Blue Diamond awards were presented to Truancy Diversion Program volunteer judges at a recognition event for those who are helping to keep Clark County students in school and on track to graduate. The volunteers work with the students weekly to help them transition from diamonds in the rough to brilliant young graduates.
Clark County reported over 240,000 truant children for school-year 2014-2015. Those without a high school diploma face higher prospects of unemployment and the associated negative consequences. This collaborative effort between the Clark County School District 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.
The TDP was established by Judge Gerald Hardcastle in 2002. Since 2007, the program has been overseen by District Court Judge Jennifer Elliott in collaboration with the CCSD. Judges, attorneys, mental health professionals and law enforcement officers volunteer approximately three hours each week to and hold truancy court sessions at schools, where they meet individually with students and their parents. They review the students’ attendance, school work, and progress to ensure that students have the resources they need to be successful. The TDP judges promote and support academic achievement using a team effort and an individual student success plan. Since 2007, the TDP has expanded from six to 80 schools including elementary, middle schools and high schools. The goal of the Eighth Judicial District Court Family Division is to continue to expand until all Clark County schools have a TDP program.
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.The Family Court youth programs are a great example of how the Eighth Judicial District Court is using alternative, efficient methods to address crime and ensure justice. District Court continuously works to develop innovative ideas, improve efficiencies, address issues and improve access to justice.