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


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