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Youth Engagement Programs

East River Time Dollar Youth Court

The East of the River Youth Court was founded in October 2010 and is a collaboration between D.C. Youth Court, the Metropolitan Police Department and the Ward 7 Councilmember’s Office.  Youth Court heard its first case on October 9, 2010 and is open to children living in Wards 7 and 8.  The two groups of youth that are served by this program are respondents who are referred to the program by MPD and volunteers from Ideal Public Charter High School and Friendship Collegiate Academy.  During this coming year, USAODC will establish a leadership academy as a part of Youth Court.  This leadership academy will enroll those students who regularly volunteer at Youth Court and those respondents who after serving their sentence continue to provide exemplary volunteer service to Youth Court.

Youth Motivation Program

The U.S. Attorney’s Office Youth Motivation Program is designed to expose at-risk youth to the inner workings of the criminal justice system and discourage them from engaging in gun violence.  The program includes a visit to the courthouse where the students: 1) watch a court hearing;  2) meet with a judge for a question and answer session; and  3) hear a presentation by a homicide detective,  which includes a viewing of crime scene photographs.  The students then hear a presentation by the United States Attorney and two video presentations: “Stop the Violence” and the “Valedictorian Speech”.  USAODC hosts at least one Youth Motivation Program a month with the middle and high schools throughout the District of Columbia

Project Legal Enrichment and Decision Making (Project L.E.A.D.)

Project Lead is an initiative that partners Assistant U.S. Attorneys and support staff with DC Public schools to provide mentoring and an interactive curriculum to 5th graders.  The program shapes good decision-making skills and teaches components such as conflict resolution, critical thinking, and responsibility.  The mentors meet with students twice a month for an hour to implement an interactive curriculum designed for student participation and unique learning.  The Project LE.A.D. Program is in 18 D.C. Public Schools.

Drug Education For Youth

The Drug Education for Youth (DEFY) program is a two-phased drug and violence prevention program that serves youth between the ages of nine and twelve years old, that live in designated Weed & Seed sites in Washington, D.C.   DEFY deters youth from negative behavior and activities at their most influential stage of life.   The program instructs youth on many topics including drug resistance, self-esteem, conflict resolution, gang awareness and physical fitness. Phase I of DEFY is a free residential summer camp.  Phase II is a 10-month mentoring program that begins in October and lasts through the end of the school year.  The mentoring partners consist of U.S. Attorney Office staff, Metropolitan Police Departments Officer, District of Columbia National Guard members.

Updated February 29, 2016