By Martine Wolfe-Miller, Communications Officer
MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (June 2, 2016) - Mount Pleasant Council Member Elton Carrier and Mount Pleasant Police Chief Carl Ritchie recently recognized the latest pool of graduating seniors at Town Hall during the annual Mount Pleasant Youth Court Graduation Ceremony.
Graduating seniors included Kate Cornely, Brent Curtis, Thomas Sottile, Andrew Tezza, Jamie Wilson, Ryan Wingate and Hannah Pressler.
“We are extremely proud to present these young civic-minded individuals with a certificate of achievement,” said Councilman Carrier. “Most of our graduates have served the Youth Court for five years with honor and distinction. We are grateful for their participation in our juvenile justice system.”
“The Mount Pleasant Youth Court is a student-run court comprised of trained student volunteers who serve in the roles of judges, defense attorneys, prosecutors, clerks of court, and bailiffs,” said Sgt. William Mauldin. “They serve an important role in our court system.”
The student volunteers, who are 14 to 18 years of age, receive initial training from members of the S.C. Bar Association, and they must pass an examination prior to becoming a staff member. Youth Court staff members must attend annual in-service training and pass an annual examination to continue their service with the Youth Court.
“As our graduating seniors move on to college and other pursuits, we continue to search for new staff members and will accept applications during the spring semester,” said Mount Pleasant Youth Court Administrator and Youth Programs Specialist Tia Egnor.
All matters handled by the Mount Pleasant Youth Court are confidential in nature and are closed to the public. All Youth Court staff members sign an oath of confidentiality and are bound by state law to keep all court matters confidential.
The Mount Pleasant Youth Court is a voluntary diversion program that serves as an alternative to the traditional juvenile justice system. First time juvenile offenders (under the age of 17) of non-violent misdemeanor crimes (e.g., petit larceny, shoplifting, vandalism and disturbing schools) may have their cases heard in the Youth Court.
Juvenile offenders participating in this program have the opportunity to have their cases heard by their peers. It is believed that this process has a more immediate and meaningful impact on the young person, thus reducing chances that the juvenile will reoffend.
For more information, visit us online at www.tompsc.com, contact Sgt. William Mauldin at firstname.lastname@example.org or (843) 881-8242, or contact Youth Programs Specialist Tia Egnor at email@example.com or (843) 849-2838, ext. 26664.