Hi. I’m Marla. Gimme a Minute. No really, I’m only going to take a minute. I want to talk to you about teen court.
Teen Court is a collaborative program between Northwest Youth Services and Whatcom County Superior Courts. Teen court utilizes civic minded high school kids who learn about the justice system. Second time youth offenders, kids from all over Whatcom county, appear in a courtroom of their peers, instead of the jamming up the county court system.
The program currently saves the county (that’s you taxpayers) between $500 and $3000 per case. Recidivism is low. That means kids who have done bad things don’t do them again. The results are documented.
I know everyone is cutting costs where they can. That’s smart. Really Smart. What’s not smart is the county pulling its financial support for this program. Because recidivism is low, the county money deciders, in their infinite wisdom, determined the program is no longer essential, They pulled its funding, which accounted for about a third of the teen court budget.
Listen up McFly. If the program goes away, the results are guaranteed to be negative.
Always the question…pay a little bit now for prevention services, or it will cost a lot more to deal with the repercussions.
You might ask, who will pay when the county doesn’t? You will, the taxpayers.
But here’s how you, the taxpayer, can practice prevention. Make a small donation, 10 bucks, directly to teen court at Northwest Youth Services. Then, you take the tax DEDUCTION!! Everybody wins….well, not the county money deciders. Ha.
I’m Marla. Thanks for listening. See ya!