COLONIE – Youth Court held its graduation ceremony, Tuesday, Nov. 15 and three groups of students walked across the stage to receive their certificates.
Youth Court is a “voluntary alternative to the criminal justice system for young people who have committed a crime or an offense,” according to the Colonie Central High School website.
It works as an intervention for early anti-social and delinquent behavior without entering into the formal criminal justice system.
A youth who has admitted guilt to such things as larceny, vandalism or criminal mischief appears at a hearing and gets sentenced by a jury of his or her peers. Sentences generally include community service and counseling.
The participants include the offender, jurors and a jury foreperson and members in the roles of judge, prosecutor, defender, clerk and bailiff.
The program is in conjunction with the Colonie Police Department and a host of legal and law enforcement professionals contribute their expertise and guidance. It is directed by Violet Polombo and Makenzie Michel is the program assistant.
Students who graduated after a three-year continuing membership in Youth Court are: Payton Czupil, Lauren Dentinger, Unnas Hussain, Amulya Jakkani, Emily Kurtzner, Chloe Laven, Angela Lu, Peter MacAloney, Noah Massry, Alison O’Keefe, Julianna Pollicino, Jack Robilotto, Hailey St. Gelais, Caitlin Sweet and John Waterman.
The two other groups of students graduated from a one-year continuing participation in Youth Court and those from the 2016 training program.
Police Chief Jonathan Teale was the Master of Ceremonies for the graduation held at Colonie High School, with opening remarks by town Supervisor Paula Mahan. Brian Casey, a retired Colonie police officer, was the keynote speaker and closing remarks were made by Colonie Judge Peter Crummey.
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