Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Monday, November 13, 2017

Youth Court Updates

Bellevue Youth Court - "The student respondents are successfully completing well beyond the average 10-hour community service hours required.  Most are completing 50-60 hours on their own and coming out stronger than when they came in" - Bellevue Youth Court Volunteer

Bothell Youth Court - "We are working on grants and fundraising in hopes of being able to hire a coordinator.  We will need additional staffing if we expand to hear other types of cases outside of traffic" - Bothell Youth Court Volunteer

Cheney Youth Court - "Two years ago we came to the WSAYC Annual Conference and saw a demonstration of a youth court circle and other models. Out of that came many ideas for our own youth court.  We are also utilizing several local attorneys to help with training including questioning skills.  Because of our attending the Conference we have been able to improve our own youth court and make many connections across the State" - Commissioner Terri Cooper - Cheney Youth Court

Seattle Youth Traffic Court - "The Seattle Youth Traffic Court was an after-school program coordinated at the school by a teacher adviser. Last year, he decided that the youth court could attract more students and have access to announcements over the intercom if it were a club. He moved to establish it formally as a club at Garfield High School open to all and that has happened this year" - Jennet Mikitie, WSAYC Student Vice-President


Adult Vice-President Courtney Bell recognizes out-going
Student President Kira Bloomenthal!

Thank you, Kira, for your dedication to the Association.

Job Well Done!

WSAYC Annual Conference 2017

Some highlights from the 2017 Conference featuring Rebecca Bradlow from the King Co. Public Defenders Office; Stevens, Ferry, Pend Oreille Superior Court Juge Reeves ; Tacoma Municipal Court Judge Drew Henke; and Attorneys Josie Wiggs-Martin and Andrea Jarmon.


Jennet Mitikie

New Statewide Student Vice-President
From Seattle Youth Traffic Court

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

2017 WASHINGTON STATE YOUTH COURT CONFERENCE Saturday, November 11, 2017, 9:30AM—3:30PM Seattle University School of Law

The  Washington State Administrative Office of the Courts and the Washington State Association of Youth Courts invite you to attend the 2017 Fall Washington State Youth Court Conference, held at Seattle University School of Law.

This year’s conference brings youth courts together from across the state to strengthen existing youth courts, launch the start of new youth courts and educate youth about  issues that face young people in society.

Activities begin at 9:30 AM with registration and check in.


Call Margaret Fisher (AOC)

There is no registration fee for the program and lunch is provided. 

Monday, May 22, 2017


Introduced by Sen. Jeralita "Jeri" Costa (D) on January 31, 2001 Senate Bill 5692 was a directive to assist entities to create youth courts that have jurisdiction over certain offenses alleged to have been committed by juveniles between the ages of eight and seventeen. The bill outlines the conditions under which juveniles may participate in youth court. The Office of the Administrator for the Courts and the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction must encourage the courts and school districts, respectively, to work with cities, counties, and students to expand and implement youth courts.

As today's youth court students lobby to make changes to the bill I can't help but remember the many trips to Olympia with my youth court students who lobbied for the passage of the bill. Jennifer Gibson Hoople, Ann Jensen, Johannes Anderson were among the student leader's who were on a first name basis with many senators and representatives in Olympia by the time the bill was signed by then Governor Gary Locke on March 28, 2002.

Among my prized youth court possessions is the pen used by Governor Locke to sign the bill on that date.

Susan Gregory
Washington State Association of Youth Courts

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

WJF Newletter April, 2017

The Youth Court Road Show

By Margaret E. Fisher

Suddenly all these young people were wearing the same Youth Court Road Show t-shirt, highlighting the theme of this year’s statewide Youth Court Association Conference on November 12, 2016. Student president Kira Bloomenthal opened the conference and set the tone for an interactive session. With the gracious funding from the Washington Judges Foundation, the annual conference was attended by 75 adults and young people. 

On the Road with Cheney Firefighter Tim Steiner highlighted what happens to people in car crashes. He recruited a youth from the audience to demonstrate the neck brace, various breathing tubes, splints, and transport.

Washington State Association of Youth Courts Vice President elected Courtney Bell, Vice-President Terri Cooper and Kira Bloomenthal explored the Road to Legislation. The overall purpose was to launch legislative action to change existing RCWs governing youth courts, to expand coverage of what cases youth courts can hear. On February 20, 2017, this group met with legislators to draft a bill and move the legislative agenda forward. “Passport to Youth Courts” was one of the most popular activities. Each of the youth courts represented at the conference had created a poster with their logo, jurisdiction, court model, history and other information. Young persons visited each poster and learned about fellow youth courts, earning them a passport visa on their youth court passport.

Lake Forest Park Police Officer James Carswell along with his K-9 Hector demonstrated search techniques. It’s always hard to compete for popularity when there is an animal involved!  Following this, Bothell Youth Court demonstrated the use of expert witnesses in their youth court hearings. The Seattle Youth Traffic Court has followed Bothell’s lead and now has two Seattle police officers to testify in their traffic cases.

Former Superintendent of Public Instruction, Judith Billings, presented the Flame of Democracy Award from the Council on Public Legal Education to Judge Michelle Gehlsen, the director of the Bothell Youth Court and also judge partner in the Bothell Street Law program, funded by the Washington Judges Foundation.  Angelle Gerl, City of Cheney Prosecutor, and Courtney Bell, Gonzaga Law Extern, led the young people through hypotheticals to sharpen their questioning skills. At the same time Kelley Gradwahl from the Lake Forest Park Municipal Court led the coordinators in a discussion of current issues facing youth courts. The Black Hills High School Student Court Directors George Rother and Jen Kelly explained how their court worked with school rule violations. 

The entire day was inspiring and motivating, and the Association is so grateful for the funding that allows this group to meet.

WJF newsletter    Spring 2017