mentoring and insight into the justice system. Participating students may earn two units of general education college credit through San Joaquin Delta Community College.

For more information, please contact:
(209)468-2848

First Impressions

Modeled after the Los Angeles Municipal Court's award winning program of the same name, efforts are focused primarily on students who are from neighborhoods in Stockton where negative impressions about the justice system are often developed early in life. The goals are to give these students access to a quality orientation about the justice system, to develop positive impressions about that system, and provide them with an understanding of nonviolent dispute resolution.

A team consisting of a judge, prosecutor and defense attorney are assigned to each participating 5th grade class. The team teaches one class session per week for five to seven weeks. These class sessions involve age and grade level appropriate lessons designed to provide the students with basic understanding about the three branches of government, their rights under the Fifth and Sixth Amendments, and the workings of the justice system. The highlight of the program is a mock trial done by each class in a courtroom at the Superior Court. The trial involves the trial of the Big Bad Wolf for the "hamicide" of two of the three Pig Brothers. After their mock trial, the students are treated to refreshments and provided with a certificate of appreciation signed by the justice system team.

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