City of Spokane Proclaims April 3 as "Youth & Justice Day"

Over 200 Students to Attend Annual Youth & Justice Forum

Brian Coddington, Communications Director, 509.625.6740

Wednesday, April 1, 2015 at 10:24 a.m.

The City of Spokane is proclaiming Friday, April 3 as “Youth & Justice Day.” On that day, the 2nd Annual Youth & Justice Forum will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Spokane Falls Community College (3410 W. Fort George Wright Dr.) in the Union Student Building.

Over 200 students from economically disadvantaged and historically underrepresented communities in the eighth through twelfth grades are expected to attend the forum. The student participants attend Spokane Public Schools and the high schools serving the Colville Tribe, Kalispel Tribe and Spokane Tribe.

One of the principle missions of the forum is to promote racial and ethnic diversity in the justice system workforce that reflects the changing diversity of the communities it serves, by encouraging students to pursue those professions. The forum was initiated, in part, under the auspices of the Washington State Minority and Justice Commission, for which the Commission continues as a co-sponsor. Additionally, the forum encourages students to think about and understand their legal rights and obligations as members of their community, and consider opportunities for careers in the justice system.

Approximately 70 volunteer professionals from all components of the justice system make this event possible and provide an important component to the forum by lending their expertise and knowledge in a nonthreatening environment.

This year’s Forum is pleased to have Mayor David Condon, Chief Frank Straub, Sheriff Knezovich, Superior Court Judge Sypolt and Dr. Janet Gullickson kick off the event by welcoming the students and volunteers to a day that will consist of numerous activities and opportunities to interact and network with professionals in the criminal justice system.

The day is organized to provide optimum positive contact and interaction between students and volunteer professionals through games, skits, work demonstrations, small breakout discussion groups, a brief mock trial, and career booths during the lunch and break periods. This year the New Tech Skill Center’s Criminal Justice Program wrote and will perform a skit and a mock trial with law enforcement with the focus being the understanding of their rights, appropriate interaction with law enforcement and learning about the different professions involved in the criminal justice system.

A panel which includes District Court Judge Aimee Maurer along with various representatives from law enforcement agencies, an attorney, and a law student will provide insight on why they chose their career and the decisions and steps they took to attain their goals as well as discuss challenges and adversity they overcame. Activities will also include a demonstration from a Court Reporter and a Certified Court Interpreter a K-9 demonstration and information about pursuing a career in the justice system.

At the end of the busy day, the students leave with prizes, information packets, volunteer business cards and other contact information. More importantly, they leave with an improved understanding of their place in the community and a kindled interest in exciting and positive opportunities for them in the justice system.

The 2nd Annual Youth & Justice Forum is co-sponsored and supported by the Minority and Justice Commission, Spokane County Bar Association’s Diversity Section, Spokane Public Schools, Spokane Police Department, Spokane County Sheriff, Spokane Falls Community College, Gonzaga University School of Law.

For more details regarding the event, contact Gloria Ochoa at