Truancy Diversion Program (TDP) volunteers who commit to a school-year of weekly truancy diversion court sessions on a CCSD campus will be recognized on Monday, June 29 at noon lunch to be held at Ainsworth Game Technology, 6975 S. Decatur Blvd., Suite 140. Each of the volunteers will be given an award for making a difference in the lives of our young people. Guest speakers will touch on truancy trends seen in Clark County and discuss future plans for the program that is slated to expand next year.
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 Clark County School District CCSD.
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 volunteering approximately three hours each week to and hold truancy court sessions at schools where they meeting 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 70 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 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.
“I want to acknowledge and thank the Truancy Diversion volunteers for being part of the solution to the significant problem of truancy in our schools. By addressing these issues before they compound, we are helping struggling students to be successful in their educations so they can graduate and have the chance at college or a career,” said Judge Elliott.
“The Truancy Diversion volunteers, along with Judge Elliott and her team, have accomplished much to fill some of the gaps to get students struggling with attendance on track and in school,” said Presiding Family Court Judge Charles Hoskin. “Their efforts are making a difference in the lives of young people and improving their chances for success.”
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.