The mission of Grade Court is to work with the Juvenile Justice System and the Education System to reduce recidivism and the number of children committed to institutions by acknowledging the importance of educating youth in the community; and to increase the success and self-esteem if juvenile offenders through the power of hard work and education.
Goals and Objectives
The Goals and Objectives of the Eleventh Judicial District Drug Court Program is:
- To hold juvenile offenders accountable for their actions and to reinforce the idea that education is essential for their success.
- To develop basic tasks such as turning in daily homework and weekly progress reports that holds juveniles accountable for their academic progress, attendance and behavior at school.
- To provide consistent monitoring of clear and relevant standards with immediate consequences for non-compliance of the program standards resulting in weekend detention or other alternative sanctions.
- Advocate for the juvenile within the education system to ensure that he/she is placed appropriately in classes and that all testing for special education has been completed. Attend IEP's with juvenile and parents to ensure they have a clear understanding of what is expected of them throughout their education process.
- In order to complete the program, juveniles must get "C's" or better in two consecutive nine-week report cards, graduate from High School, or obtain their G.E.D. Each juvenile who successfully completes "Grade Court" is eligible to receive a scholarship at San Juan College along with other funding.
Grade Court was started in January 1997 by a Chief District Judge to make school performance a primary component of Juvenile Probation Supervision Services.
Many students questioned the Judge's commitment to them, the program, and their education. Few believed they would receive consequences for truancy or failing to turn in their daily homework and weekly progress sheets but soon learned this would be the case. As students returned to the monthly Grade Court sessions, they began to hear more about the relevance of education to the success they would experience in their life. They began to learn that through "hard work", they could be successful and improve their grades.
Parents of juveniles are made party to the petition. Violations are exposed quickly and sanctions are enforced immediately. As a result the judicial system is providing structure in the community and encouraging discipline and self-esteem in delinquent youth.
Throughout the years, more opportunities to increase student success have occurred. The Summer Reading Program, Suspension School, a Summer Adventure Challenge sponsored by the Farmington Police Department, a Community Garden, Youth In Progress Class, Weekend Jury Duty for Teen Court Cases, and the Endurance Session sponsored by the Farmington Police Department School Resource Officers.
Today, District Judge Daylene Marsh conducts Grade Court each week on Wednesday at 4 p.m.
- 2375 Juveniles Served
- 717 Graduates From The Program
- 596 Program Graduates Have Enrolled In College
- 44 Program Graduates Have Earned Their Associates Degree or Certificate
- The New Mexico Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee funded the first Grade Court Program in January of 1997.
- In July 1998, Grade Court was honored with an Achievement award presented to the Eleventh Judicial District by the National Court Managers Association.
- The New Mexico Legislature funded a Grade Court Administrator in the District Court budget. Three additional positions were funded by the Community Corrections Program in July 1999.
- The Grade Court Program provides the educational component of the District's Juvenile Drug Court and is funded through the Eleventh Judicial District's general fund.
- A generous benefactor has donated over $240,000.00 to the Scholarship Fund over the past ten (10) years.
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