Program exposes students to court system

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 13, 2006

The Selma Disability Advocacy Center has a program designed to keep youngsters out of the criminal court system.

This week, they held a court session with participants in the Behavior Adjustment Technical Education Service program, putting on a re-enactment of a criminal court scene.

The purpose of the scene, according to SDAC alternative manager Bernadette White, is to keep kids from ending up in court by showing them how inglorious the process really is.

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White conceived the scenario for the re-enactment down to the smallest detail. Students were brought into the room in handcuffs and had to follow correct procedure – all the way down to the way they addressed the judge.

The B.A.T.E.S. program is funded by the Selma City School System, the Dallas County School System and the City of Selma.

Students are taught everything from basic reading and studying skills to proper healthcare.

Youth who go through the program often become mentors to others at the center or in their respective communities.

This is an excellent example of worthwhile programs in Selma and Dallas County that are making a difference in the lives of our young people.

Hopefully, none of these young people will be involved in a criminal case in their future, unless it’s as an attorney, or from the bench.