Best pro bono work ever! That’s how attorney Kristin Brewer describer serving as a volunteer judge in the Truancy Diversion Program (TDP). At a recent luncheon, Brewer and other volunteers were given awards and honored for making a difference in the lives of young people. The program is in 70 elementary, middle and high schools and recently received a grant that will enable expanding to other schools.

Clark County reported nearly 120,000 truant children for school-year 2013-2014.Those without a high school diploma, face higher prospects of unemployment and the associated negative consequences. This collaborative effort between the CCSD has been structured to prevent and reduce youth crime, re-engage students in learning, and ultimately, reduce potential costs to our welfare and justice systems. It is a non-punitive, incentive-based approach to at-risk school students with truancy problems. A team (judge, family advocate, school personnel) works with the students and their families.

Judges, attorneys and other qualified applicants are needed to volunteer approximately three hours each week to hold truancy court sessions at schools and meet individually with students and their parents; review the students’ attendance, school work, and progress to ensure that students have the resources they need to be successful.

The goal of the Eighth Judicial District Court Family Division is to continue to expand until all 358 Clark County schools have a TDP program. In 2014, the TDP was one of four programs in the nation to receive a $600,000 grant from the Department of Justice designed to keep kids in school and out of court.

If you are a licensed attorney, mental health professional or law enforcement officer and are interested in volunteering as a TDP judge for this Specialty Court program please contact DeDe Parker at: 702-321-2410.