Youth Court Training Conference Launches 3 New Nashville-Based Programs

Antioch, McGavock & Whites Creek to House Newest Youth Court Programs

Nearly 100 Metro Nashville Public School students and teachers gathered at the Martin Professional Development Center on Monday for the Davidson County Youth Court Training Conference. Three Nashville high schools are preparing to implement new Youth Courts, diversionary programs now in place in 16 counties across the state. The courts   allow non-violent, first-time offenders the opportunity to have their cases heard by a jury of students their own age. TBA Youth Courts Coordinator Denise Bentley said that fewer than 7 percent of respondents who participate in Tennessee youth courts re-offend within a year.

The Conference included representatives from Antioch, McGavock and Whites Creek High Schools where the three new programs will launch. The Conference featured a dynamic panel of students from the Cane Ridge Restorative Court sharing their experiences. The Cane Ridge High School Law Academy operates their court in partnership with the Metro Nashville Juvenile Court.

Attendees heard from program supporters including Davidson County Juvenile Court Judge Sophia Brown Crawford, former TBA President Gail Ashworth and Metro Juvenile Court Chief Probation Officer Wendy Buchanan. Participants were treated to lunch donated by Jack Cawthon of Jack’s Bar -B-Que. 

Learn information about Tennessee Youth Courts.

TBA Youth Court Program

TBA Youth Courts Coordinator Denise Bentley lead a session for new Youth Court participants at the Martin Professional Development Center in Nashville. 

TBA Youth Court Program

Cane Ridge Youth Court participants answered questions during a panel discussion. 

TBA Youth Court Program

Conference participants reviewed training materials during a break. 

TBA Youth Court Program

New Youth Court participants and supporters from Whites Creek High School. 

TBA Youth Court Program

TBA Youth Courts Coordinator Denise Bentley with program supporters. 

TBA Youth Court Program

Youth Court participants from the Cane Ridge High School Law Academy gathered at the end of the Conference day.